February 9, 2017 by Max Meyer
By Max Meyer
The Trojans took care of business before its roughest stretch of the season.
USC defeated Oregon State 92-66 Thursday night at Galen Center to move to 21-4 (and 8-4 in Pac-12 play). After beating up on the hopeless Beavers (now 0-12 in Pac-12), the Trojans are set for a three-game stretch against Oregon, UCLA and Arizona, with the last two games on the road.
One Thing I Liked: Shaqquan Aaron
After a tremendous game against UCLA that earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, Aaron mustered two points on the Washington road trip.
He bounced back, however, in a big way tonight.
The Louisville transfer led all scorers with 21 points tonight, making seven of his 10 shots. He also went 5-6 from beyond the arc, and made both of his free throws.
Aaron’s performance highlighted USC’s superb shooting night (50.9 percent from the field) and strong output from the bench (39 combined points).
His play on offense wasn’t the only thing that shined tonight, either.
“Defensively, he was in his stance tonight. He really affected the game with his defense, his length,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “He played a really good floor game tonight.”
There’s no question Aaron has had his ups and downs throughout the season, but USC will really need more strong play from his down the stretch, as he continues to get comfortable with his new team and new role off the bench.
“I’m getting used to the flow of the game cause in the beginning of the season, I hadn’t played college basketball,” Aaron said. “I guess [I’m improving in] getting comfortable.”
1. USC is now on a five-game winning streak, and it’s the first time the Trojans have won five straight conference games since 2002.
2. Bennie Boatwright scored 16 points, the second-highest total of the night, and he knocked down all nine of his free throws.
USC’s offensive spacing is simply much better with Boatwright in the game.
“Bennie’s skill set makes it easier for our team and coaches to get him back intuit he rotation,” Enfield said.
3. The Trojans made 26 of their 31 shots from the charity stripe (83.9 percent). The two times the team has attempted at least 30 free throws in Pac-12 play have both come against Oregon State.
4. The Beavers had a stretch in the game where they scored five points from the 6:57 mark in the first half to 16:44 left in the game. That’s more than 10 minutes!
5. USC’s next game is against Oregon at 7:30 PM PT on Saturday at Galen Center. The Ducks handed the Trojans their first defeat of the year back in December, thanks to an 84-61 trouncing.