No. 5 Oregon looks to halt USC’s winning streak

LOS ANGELES — Oregon’s 13-game winning streak over USC matches its longest ever against a Pac-12 opponent.

The fifth-ranked Ducks know it won’t be easy to keep that streak alive.

Oregon and USC bring identical 21-4 records into Saturday’s game at the Galen Center.

“USC is a good team that plays well at home,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We are going to have to play our tails off and our guys know that. USC is talented, so we have to play harder.”

Oregon fell out of first place in the conference when it blew a 19-point lead in an 82-79 loss to 10th-ranked UCLA on Thursday to drop to 10-2 in the Pac-12, one game back of Arizona.

“We let this one slip, no doubt about it,” said Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey, who scored 19 points against UCLA. “We have to bounce back and finish out this week with a win. We cannot let this linger. “

If Oregon loses to USC, it could fall from first into a three-way tie for second in a three-day span.

“It is not easy because we extended a lot of energy against UCLA,” Altman said. “It will be tough to bounce back, but Saturday we will be ready.”

Oregon beat the Trojans 84-61 in Eugene in December to match its 13 straight wins against Washington State from 2002-07 for its longest streak against a conference foe. The Ducks have won six straight at USC.

While Oregon has won 40 in a row at home, the Ducks are 3-3 in true road games.

Junior forward Dillon Brooks scored 19 points against UCLA to push his team lead to 14.6 points per game, but Oregon has four other players averaging in double figures.

Dorsey is scoring 12.8 points per game while 6-foot-10 senior center Chris Boucher averages 12.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Guard Dylan Ennis is scoring 10.9 points and Jordan Bell is at 10.8 while leading the team with 7.4 rebounds per game.

USC has won five in a row to move into fifth place in the conference at 8-4 as it prepares for a rematch with the Ducks.

“I don’t know if it is revenge, Oregon is a great team,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “They won the league last year and are ranked in the top five. It’s an opportunity for us to play well on our home floor and win a game.”

Chimezie Metu, a 6-11 sophomore, leads the Trojans with 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while junior guard Elijah Stewart is at 13.7.

Bennie Boatwright, a 6-10 sophomore averaging 13.3 points, scored 16 in USC’s 92-66 win over Oregon State on Thursday, his third game back since missing 15 due to a sprained knee ligament.

“It’s great having him back,” said USC sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron. “He’s a great player. Bennie’s a great weapon. He can score inside, outside, and it helps everbody around him.”

Aaron scored 21 points against Oregon State to boost his average to 9.2 points after sitting out last year following his transfer from Louisville.

“I guess you could say that I’m getting used to the flow of the game because, at the beginning of the season, I hadn’t played college basketball for a while,” he said. “I’m just letting the game come to me.”

Junior point guard Jordan McLaughlin is averaging 13.2 points and a team-high 5.1 assists.