USC Basketball vs. Pepperdine: Trojans Romp, Off To Best Start Since 1971

USC basketball is off to their best start since 1971 after dispatching Pepperdine 93-67 on Sunday night at the Galen Center.

The lowdown: Pepperdine hit the first basket, but it didn’t take long for the Trojans to take control of the game on an 11-0 run, including a three-point drive from Elijah Stewart.

With back-to-back three pointers, Jonah Matthews helped extend USC’s lead to 20-6 by the 12 minute mark.

Stewart followed Matthews’ example, hitting his own pair of triples as the Trojans built their advantage with 28-15.

With seven minutes in the half, Chimezie Metu supplied the highlight of the night — and perhaps the season — climbing the ladder to slam a put back with force, making USC’s lead 32-17.

Another putback slam from Metu and an emphatic block from Stewart drove the Trojans into halftime at 48-30.

Stewart and Shaqquan Aaron opened the second half with three pointers but it was Jordan McLaughlin’s long distance effort which pushed the Trojans to a 30-point lead nearing the midway point of the second half.

From there, USC coasted to the finish line, winning 93-67

The takeaway: In their second game without Bennie Boatwright, the Trojans continued their winning ways, riding Stewart’s hot hand to an easy victory.

The aforementioned guard had 26 points, hitting 7-of-12 three pointers, but it wasn’t scoring alone that made his standout performance. Stewart had four blocks on the night as well.

Underneath the basket, Metu was a force, notching his third double-double of the young season.

Meanwhile, McLaughlin was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field on a night when everything seemed to go down for the Trojans.

At 9-0, USC has their best start to a season since 1971.

Player of the game: Elijah Stewart; 26 points, 9-of-15 FG, 7-of-12 3FG, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, four blocks

Stat of the game: USC set a program record with 14 blocks.

Next on tap: The Trojans will take on…the Trojans, facing Troy on Saturday Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Galn Center.

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