Oregon looks for season sweep of No. 16 Southern Cal
- Sherfield, Oklahoma rout No. 2 Alabama
- No. 4 Vols rule boards, top No. 10 Texas
- Strawther has 40, 8 3s in Gonzaga's win
- Wilson clutch, Kansas survives Kentucky
- No. 21 FAU wins 20th straight game
No. 16 Southern California heads to Eugene, Ore., on Saturday fresh off a double-overtime thriller and looking to avenge a loss earlier this season to an Oregon team fighting for a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
USC (24-4, 13-4 Pac-12) comes into the contest riding a five-game winning streak, but the Trojans' fifth win did not come easy. USC surrendered a pair of game-tying baskets Thursday at Oregon State, first on a 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation, and then a mid-range jumper in overtime to extend it to a second extra frame.
The Trojans escaped with a 94-91 win over the Pac-12's last-place Beavers, while playing without Boogie Ellis.
Ellis, one of four Trojans averaging in double figures at 12.4 points per game, was a late scratch due to an ankle injury sustained in practice. Starting in place of Ellis, Ethan Anderson scored 12 points and dished six assists.
"We were short-handed a little bit, but our other guys stepped up and played very well," USC coach Andy Enfield said in his postgame press conference.
The Trojans were also without Isaiah White (wrist), a reserve who provides depth at guard. The thin rotation resulted in perimeter players Drew Peterson, Max Agbonkpolo, Reese Dixon-Waters and Anderson all playing at least 37 minutes.
The starting trio of Peterson -- who posted a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds -- Agbonkpolo and Anderson all logged 41 or more minutes.
Isaiah Mobley, USC's leading scorer and rebounder on the season at 14.5 points and 8.4 boards per game, finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds over 42 minutes of work on Thursday.
Mobley recently missed time due to a broken nose sustained Feb. 5 at Arizona, the last time USC lost.
Mobley posted 18 points and nine rebounds the last time USC faced Oregon, but it wasn't enough to weather Will Richardson's 28 points in a Ducks' 79-69 win Jan. 15 in Los Angeles.
Richardson shot just 3-of-13 from the floor and scored 11 points in Oregon's 68-63 defeat of UCLA on Thursday, but De'Vion Harmon's 17 points and outstanding collective defense buoyed the Ducks to a critical win.
Oregon (18-10, 11-6) came into Thursday's contest on a shrinking NCAA Tournament at-large bubble, the result of dropping three of its previous four outings.
But the last of those losses came down to the final possession at then-No. 3 Arizona, which held on for an 84-81 win. That showing, coupled with the Ducks' completed season sweep of UCLA, could bolster Oregon down the stretch in pursuit of its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013.
"The top three teams in the league are the teams we've played hard against," Ducks coach Dana Altman said in his postgame press conference. "We've had some games against other teams, we just haven't played as focused, as hard, with the energy that we need to."
Oregon electrified the home crowd with a 13-3 run down the stretch, punctuated on an Eric Williams Jr. dunk off a Jacob Young alley-oop.
The Ducks look to carry over that end-of-game momentum in pursuit of another season sweep that would be crucial to Oregon's NCAA Tournament resume.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 25, 2022