The USC Trojans return home Thursday night looking for an elusive Pac-12 Conference win hosting the California Bears at Galen Center in Los Angeles. Cal is tied for second place in the Pac-12.
USC (6-18, 1-10) has lost two straight, 11 of their last 12 and 14 of their last 16 contests. The Trojans are staring down the barrel of a 20-loss season since the 1988-1989 campaign, when they were 10-22. USC has to win six of their last seven games to avoid a 20-loss season.
The Trojans lost a heartbreaker to Cal 53-49 in their Pac-12 opener on December 29. USC cut a 16-point second have deficit to one point in the final seconds, but were unable to grab the lead. Maurice Jones scored 17 points in the loss, including hitting a trio of shots from three-point range. Jones leads the team in scoring (14.0 points per game), assists (3.38 per game), and steals (1.75 per game) this season, and has averaged 38.4 minutes per game on the season.
Cal (18-6, 8-3) is led by guards Allen Crabbe and Jorge Gutierrez. Crabbe is fourth in the conference in scoring at 15.9 points per game and also averages 6.1 rebounds per contest this season. Gutierrez is averaging 14.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and leads the conference with 30 steals.
USC is 6-4 in their last 10 meetings with Cal and hasn't lost a season series to the Bears since getting swept in the 2005-2006 season.
Thursday night's 7:30 p.m. PST game will not be televised. For more news and notes on USC basketball, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.