USC’s season comes to an end with loss to Colorado

first_imgAfter the USC women’s basketball team captured the nation’s attention with its incredible Pac-12 championship run last weekend, first-year head coach Andy Enfield and his men’s basketball team had their sights set on replicating the women’s  performance. The 12th-seeded Trojans kicked off their Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas in a first-round matchup with the fifth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Wednesday, but ultimately lost, 59-56.Bowing out · Junior guard Byron Wesley scored a game-high 23 points in USC’s loss to Colorado, which knocked USC out of the Pac-12 Tournament. – Ricardo Galvez | Daily TrojanThe Trojans (11-21, 2-16) entered the contest with just two wins since January, and two losses to the Buffaloes (21-10, 10-8). In the first meeting between the teams in Boulder, the Buffaloes trampled the Trojans 83-62. The second meeting showed a different score, but the same result. USC suffered a tight 83-74 loss in front of the Trojan faithful at the Galen Center in mid-February.On Wednesday, USC surprised the Buffaloes early, jumping out to a quick 4-0 lead at the hand of senior center Omar Oraby’s spinning post moves. But this advantage was quickly erased after a number of missed open looks.Despite Enfield’s deep rotation with his bench, Oraby and junior guard Byron Wesley accounted for 16 of the first 18 Trojan points — eight points each — as Colorado climbed ahead to a 23-18 lead nearing the end of the first half.As Colorado fans began to make their presence heard, senior guard J.T. Terrell swung momentum back into USC’s favor with a deep three-pointer. But a circus-shot layup by Wesley was off-target, ,leading to an uncontested Colorado alley-oop.Coming out of the locker room at halftime trailing 29-27, the Trojans did not lose any intensity in the second half as they seemed to several times earlier in the season.Through great interior defensive play by the entire USC squad, the Cardinal and Gold were temporarily able to hold onto control. When the team got in foul trouble, however, Enfield was forced to take defensive dominator Oraby out. Oraby picked up his fourth personal foul with seven minutes to go in the game.“I was just trying to be physical with them and push them out, not letting them catch the ball deep,” Oraby said. “At the end, I got into foul trouble so I was trying to stay out of foul trouble and stay in the game.”During his absence, the Trojans failed to convert a field goal for almost six minutes until Wesley once again absorbed contact at the rim and flushed in a difficult lay-up to close the gap to six points.“We have to make open shots, and sometimes we’d go into stretches where we just missed wide open threes or we missed two transition lay-ups and a paint touch, so that’s the frustrating part,” Enfield said. “Our guys get frustrated because they know they’re playing pretty well, they just don’t make the shot. That’s what happened tonight.”With under a minute to play, Wesley drove to the basket and finished inside, cutting the Colorado lead to three.With 47 ticks remaining on the clock and in the Trojans’ season, Enfield commanded his team not to foul.As the shot clock was about to expire, Colorado’s Xavier Talton launched an off-balance three that ricocheted off the right side of the rim. Frantically chasing after it, teammate Askia Booker claimed control of the offensive rebound. Falling out of bounds, Booker bounced the ball off of USC freshman guard Julian Jacobs’ leg, retaining possession for the Buffaloes with 11 seconds in regulation.After a quick timeout, Colorado’s Josh Scott appeared to have an easy layup to seal the victory, but Jacobs, looking to make up for his previous mistake, had a different plan. The 6-foot-3 Las Vegas native met Scott at the rim, denying his shot off the glass. After a scuffle on the floor, the Trojans gained control of the ball.Senior guard Pe’Shon Howard led the transition, dishing out a pretty pass to the hot-handed Wesley. Catching the ball in stride, Wesley released the ball as the final horn sounded. The game-tying shot fell just short, hitting off the front of the rim.“Byron made every play that we needed from him the whole game, so I figured, ‘Why not let him finish it up?’ He had a running start,” Howard said. “It was a deep shot, but I thought it was good when it left his hand.”Wesley finished the game with 23 points in 37 minutes, while Colorado’s Booker posted 21 in as many minutes.Despite a disappointing final record, Enfield is pleased with his team’s performance this season and optimistic about the program’s future.“I’m very appreciative of how hard the seniors that will not be here next year worked,” Enfield said. “They’ll have some great opportunities in a variety of different things, whether it’s to continue their basketball career or in the business world. But for those returning and for those recruits coming in, we’re very, very excited.”last_img read more

3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 89-79 loss to Georgetown

first_img Published on December 14, 2019 at 3:32 pm Contact Josh: | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+ WASHINGTON — One week after tying its best offensive output of the season, Syracuse lost 89-79 to Georgetown on Saturday afternoon in Capital One Arena. Buddy Boeheim, who didn’t score in the first half, led all scorers with 25 points while Elijah Hughes added 21. For the Hoyas, sophomore guard Mac McClung scored 26 points while center Omer Yurtseven added 19 points and nine rebounds. Below are three takeaways from the Syracuse (5-5, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) loss. A zone with holes The obvious soft spot in the Syracuse zone, the high post area, was exploited to no end on Saturday. Georgetown repeatedly hammered the ball in between the top two men of the zone with a bounce pass. From there, the options were plentiful and all of them led to points. A Hoyas player, sometimes a streaking guard in Terell Allen, would either pull up for a jump shot, or force the defense to collapse around him. Wherever the pressure came from, the Hoyas sent the ball in that direction for open 3-pointers or easy buckets from the wing. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGeorgetown finished 11-of-25 from 3-point land including a 4-of-5 start to the game that boosted its first half scoring.When the Orange attempted to mount a comeback late in the second half, they shifted to a full court press, a defense Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has noted in the past is not a strength for this team. The ball whipped through the mid-court, with nothing but a Syracuse foul stopping the charing Hoyas. The plays often ended with a few passes and a Yurtseven dunk or Hoyas free throws.Big MacGeorgetown separated from Syracuse at the end of the first half behind a string of points from McClung. The 6-foot-2 guard ran free in the fast break for several layups off Syracuse turnovers. Then, as Georgetown possessed the ball with less than 10 seconds remaining, McClung pulled up from beyond the arc with a Syracuse defender in his face and swished a 3-pointer. With his tongue hanging out of his mouth and fans screaming, McClung looked toward the bench and pointed down on the court in celebration. In need of helpThroughout the first half, Syracuse just needed another scorer. As he’d done against Georgia Tech, Hughes scored seemingly at will, hitting turnaround and mid-range jumpers, and 3-pointers, when Syracuse needed baskets. But through one half of play, Elijah Hughes had 18 points and no other Syracuse player had double-digit points. While Hughes kept Syracuse in the game, no other Orange player helped push past Georgetown. The misses came from several areas, and sometimes were mishaps before the ball went toward the basket. On one play, Howard Washington threw the ball to where he though Joe Girard III would be – but wasn’t – and the pass sailed out of bounds. On another, Buddy committed an offensive foul. A couple Girard drives to the basket resulted in turnovers and not the fouls the Syracuse bench pleaded for. In the second half, Buddy’s shots started to fall. He converted on 7-of-13 3-pointers, many with a defender in his face from the wing. What started as a Hughes shooting brigade turned into an offense finding ways for Buddy to score.But by the time Syracuse found its scoring touch, it was too late. The press was weak and Georgetown couldn’t be stopped.  Commentslast_img read more