The USC men’s basketball team got off to a dormant first half and rolled to an easy 85-59 at Galen Center on Nov. 9. Making their home debut for the college basketball 2023-24 season, the Trojans put the defensive clamps on Cal State Bakersfield, holding the Roadrunners to 38 percent shooting from the field in the first half on their way to a 47-23 intermission advantage.
For the game, USC limited the Roadrunners to 42 percent shooting from the field. The Trojans’ defense was even more impressive against Cal State Bakersfield’s 3-point shooting. In the first half, the Roadrunners got nothing from long range, converting zero of the eight shots they attempted from beyond the arc.
Things improved a little in the second half for the Roadrunners (4 of 8), but USC still kept Cal State Bakersfield’s 3-point shooing to a minimum (4 of 16) for the game (25 percent. After the game, USC head coach Andy Enfield talked about his team’s defensive effort against the Roadrunners.
“I thought we challenged every shoot, they were able to get a couple jump shots in the mid-range which we will give up as long as we don’t challenge it, but I thought our guys gave a great effort on defense and then offensively we were able to push the pace and transition and had a lot of assists; a lot of good open looks for our shooters,” Enfield said.
The Trojans also won the game because they were able to put the ball in the basket a lot more than the Roadrunners. Led by Isaiah Collier’s 19 points, USC had five players score in double figures. Nine players for USC got on the scoreboard during the homecourt romp. Enfield talked about the team’s depth.
“Well, it’s nice to have DJ (Rodman) and Oziyah Sellers step up and make shots, because they’re very, very good shooters and very capable,” Enfield remarked. “We need our guys like Oziyah and DJ to be consistent and our big guys have to finish around the rim. I thought Josh played a very good second half because we can’t rely on everybody. Boogie Ellis, an all-conference player, one of the best players in the country offensively, and even tonight he’s four-for-eleven, one-for-six from three. So he’s gonna go one-for-six occasionally from the three-point line, but we need other players to step up and they did tonight.”
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.