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Oregon Unable to Hold Lead, Falls to USC

NCAA Basketball: Southern California at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks (12-7, 2-4) get off on the wrong foot to begin the homestand with the USC Trojans (14-6, 5-2) pulling out a 75-50 win at Matthew Knight Arena.

Déjà vu all over again for Oregon as a second-half lead could not be held in a back and forth affair with USC. Similar to the previous game on the road against Arizona, the Ducks could not find enough offense to outlast the Wildcats.

Jordan McLaughlin scored the Trojans’ final eight points of the game to put away the Ducks and end a 14-game losing streak in the series. McLaughlin would finish with eight points.

Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu each chipped in 18 points apiece to pace the Trojans throughout the contest. Jonah Matthews added 11 points.

USC got an early jump on Oregon, building a double-digit lead in the first half. Against the Arizona schools, the Ducks had to play catchup after a slow start. Coach Dana Altman was hoping for a better beginning at home.

Instead, the Ducks found their rhythm and began going to work, cutting down the Trojans’ lead. At halftime, USC held a one-point lead over Oregon, 36-35.

In the second half, both teams battled, refusing to surrender any sizable lead in which could be too big to overcome. After not finishing the job in Tucson, the Ducks expected a better outcome in Eugene.

But the final minutes did not favor the Ducks as the buckets were not falling and the Trojans were able to hold on.

Payton Pritchard led the Ducks with 18 points and seven assists. Paul White made his presence known off the bench with 14 points, and MiKyle McIntosh recorded a double-double with 11 points and ten rebounds.

Freshman, Troy Brown, responded after a poor performance on the road with 12 points and two steals. Elijah Brown must have left his shooting touch in Arizona, going 3-7 from three-point range to finish with nine points.

For the second time this season, Oregon has suffered back-to-back losses.

Oregon looks to respond on Saturday with UCLA up next. Tipoff begins at 7:15 p.m. with a telecast on ESPN.