USC head coach Kevin O'Neill wanted a low-scoring, slow-paced game, and so far tonight he has it. In a First Four NCAA Tournament matchup from Dayton, Ohio, the USC Trojans and Va. Commonwealth Rams are tied 22-22 at halftime. The two teams are battling for the right to face No. 6 Georgetown Hoyas on Friday night in Chicago.
The first half was a mixture of poor shooting and solid defense. Frankly, USC is lucky to be tied. They have been outrebounded 22-17, and the Trojans are shooting just 40% in the first half, and have hit no three-pointers. However, they have also held VCU to 28.1% shooting (just 9-for-32 from the field). Forward Jamie Skeen leads the Rams with eight points and eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Senior forward Alex Stepheson had four points and eight rebounds in the first half, but he missed several point-blank opportunities, with a few traveling calls and 1-for-4 shooting (not to mention, 2-for-6 from the foul line). Nikola Vucevic has six rebounds himself, but just four points. The Trojans need those two, especially Vucevic, if they are to win this game in the second half. USC is 13-0 this season when they hold opponents to under 60 points.
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