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USC Vs. Rider: Trojans Seek First 3-0 Start In 10 Years

(Sports Network) - USC has the pleasure of starting the season with three straight games at home. The Trojans have taken advantage of that so far, winning their initial two contests, including an 86-73 victory over Santa Clara on Monday night. This matchup marks the first-ever meeting between Ride and USC in men's basketball.

Rider kicks off a three-game road swing tonight, as the Broncs travel cross country to battle the USC Trojans in a Hall of Fame Tip-Off showdown at the Galen Center. After dropping the season opener at Massachusetts, the Broncs evened their record with a 80-73 home victory over Lafayette on Sunday evening.

Senior guard Justin Robinson led the way for Rider with 18 points and five assists in the Broncs' 80-73 win over Lafayette. Junior wingman Novar Gadson performed well off the bench, contributing 12 points, while junior forward Brandon Penn added 10. The Broncs held a 43-36 advantage at the intermission after connecting on 58.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including five three-pointers, while out-rebounding Lafayette by a 32-23 margin. Rider received a solid performance from Gason and the rest of the reserves as the Broncs' bench contributed 37 points in the win. Winning at home was nothing new for the Broncs as the team has been victorious in 30 of its past 40 home affairs. However, Rider won't have the luxury of playing in Lawrenceville this time out. The Broncs are 0-1 on the road so far this season, while the team posted an 8-8 record away from home in 2009-10.

USC was paced by an impressive performance by freshman starting guard Maurice Jones who scored a game-high 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting while handing out five assists in the Trojans' 86-73 home victory over Santa Clara on Monday. In the two games so far this season, Jones has averaged 21.0 points per game. Jones downed 13 of his points in the opening half to help USC take a 39-34 lead into the intermission. The Trojans held Santa Clara to just 37.5 percent shooting from field goal range in the first half while connecting on 51.7 percent of their own attempts. Junior forward Nikola Vucevic set a career-high with 22 points while grabbing 11 rebounds, while freshman guard Bryce Jones added 15 points as the Trojans improved to 2-0 for only the second time in the past 10 seasons.

USC brings offense to the table first and foremost. Look for the Trojans to handle the inferior Broncs rather handily.

For more USC basketball news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.