Utah State spoils Enfield's debut, tops USC 78-65
LOGAN, Utah (AP)
When the college basketball world last saw Andy Enfield, he was leading tiny Florida Gulf Coast to a string of upsets in the NCAA tournament.
It led him to a job at Southern California, and boy what a reality check he got in his first game with the Trojans.
Utah State toppled USC 78-65 on Friday night in Enfield's first game as coach of the Pac-12 program.
''I give Utah State a lot of credit,'' said Enfield, who gave up his job working in finance for a tech startup and, a few years later, took Florida Gulf Coast on its magical run to the Sweet 16. ''They execute their offense and they play together as a team. They played better than us tonight.''
Leading 40-33 at halftime, USU pulled away thanks to three 3-pointers from Medlin and a dunk by Shaw as part of a 16-5 run for a 56-38 lead early in the second half.
USC shot only 37 percent from the field for the game, and went only 4 for 24 from 3-point range.
Omar Oraby and Byron Wesley each scored 15 for the Trojans.
All nine players who played scored for Utah State.
''I like that all who got to play contributed,'' coach Stew Morrill said.
Morrill pointed to reserve center Jordan Stone, who had eight points and five rebounds, as an example.
''Jordan always gives you all he's got. He's such a good defender,'' Morrill said, ''and he is getting better offensively. I thought he really helped us.''
But, of course, it was Medlin's strong start to the second half that broke open the game for the Aggies.
''Preston, he's a gamer. He's explosive and he loves the game atmosphere,'' Morrill said. ''His roll in the second half was huge.''
Utah State is 79-29 in season openers and has won 18 of its last 19 season openers, including 8-0 at home under Morrill.
In all, it was too much for USC, which is in full rebuilding mode after saying goodbye to Kevin O'Neill and hiring Enfield, who is trying to establish the same high-tempo style at USC that worked so well at Florida Gulf Coast.
''Playing in front of their home crowd is a great atmosphere for a college basketball game,'' Enfield said. ''But they also have experienced players that are very skilled.''