USC’s (19-6) uncharacteristic second half on both sides of the floor leads to a 71-61 loss to the Utah Utes (10-11).
The Trojans jumped out to a 20-10 lead about midway through the first, but the Utes defense did a great job of bringing them back in the game, specifically the work they did against Evan Mobley. The freshman center is one of the most dominant forces in college basketball, but not even Mobley could get momentum going on offense.
He finished the half with only three points on 1-of-5 shooting. But Mobley wasn’t the only Trojan who was struggling. USC only shot 12-of-31 from the field and missed all six of their three-point attempts.
Thankfully, you can count on the Trojans defense to show up on a nightly basis (or at least for a half). Utah shot an even worse percentage from the floor, draining a paltry 37% of their shots (10-of-27).
The offenses wasn’t explosive from the perimeter for either team. Whoever got hot from three in the second half was going to win the game. And that's exactly what the Utes did.
Not only did they go 7-of-9 from three in the second half, but they made 58.6% of their total shots from the floor. Five Utes scored at least five points in the half compared to only two for the Trojans.
USC couldn’t buy a shot, and they went completely ice cold. Their field goal percentage went in the other direction as they only shot 32.1% from the floor in the half.
In his postgame presser, coach Andy Enfield was honest about his team’s poor performance, “Very disappointed in our second half of basketball. It was our worst half probably all season. Our starting five played very poorly on both sides of the ball.”
Evan Mobley never picked up steam, finishing with just 11 points on 2-of-7 shooting.
Meanwhile, Alfonso Plummer and Timmy Allen were excellent for Utah, combining for 34 points on 13-of-24 shots.
This is the most adversity the Trojans have faced all season, losing three of their last four games. They'll look to get back on track against a feisty Stanford Cardinals (14-11) team Wednesday night.
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