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February 17, 2014

Loss to Colorado is six straight




It was another frustrating night for the USC men's basketball team. In front of a small crowd at the Galen Center, Colorado put on a shooting exhibition and the Trojans just couldn't respond. Eventually the Buffaloes left with a 83-74 victory.

USC is now 10-15 overall, 1-11 in conference play and are on a six game losing streak.

"It is frustrating for all of us," USC head coach Andy Enfield said. "But we're hanging in there. We have confidence in these kids."

Tonight, like most nights for USC, confidence wasn't enough. They had issues in every phase of the game. When the Trojans were trying to score, they couldn't move the ball effectively or sink open shots.

The team had a season-low six assists and only shot 37.1 percent from the field. They also went 3-for-15 from three-point range. Byron Wesley and J.T. Terrell were the only two players to score in double figures for USC.

It didn't help that Pe'Shon Howard missed the game for violating an unspecified team rule. Chass Bryan started in his place.

"It's pretty self-explanatory," Enfield said. "When you lose a starting guard who averages over four assists a game and is a senior, it hurts not having him in there. But I'm proud of the guys who came off the bench. They played hard and we had a lot of effort."

But even with that effort, USC couldn't stop Colorado from scoring at will. The Buffaloes shot well early and often, going 50 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from beyond the perimeter. Five of Colorado players scored in double figures, led by sophomore Xavier Johnson, who had 20 points.

"They played an excellent all-around game," Enfield said. "They scored inside and outside, and we shot ourselves in the foot at the worst times. When you miss a lot of layups in the game, you deserve to lose."

USC's next game is at Stanford on Feb. 20. at 8 P.M. PST. It will televised on the Pac-12 network.

Notes

The starters tonight were Chass Bryan, Kahlil Dukes, Byron Wesley, Strahinja Gavrilovic and D.J. Haley. Although they didn't start, Omar Oraby and J.T. Terrell played more minutes than three of those starters. Julian Jacobs played more minutes than two of them.

Tonight's starting lineup was Enfield's tenth different combination in twenty-five games.

Although USC has struggled mightily this season, the next six games could change the direction of the season. Their next three opponents are two teams the Trojans took to overtime (Stanford, Oregon State) and the only team Pac-12 team they beat this season (California). They're final four games are against the teams that are ranked 8 through 11 in the conference.


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