Cal Basketball: Bears Tackle USC Squad That Struggles on the Road

Darius McNeill had 18 points and five steals vs. UCLA on Wednesday.Photo by John Hefti, USA Today

Cal hasn't won a Pac-12 game in 378 days, but Trojans have just one victory on the road all season

CAL (5-19, 0-12 Pac-12) vs. USC (13-12, 6-6)

WHERE: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley

WHEN: Saturday, 5 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Pac-12 Networks/810-AM

CAL-USC HISTORY: Cal leads 136-126, but USC prevailed 82-73 at the Galen Center back on Jan. 3 as Nick Rakocevic scored 27 points. The Trojans have won the past three meetings. Cal won three in a row before that.

CAL STORYLINES: The Bears were close to ending their losing streak on Wednesday against UCLA before falling 75-67 in overtime. That stretched their losing streak to 13 games — longest in program history — since a win over San Jose State on Dec. 21. Cal has dropped 19 consecutive The Bears’ consecutive regular-season Pac-12 games dating back to Feb. 3 of last year. … A loss would give Cal back-to-back 20-loss seasons for the first time in program history. The Bears’ only previous 20-loss seasons were in 1987-88 (9-20) and 1978-79 (6-2. … The Bears rank last in the Pac-12 in scoring (69.9 points per game), scoring defense (79.0) and rebounding margin (minus-7.3). … Cal is second in the conference in free throw accuracy (.749) and leads the Pac-12 in fewest turnovers (11.2).

USC STORYLINES: The Trojans, part of a four-way tie for sixth place in the Pac-12, have lost their past three games, falling to Utah, Colorado and Stanford by a combined margin of 14 points. They lost 79-76 at Stanford when the Cardinal scored seven straight in the final 44.2 seconds. … USC is 1-6 on the road, with only a win at Washington State to its credit. … The Trojans are led by senior Bennie Boatwright (17.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and junior Nick Rakocevic (15.6 ppg, 9.8 rpg). … Point guard Derryck Thornton, who began his career at Duke, had 13 points and 12 assists in the Trojans’ win over Cal last month. … The Trojans are second in the Pac-12 in 3-point accuracy (.373) but made just 5 of 15 tries from beyond the arc against Cal.

CAL GAME NOTES: Click here

USC GAME NOTES: Click here