LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jordan Usher scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds to help Southern California beat CSU Bakersfield 90-75 on Sunday night.
Bennie Boatwright added 19 points and eight rebounds and Shaqquan Aaron scored 18 for the Trojans (4-2). Jonah Mathews had 13 points and Nick Rakocevic chipped in 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four blocks.
“It was a challenging game for us tonight,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “I give Bakersfield credit. They really came out strong and shot the ball at a terrific rate.”
Usher scored nine and Boatwright and Rakocevic scored seven each as USC outscored the Roadrunners 32-10 in the final 11:35. The Trojans went on a 17-2 run to lead 84-70 with 1:51 to go. CSU Bakersfield (3-3) got the deficit no closer than 10 from there.
“We were able to ramp up our defense and thankfully they started missing a few,” Enfield said. “Our players played well enough offensively and then we got some key stops in the last eight minutes to turn the game.”
Damiyne Durham scored 22 for the Roadrunners. Greg Lee added 12 points and Ricky Holden scored 10.
CSU Bakersfield led 46-44 at halftime and extended the lead to 65-58 on Durham’s 3-pointer before the Trojans began to rally.
“For 30 minutes there we controlled the game and kind of contained what (USC) was doing,” said CSU Bakersfield coach Rod Barnes. “But when you are playing against a team that good, you can expect that they are going to make a run. It just happened at the wrong time for us tonight. … I’m proud of our guys and proud of the effort we played with tonight.”
CSU Bakersfield: Aside from the Trojans’ late run, the Roadrunners held their own against a Power-5 opponent on the road. CSU Bakersfield had the lead for over 14 minutes, made 12 of 27 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Trojans 38-31, including a 14-5 edge on the offensive glass.
USC: Despite playing with a shorter bench, the Trojans proved they had the energy they needed when it came to crunch time. USC had only six players record more than seven minutes in the contest. … Boatwright was making his first start of the season as Kevin Porter Jr. was out with a thigh injury.
CSU Bakersfield visits South Dakota next Saturday before returning home on Dec. 4 for its first home game in nearly a month against California Merced.
USC hosts Long Beach State on Wednesday and then takes on a pair of ranked opponents, No. 6 Nevada on Saturday and No. 18 TCU on Dec. 7.