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USC hopes to break up-and-down trend

In the typical Thursday-Saturday Pacific 10 Conference schedule, USC has recently developed an easily followed trend.

Up, then down.

Up as the Trojans (13-11, 5-6 in Pacific 10 Conference play) often play well and win the first game; down as they struggle and lose the second.

It happened in back-to-back weeks in late January, first against Stanford and California and then against Arizona State and Arizona.

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So, coming off a win Thursday against Oregon State, USC’s goal Saturday against Oregon (12-12, 5-7) at the Galen Center is to stay up.

“We’ve got to get it sooner or later, so hopefully this is it,” junior guard Jio Fontan said.

One issue the Trojans will have to work around is fatigue. USC typically uses seven players and typically during conference action, six play 30 minutes or more.

“Our first game Thursday we’ll be fresh, but by the time Saturday comes around, we might be tired a little bit,” freshman guard Maurice Jones said.

Coach Kevin O’Neill wasn’t completely buying that excuse.

“We’re just not mature enough to play up to being great on the second night,” he said.

baxter.holmes@latimes.com


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