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USC hoops looks to keep momentum going in return home

USC hoops looks to keep momentum going in return home
USC's Jonah Mathews (2) puts up a shot during the first half against Missouri State. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

After hitting 17 three-pointers in a 99-80 triumph over Missouri State in the consolation game at the NABC Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City on Tuesday, the USC men’s basketball team wants to keep the momentum going against Cal State Bakersfield Sunday afternoon at Galen Center.

Bennie Boatwright was named to the All-Tournament team after scoring 36 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the two games. He made 56.5 percent (13-for-23) of his shots and 54.5 percent (6-for-11) of his three-point tries.

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The senior scored 14 points in a 78-63 loss to Texas Tech on Monday and followed that up with a season-best 22 against Missouri State, increasing his career total to 1,030 points — 38th on USC’s all-time list, only 33 behind Nikola Vucevic, who is 37th. Boatwright leads USC with a 17.3-points-per-game scoring average.

Bakersfield guard Damiyne Durham nailed a three-pointer with 5 seconds left in the Roadrunners’ last outing, a 68-67 victory over Weber State at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas on Nov. 18. That came one day after a 73-72 victory over San Jose State. Durham is averaging 11.3 points per game, and guard Jarkel Joiner averages 12.2 points per game.

Defense will be a key, as the Trojans have won 33 straight games in which they have allowed 70 points or fewer. The Roadrunners are averaging 73.6 points per game and are shooting 42.9% from the field. USC will need to take care of the ball as Bakersfield scores 21.8 points per game off turnovers.

USC won its only other meeting with CSU Bakersfield, 63-59, on Dec. 15, 2013, at Galen Center in coach Andy Enfield’s first year.

UP NEXT

vs. Cal State Bakersfield

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Galen Center.

On the air: TV: PAC-12 Network; Radio: 710 ESPN.

Update: The Trojans will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season against a Roadrunners squad coming off a one-point victory over Weber State in the Bahamas.

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