For the USC Trojans, the start to their Pac-12 Conference season looked an awful lot like their non-conference schedule. The point-a-minute offense from USC wasn't enough Thursday night as they lost 53-49 to the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion in the first Pac-12 game of the season for both teams.
The Trojans trailed by 16 points with 13:36 remaining, scoring just 24 points in the game's first 27 minutes. But Maurice Jones led a furious comeback and pulled USC to within a point with 37 seconds remaining. Jorge Gutierrez missed a shot in Cal's next possession, but Allen Crabbe grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled, making all three free throws to provide the final margin of victory.
Jones led the Trojans with 17 points, including three second-half three-pointers, and four steals.
USC (5-9, 0-1) shot just 33.9% from the field on Thursday, but they were on fire considering they made just 10 of their first 37 shots (27.0%). It was the seventh time in 14 games they have been held under 40% shooting. The Trojans did outrebound Cal on the night 38-26.
Harper Kamp and Crabbe each scored 12 points for Cal (11-2, 1-0), who improved to 10-0 at home this season. Gutierrez had 13 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists for the Bears. Cal shot 46.7% from the field for the game.
USC will battle the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
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