Southern California got some rain, but the drought continued for USC’s basketball team as the Trojans dropped their ninth consecutive game Thursday night at the Galen Center, 76-66, against Oregon State.
The Trojans made a second-half push, going on a 14-2 run late in the game to cut their deficit to 70-64 with a minute left.
But the Trojans (10-18, 1-14 in Pac-12 Conference play) could not overcome a 37.3% shooting percentage and saw the Beavers improve to 15-12, 7-8.
Oregon State led the entire game, starting with a 6-0 run before the Trojans’ leading scorer, junior guard Byron Wesley, got USC on the board with a jump shot.
But even with the return of Wesley, who had served a two-game suspension for violating an unspecified team rule, USC could not improve its record.
Wesley struggled early, scoring only five points in the first half and nine for the game before fouling out with 25 seconds left. He had been averaging 17.6 points per game, 22 in the five games leading up to his suspension.
USC Coach Andy Enfield didn’t think the time off had affected Wesley, saying that he practiced as well this week as he has all season.
“I don’t think two days affected him,” Enfield said. “I think Oregon State affected him” with its size.
Senior guard J.T. Terrell gave the Trojans a spark in the second half after scoring only three points by halftime. He ended the night with 21 points to lead the team.
Oregon State’s Roberto Nelson, the top scorer in the Pac-12, led the Beavers with 14 points. Sophomore Angus Brandt contributed 13 points but only two in the second half, when USC made its comeback attempt.
The Trojans continued their struggles from beyond the arc. They missed all eight of their three-point attempts in the first half and ended up shooting 22.2% from three-point range, making only four of 18 attempts.
Eric Moreland had 14 rebounds, helping the Beavers out-rebound the Trojans 39-31. He also had three blocks and is Oregon State’s career leader in that category.
This is the third time in five seasons Oregon State has swept the conference series against USC.
If the Trojans do not win one of their three remaining conference games, it will be the second time in three seasons that they have had only one victory in conference play.