ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CBSLA.com/AP) — Nikola Jovanovic scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for USC, helping the Trojans beat New Mexico 66-54 on Sunday.
Jovanovic scored five points in a key 9-1 run that broke a 47-47 tie – the fourth of the second half — with 8 minutes remaining.
Devon Williams had career highs in points (15) and rebounds (10) for New Mexico (3-3). But the Trojans (4-3) held Lobos guard Hugh Greenwood, who averaged 13 points, scoreless on 0-for-11 shooting, including 0-9 on 3-pointers.
“Anytime you have a player like Greenwood, he’s an explosive scorer,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “Anytime he gets going in this atmosphere in the Pit, it would be tough to win the game. So we tried to trap him on all ball screens. Katin Reinhardt guarded him one-on-one most of the game and did an outstanding job, forcing him into taking tough shots.
Greenwood is such an excellent offensive player. We knew it would be tough but we never imagined we would hold him scoreless. That’s just a testament to how well we played defensively.”
Shooting, particularly from outside, was an issue for both teams. USC went 4-17 from beyond the arc and New Mexico was 3 of 24.
“We did everything we thought that we could do,” said New Mexico coach Craig Neal. “We held them to 38 percent on 2-pointers and 23 (percent) from 3, which, anytime you can do that, you think you’re going to win.
“But you don’t think you’re going to shoot 12 percent from 3-point line yourself.”
USC’s Darion Clark also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. New Mexico’s Obij Aget added a career-high 11 points and 10 rebounds.
USC’s 4-3 record marks their first winning record this season.
USC: This was the Trojans’ first game of the season on an opposing court after three home games and three at a neutral site.
NEW MEXICO: The Lobos had won the previous five meetings with USC, including 75-67 Dec. 5, 2012 in the Pit in Albuquerque.
USC is at home Wednesday against Loyola Marymount.
New Mexico next faces New Mexico State at home Wednesday.