USC Trojans defeat Cal State Northridge, 95-79

Andy Enfield isn't afraid to shake things up.

He had a brand new starting lineup Tuesday night against Cal State Northridge, and most notable on the bench was J.T. Terrell, who had led the Trojans with 20 points in an opening loss to Utah State.

The shake-up didn't work immediately. USC fell behind quickly in its home opener against the Matadors, but the Trojans eventually found some rhythm and won their first game under Enfield, 95-79, at the Galen Center. It was the most points USC scored in a game since the 2007-08 season.

The Trojans (1-1) were led by 17 points from center Omar Oraby and 16 points and 11 rebounds from forward Byron Wesley.

After falling behind 8-2, the Trojans took the lead on a layup from Oraby. It gave USC a 10-9 lead.

The Matadors (1-1), also with a new coach, Reggie Theus, didn't go away until midway through the second half.

But Wesley threw two perfect passes to center Oraby that resulted in layups and a 79-61 lead.

Only one missed dunk marred what would have been a perfect shooting night for Oraby, the 7-foot-2 center, who was seven for eight from the field.

The Trojans took the lead for good on a three-pointer from backup Brendyn Taylor with 10:01 left in the first half. It put USC up 17-16 and was followed by a missed three-pointer from the Matadors and a layup from freshman Julian Jacobs.

Enfield said that Terrell was benched, "for an academic reason. If you don't do what's expected in the classroom you don't play," and later suggested that Terrell had missed a class. Terrell was unavailable after the game.

Despite Oraby's scoring, Enfield said he wants to see more improvement from his center. "He's still learning," Enfield said. "He needs to be more aggressive, cover both sides of the lane, not one side. Sometimes he doesn't realize how good a player he could be."

"I need to demand the ball more," Oraby said. "I need to get more aggressive."

Wesley said as far as he remembers, his last double-double was in high school. "So this was kind of cool," he said.

Enfield was also pleased with the team's 24 assists. "It was a good team win," Enfield said.

Guard Pe'Shon Howard was falling down as he made a layup at the halftime buzzer to give USC a 42-31 halftime lead.

At halftime center Oraby and Wesley each had eight points and Wesley had six rebounds to lead USC.

And after an example of what Enfield hopes becomes common, Terrell hit a three-pointer after Matador turnover to give USC a 64-54 lead with 10:31 left.

That seemed to energize the Trojans.

and was fouled. He missed the foul shot but USC still led 71-56.

Twitter: @mepucin

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World