Following last week’s disappointing loss to Oregon State, Oregon was looking forward to heading south — hopefully for warmer weather and a batter result on the course.
It appears the Ducks took the weather with them. While snow littered the ground in Southern California, Oregon wasn’t much warmer in the gym, shooting 33-percent from the field in its 66-49 loss to USC.
"We just have to play better," Oregon head coach Dana Altman said. "Offensively we have to finish plays. Defensively we're still not connected… I thought we gave up some easy looks."
Louis King led the Ducks (15-11, 6-7 Pac-12) with 16 points but did so on just 6-of-13 shooting, adding a team-high six rebounds. Victor Bailey Jr. was the only other Duck in double-figures, chipping in 10 points off the bench.
As a whole, Oregon shot 4-of-21 from beyond the arc, often taking deep or contested three-pointers that weren’t anywhere near the flow of the offense.
Likewise, USC’s (15-12, 8-6 Pac-12) Bennie Boatwright was unstoppable with the ball in his hands, finishing with a game-high 20 points. He single-handedly outshot the Ducks from beyond the arc, making 6-of-9 while adding six rebounds and three assists.
"Bennie really killed us," Altman said. "Him shooting the ball was the difference. Those six 3s really gave them separation."
"Bennie is shooting as well as he has in his career," USC head coach Andy Enfield added. "His all-around game is good. He's feeling it. To beat Oregon, you need players to step up like that. It was fun to watch."
Nick Rakocevic and Derryck Thornton combined for 27 points in the win, shooting 12-of-19 from the field.
"They beat us pretty bad when we played up there, so it was a good game for us to get our revenge here and take care of business," Rakocevic said. "We had something to prove tonight. This was a statement game. We played really well, defended really well."
Oregon was in good shape early on, leading 16-10 midway through the first half following a Miles Norris jumper.
The Ducks had their final lead of the game following a Kenny Wooten dunk, but Thornton responded with an and-one, giving USC a 24-23 lead following the final media timeout of the half.
USC made its run over a four-minute period in the early parts of the second half. Leading the Ducks by seven, the Trojans went on a 10-2 run for a 47-32 lead with just over 11 minutes to play. Oregon never got within single digits the rest of the way, suffering its second consecutive loss.
Payton Pritchard, who Altman wanted to get more involved offensively, finished with five points on 2-of-10 shooting (1-for-7 from three-point territory). Paul White added nine points and four rebounds for the Ducks.
Oregon will try to salvage the trip south when it plays at UCLA (14-13, 7-7 Pac-12) on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN2.