Behind Jio Fontan’s 21 points Thursday, USC easily coasted to its third victory in the past four games, defeating visiting Lehigh 76-49 in its final nonconference game of the season.
Despite Tuesday’s 65-64 upset of No. 19 Tennessee, head coach Kevin O’Neill expressed concerns in facing a Mountain Hawks team that had earned an NCAA Tournament bid a year ago, noting the possibility of a letdown game.
Behind the recently eligible Fontan, who made all four of his 3-pointers, the Trojans, now 8-5 overall and 2-1 with the Fordham transfer in the lineup, instead, notched another impressive, resume-building victory.
“Jio is getting better every game,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill told Seth Rubinroit of the Daily Trojan. “He is a guy who [fills] a missing piece for us.”
But yet, O’Neill’s remarks may border on politics, an attempt to have the selection committee acknowledge that ’SC is a different squad with Fontan in the lineup. Instead, however, USC saw contributions from a plethora of players.
Starting bigs Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Alex Stepheson recorded 11 points and 12 rebounds. Additionally, Donte Smith had 13 points off the bench, while Maurice Jones added eight points.
For more information on USC basketball, check out SBN’s Conquest Chronicles.