The USC Trojans will look to continue their good play at home tonight as they host the Cal Golden Bears at Galen Center. After losing two road games in Oregon last weekend, USC returned home and blew out Stanford, 65-42 on Thursday night. The Trojans have been Jekyll and Hyde this season, a tale of two teams home and away.
At home, USC is 9-2 this season and they have held opponents to 36.2% shooting. Stanford shot an anemic 22.2% Thursday night, the lowest shooting percentage allowed by USC in 30 seasons, and near the school record. The Trojans held Oregon State to 19.2% shooting in a game in 1955. On the road this season, USC is 1-5 and has allowed 45.9% shooting. In conference play, USC is 4-16 in its last 20 Pac-10 road game.
Cal held a furious rally to tie the game after being down 12 points with six minutes remaining against UCLA Thursday night, but they lost 86-84 in the final seconds on a tip-in by Reeves Nelson. Junior forward Harper Kamp leads the Bears in scoring this season, averaging 14.2 points per contest, but freshman guard Allen Crabbe has come alive in conference play. In six conference games, Crabbe has scored a team-high 17.3 points per game, and has made 14 of 31 shots from three-point range (45.2%).
Speaking of coming alive in conference play, junior forward Nikola Vucevic is averaging 19.5 points and 10.8 rebounds in Pac-10 play, shooting 57.9% from the field. Vucevic has four double-doubles in six conference games, and 11 double-doubles on the season, narrowly missing another with 20 points and nine rebounds in Thursday's win. Senior Alex Stephenson has seven double-doubles on the season, and is averaging 9.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game this season. Stephenson had 10 points and 11 boards against Cal.
Here are tonight's probable starting lineups:
Cal (9-9, 2-4)
Guard: Brandon Smith
- Guard: Jorge Gutierrez
- Guard: Allen Crabbe
- Forward: Harper Kamp
Center: Markhuri Sanders-Frison
USC (11-8, 3-3)
Guard: Jio Fontan
Guard: Maurice Jones
Guard: Marcus Simmons
Forward: Alex Stephenson
Center: Nikola Vucevic
USC has beaten Cal in all four previous meetings at Galen Center. Tonight's 8 p.m. PST game will be televised on Fox Sports West, with Paul Sunderland, former Trojan point guard Brandon Granville, and Nischelle Turner on the call.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.