USC Hangs On To Beat Northern Arizona, 67-63
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bryon Wesley scored a career-high 31 points and Omar Oraby made the go-ahead layup with 54 seconds left, giving Southern California a 67-63 victory over Northern Arizona on Friday night.
The Trojans (2-1) rallied from 12-point deficits in both halves to win their second straight home game under new coach Andy Enfield.
Wesley scored 16 of his points in the first half. He finished 8 of 12 from the free-throw line and had nine rebounds. Freshman Nikola Jovanovic added nine points and six rebounds, and 7-foot-2 Oraby had eight points and seven rebounds.
Aaseem Dixon scored a career-high 20 points, including six 3-pointers, and fellow junior college transfer Quinton Upshur added a career-best 18 points for NAU (1-2).
The Lumberjacks were 9 of 28 from 3-point range, hitting just two in the second half. Max Jacobsen, the lone senior on the team, added 14 points and eight rebounds. Dixon and Upshur both missed two 3-pointers apiece in the final 2 minutes when NAU led by two points.
NAU led by 12 early in the second half before its shooting went cold and the Lumberjacks got outscored 14-4. Four different players scored for the Trojans, who tied the game at 44-all on a 3-pointer by Wesley — USC’s first trey after missing 11 attempts.
The Trojans took their first lead since midway through the first half, 48-46, on a layup by Jovanovic after J.T. Terrell’s missed dunk. Moments later, Julian Jacobs had their lone dunk of the game.
NAU twice cut its deficit to one on a basket by Jacobsen and a 3-pointer by Dixon. The Lumberjacks took a 61-60 lead on two free throws by Jacobsen.
After Wesley made 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game at 61-all, Dixon missed a 3-pointer in the left corner but Kris Yanku grabbed the offensive rebound and fed Jacobsen, who put the Lumberjacks ahead 63-61.
Wesley got fouled and made both, tying it again at 63-all with 1:40 to play.
From there, USC scored the game’s final four points to close it out.
It was a back-and-forth game until the Lumberjacks closed the first half on a 23-13 run that gave them a 40-30 lead at the break. Dixon hit three of his five 3-pointers in the spurt and Upshur added eight points. The Lumberjacks scored eight in a row to take a 12-point lead just before the half.
Wesley scored 11 of USC’s 13 points. The Trojans missed all eight of their 3-pointers in the half, when NAU hit seven.
The Lumberjacks will remain in Los Angeles to play at Loyola Marymount on Sunday.