Southern California aims for its 14th consecutive home win when it welcomes Pac-12 Conference counterpart Stanford to the Galen Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.
USC (18-8, 10-5 Pac-12) scored a much-needed victory on Thursday, a 97-60 rout of visiting California, after consecutive road losses to the Oregon teams last week. The win — the Trojans’ most lopsided in conference play since March 2021 — aided USC’s NCAA Tournament resume with a bump from No. 63 in NET rankings to No. 57. Those rankings are based on the quality of wins, such as the opponent and where the game was played.
“We just have to keep winning games,” Trojans coach Andy Enfield said, referring to his team’s postseason aspirations during his postgame press conference on Thursday. “Everything will take care of itself. We have some really good wins. We’ve had a tough schedule and we’ve played some very good teams. We have some opportunities here coming up, including Stanford on Saturday, who’s playing great basketball. They just beat Arizona, and they’re really playing well.”
The Cardinal (11-15, 5-10) threatened to pull a top-10 upset on Thursday, giving No. 4 UCLA all it could handle before surrendering a late-game run. The Bruins won 73-64, outscoring Stanford 20-7 in the final 7:30.
“For much of the game we played with discipline and executed the game plan pretty well,” Cardinal coach Jerod Haase said after the game. “A lot of the errors tonight are correctable, and needless to say, we’ll have to learn to play without fouling or better than we did tonight. And then also, we need to be able to play and not turn the basketball over and play strong offensively, so that nothing bothers us.”
Stanford committed 14 turnovers, twice as many as UCLA, and committed 26 fouls to the Bruins’ 14.
USC, meanwhile, is coming off a 19-for-23 effort at the foul line against Cal, including 8 of 9 from Drew Peterson en route to his career-high 30 points. Boogie Ellis, who scored 22 points, went 6 of 6 at the line.
Ellis and Peterson both made four 3-pointers, part of the Trojans’ 12 on 23 attempts. Stanford comes into Saturday’s contest giving up 3-pointers at a rate of 34.8 percent.
–Field Level Media