The Galen Center was empty yet again but the Trojans didn’t need a home crowd, extending their dominant win streak to six games fending off the Washington State Cougars, 85-77.
The Trojans entered the season ranked sixth by league media members in the preseason conference poll.
Sitting atop the Pac-12 in second place behind right behind their cross town rivals UCLA the Trojans hold a 11-2 overall record while improving to 5-1 in conference play.
“We have goals to compete at a very high level. We’re just taking it game by game but we’re off to a great start,” said Trojan Head Coach Andy Enfield.
Not only are the Trojans second in the Pac-12, USC ranks second in scoring average with 77.8 points per game.
USC came out firing in the first half on a mission to grab their sixth victory in a row.
Heading into halftime with a 39-27 advantage led by Tahj Eaddy’s 14 points, the game seemed already out of reach with one more half of play left.
“[Tahj Eaddy] played outstanding basketball tonight,” said Enfield. “He had a good rhythm and really helped us.”
Eaddy finished the game with 21 points leading the Trojans.
“We have so much trust in Tahj and he’s done such a great job,” said Trojan guard Drew Peterson.
The second half got away from the Cougars when Head Coach Kyle Smith received a technical foul on Isaiah Mobley’s block which the coach made sure to express his displeasure with the no call.
Max Angbonkpolo was quiet all night but had the loudest play of the night on a break away fast dunk slammed home getting the Trojan bench off their feet for a 58-47 USC lead 76-72.
In the blink of an eye the Cougars trimmed the deficit to four points, 76-72. Noah Williams nailed a three pointer with 3:14 left in regulation bringing the Cougars the closest they’ve been all game since 12:46 in the first half.
“I just had to raise my voice to make sure we played a little harder,” emphasized Enfield.
USC closed out the final three minutes with great play as four Trojans finished the game with double digit scoring.
USC will look to stay atop the Pac-12 and continue their win streak Tuesday at Oregon State.
When asked what’s the key to continue winning and ultimately a Pac-12 title Peterson said, “I think it’s going to take consistency. That’s what’s going to get us to the Pac-12 title,”