Metu helps USC rally in 2nd half to beat Omaha 82-72
LOS ANGELES (AP) Last season, Chimezie Metu got a lot of playing time for Southern California without having much experience.
All those minutes are starting to pay off for him as a sophomore.
Metu had 15 points and 11 rebounds to help the Trojans rally over the final 8:49 to beat Omaha 82-72 Sunday after trailing most of the game.
''I'm trying to play as hard as possible,'' Metu said. ''This year we don't have as many great rebounders on our team as we did last year.''
Shaqquan Aaron scored 15 points, De'Anthony Melton had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Jordan McLaughlin added 12 points for the Trojans (2-0).
''We knew it would be a tough second game for us as we adjust to our lineups and rotations, especially with (Bennie) Boatwright being injured,'' USC coach Andy Enfield said. ''Our players played an excellent second half defensively that helped us win the game.''
Marcus Tyus scored a career-high 33 points and Tre'Shawn Thurman had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Mavericks (1-1), who were trying to beat a Pac-12 team for the first time.
''What we had trouble with was Marcus Tyus,'' Enfield said. ''It didn't matter whether we were man or zone, he made shots.''
The Mavs led by six early in the second half when the Trojans got loose for three consecutive dunks, two by Metu and one from De'Anthony Melton to tie the game 49-all.
''We were just trying to get on the run and get a lot of stops,'' Metu said, ''and it was turning into some points for us. We were just looking for some energy, some kind of spark.''
Aaron's 3-pointer tied the game for the last time at 53-all. From there, USC closed the game on a 31-19 run.
Omaha: Picked to finish fourth in the Summit League, the Mavs will go as Tra-Deon Hollins and Thurman go. Hollins led the nation in steals (127) and steals per game (3.9) as a junior last season, when he averaged 12.5 points. The Mavs have a tough nonconference schedule, with road games at Kansas State, Iowa, No. 24 Iowa State and Pittsburgh.
USC: The Trojans protected their home court, where they are in the midst of playing five of six games.
Aaron raced in for a fast break layup with 1:33 to go in the first half and went off the back of Omaha's Mitch Hahn, sending him crashing to the floor at the base of the basket support. He walked off on his own and had his right wrist wrapped before returning in the second half.
''If anything it kind of hyped him up even more,'' Melton said. ''When he gets mad, he really gets rolling. It's fun watching him play.''
BACK WITH A BANG
Tyus played just his second game since Feb. 7, 2015, at Denver, where he sustained a season-ending knee injury. He was 3 of 11 and scored nine points in the Mavs' win over UCSB on Saturday.
Against the Trojans, he was 11 of 18 from the floor, hit six 3-pointers and went 5 of 7 from the free throw line in 35 minutes.
''It's an amazing feeling to get a career high,'' he said. ''I've been away for so long. My teammates just kept telling me if you're open, shoot. I got a confidence boost after my first couple of shots went in.''
Omaha: The Mavs visit Kansas State on Tuesday to finish off three road games in four days to open the season.
USC: Visit Texas A&M on Friday in just the teams' second-ever meeting. USC won 26-18 on Dec. 18, 1936.