Southern Utah Thunderbirds (5-3) at USC Trojans (5-6)
|Date & Time||Friday December 21, 2018, 11:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: USC Trojans -12 -- Over/Under: 152.5
The Southern Utah Thunderbirds will travel to the Galen Center to take on the USC Trojans this Friday night in College Basketball action.
The Southern Utah Thunderbirds snapped their 2-game losing streak and improved to 5-3 on the season after defeating the Pepperdine Waves, 78-69 in OT, this past Saturday. Southern Utah allowed Pepperdine to fight back in the 2nd half to force OT, however, the Thunderbirds were outstanding on the offensive end in the OT period and easily cruised to victory after taking a 74-69 lead with :51 seconds left in overtime. Southern Utah held Pepperdine to 37.9% shooting from the field and outrebounded the Waves by a 47-42 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Thunderbirds was Brandon Better who had 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist.
On the season, Southern Utah is averaging 83.1 ppg on 45.4% shooting from the field. The Thunderbirds are averaging 9.4 three-pointers per game on 34.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Southern Utah has been led by Cameron Oluyitan (13.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.9 spg), Dwayne Morgan (13.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.3 bpg), Brandon Butler (11.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg), and Andre Adams (10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 spg).
Defensively, Southern Utah is allowing their opponents to average 72.3 ppg on 38.9% shooting from the field. The Thunderbirds have a rebound margin of -1.0 and a turnover margin of 4.3.
The USC Trojans lost their 4th straight game and dropped to 5-6 on the season after being defeated by the Santa Clara Broncos, 102-92 in 2OT, this past Tuesday night. USC was able to fight back from a 42-31 halftime deficit to force OT, however, struggled offensively in the 2nd OT and couldn’t fight back after Santa Clara took a 96-90 lead with 1:33 left in the 2nd OT. USC shot 39.0% from the field while allowing Santa Clara to shoot 53.1% from the field and 36.0% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Trojans was Jonah Mathews who had 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block.
On the season, USC is averaging 78.8 ppg on 44.7% shooting from the field. The Trojans are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 36.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, USC has been led by Nick Rakocevic (14.5 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.1 bpg), Bennie Boatwright (14.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 apg), Jonah Mathews (12.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg), and Shaqquan Aaron (11.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg).
Defensively, USC is allowing their opponents to average 77.5 ppg on 42.0% shooting from the field. The Trojans have a rebound margin of -1.1 and a turnover margin of 0.3.
The Thunderbirds are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games and 15-5-2 ATS in their last 22 non-conference games. The Trojans are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a losing record and 5-5 ATS in their last 7 Friday games.
USC has struggled defensively this season however, this is still a talented team that certainly has the ability to turn their season. Southern Utah has been good offensively this season however, I’m skeptical that the Thunderbirds will be able to compete with a team that has as much talent as the Trojans has. USC needs a win and as I think they’ll come out focused on their home court, I’m taking USC to cover this large spread.