Back home in the Galen Center after taking part in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts, the USC Trojans welcome the Cal State Fullerton Titans to town for a non-conference battle tonight. The Trojans split their two outings over on the East Coast this past weekend, bowing to the Bradley Braves on Saturday, 64-63, before taking out the New Mexico State Aggies a day later, 80-61.
As for the Titans, their 2010-11 campaign began with a trip to Honolulu to take part in the annual Rainbow Classic. Unfortunately, the experience was anything but classic for Fullerton as the squad dropped all three contests to the likes of Central Michigan, Hawaii and Montana State. On Sunday, the squad was on the road again, this time on the mainland and this time the Titans scored a 62-59 win over the San Diego Toreros.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Trojans have taken both of the previous meetings against Fullerton, the most recent of those being a 96-90 overtime affair at the Sports Arena back in 2003.
A pair of free throws by Devon Peltier helped seal the deal for the Titans as they posted a three-point win over the San Diego Toreros in non-conference action at Jenny Craig Pavilion three nights ago. Peltier scored a game-high 24 points as he made all six of his free-throw tries and was 8-of-16 from the floor for the Titans. Before fouling out Orane Chin accounted for 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the visitors as well. Through four games it is Chin who leads the team in scoring with his 19.8 ppg, shooting not only 56.5 percent from the field, but also 50.0 percent behind the three-point line. Down in the paint Chin is also responsible for 6.5 rpg which ties him for the team lead. Peltier's 14.2 ppg make him the only other double-digit scorer at the moment, although his mere 38.8 percent shooting from the floor could knock him out of that position.
Bryce Jones scored a game-high 21 points, leading the USC Trojans to a 19- point win over the New Mexico State Aggies as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic in Springfield on Sunday. Also scoring in double figures for the Trojans were Nikola Vucevic with 19 points, followed by Marcus Simmons and Garrett Jackson with 12 and 10 points, respectively, as they snapped a two- game slide. The Trojans shot a solid 7-of-17 (.412) behind the three-point line and also forced the Aggies into 18 turnovers on the afternoon. Unfortunately, when it comes to three-point shooting overall thus far, the Trojans are knocking down only 33.7 percent, compared to almost 40 percent for the competition. Bryce Jones (13.6 ppg) is responsible for 11-of-27 (.407) on the perimeter and its important not to get him confused with Maurice Jones (12.6 ppg) who is just 3-of-16 from long range at the moment.
Fullerton's lengthy run away from home will be coming to an end this weekend, but for now the Titans will have to deal with a USC team that reaches beyond them in so many ways.
FACTS & STATS: Site: Galen Center (10,258) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: Local. Home Record: Fullerton 0-0, USC 2-1. Away Record: Fullerton 1-1, USC 0-0. Neutral Record: Fullerton 0-2, USC 1-1. Conference Record: Fullerton 0-0, USC 0-0. Series Record: USC leads, 2-0.