Maurice Jones led USC with 19 points and unsurprisingly played all 40 minutes. Jones leads the team averaging 39.6 minutes per contest this season and has played 396 of a possible 410 minutes all season. Jones was the only Trojan to score in double figures. He missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the score.
USC (4-6) shot just 33.3% from the field, but also held New Mexico (7-2) to 33.3% shooting, making for an ugly night in Los Angeles. The Trojans were outrebounded 36-23 by the Lobos, but USC also forced 24 turnovers to stay close.
The Trojans trailed 38-30 with eight minutes remaining but clawed back to a 41-40 lead on a three-point play by Dewayne Dedmon with 1:51 left in the game. The Lobos hit four free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win.
"We're in a lot of close games. If the other team shoots 20 free throws and you shoot five, that means we're not playing with enough force," Trojans head coach Kevin O'Neill said after the game. "It''s difficult to finish games when you don't have go-to situations and go-to guys. That's what we've got to develop as we go along."
USC is off all week but hosts the Georgia Bulldogs next Saturday at Galen Center.
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