Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis power No. 16 USC to victory over Utah

USC guard Drew Peterson (13) drives to the basket in front of Utah guard Lazar Stefanovic.
USC guard Drew Peterson (13) drives to the basket in front of Utah guard Lazar Stefanovic during the second half of the Trojans’ 79-67 win Saturday. Peterson scored 23 points in the win.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)
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Drew Peterson felt like he couldn’t miss.

“I don’t think I’ve ever shot it like this. I was feeling good and my teammates were finding me,” Peterson said.

Peterson scored 23 points and Boogie Ellis added 18 to power No. 16 USC past Utah 79-67 on Saturday.


“The ball was moving. Having 18 assists after just six (in a win at Colorado on Thursday) showed a big difference,” Peterson said.

When the Utes finally got within single digits with 5:38 to play, Max Agbonkpolo dunked and Peterson hit a three-pointer for USC (16-2, 6-2 Pac-12).

Chevez Goodwin scored all 14 of his points in the second half, and No. 16 USC ended three years of frustration against Colorado with a 61-58 victory.

Jan. 20, 2022

Peterson made all five of his three-point attempts and went nine for 10 from the field in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

“Teams have been going underneath my screens a little bit recently, knowing I want to get into the paint. So I’m trying to keep them honest by shooting the open threes,” Peterson said.

USC’s 16-2 start to the season is its hottest since the 1970-71 team — often considered the best Trojans team ever — began 17-1 on its way to a 24-2 record.

“I don’t think this team is as good as Paul Westphal’s team. That was one of the greatest teams in USC history. But I love our team. We played hard and play well together,” USC coach Andy Enfield said.

USC guard Boogie Ellis dunks against Utah in the first half Saturday.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)
Utah center Lahat Thioune, left, shoots in front of USC forward Joshua Morgan during the first half Saturday.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Now at full-strength in his initial injury-riddled season, Gabe Madsen had a career-high 20 points for Utah (8-12, 1-9).
“I kind of expected this. I put in a lot of work and I have prided myself as a gym rat. Today, opportunity met preparation,” said Madsen, who has been recovering from a collapsed lung.

Lazar Stefanovic scored 10 for the Utes, who have lost eight straight.

The Trojans’ height bothered the Utes around the rim and their quickness disrupted the Utah offense. A 42-31 rebound disparity helped give the Trojans 15 second-chance points and 40-20 advantage on points in the paint.

“There’s nothing USC doesn’t have. They have great point guard play, great athleticism up and down the lineup, elite size and versatility. When you make mistakes, they make you pay,” Utah coach Craig Smith said.

USC led by as many as 15 in the first half when Peterson made a three-pointer to make it 29-14. Madsen’s trio of threes and some key plays brought the Utes to within 35-30 at the half.

“It wasn’t easy and it’s tough coming to the mountains but I’m very proud of our team for regrouping after a tough week last week. We came back with the type of defense we expect out of them,” Enfield said.


Branden Carlson, Utah’s leading scorer, is nearing a return but sat out and has now missed five games because of appendicitis.

USC defeated Utah 93-73 on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.