Southern Cal 80, Oregon 66

BY foxsports • March 6, 2009

Southern California coach Tim Floyd felt an intense sense of relief after his team broke a three-game losing streak Thursday night. "It feels like it's been three months," Floyd said after the Trojans' 80-66 victory over Oregon on Thursday night. DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points and Taj Gibson had 18 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the Trojans. Daniel Hackett added 17 points, six assists and five rebounds. USC (17-12, 8-9 Pacific-10) entered the game having lost six of its previous seven contests. "We're still trying to become a good team," Floyd said. "I think it was important that we started learning how to win again. I think it's important how we won: by defending." Tajuan Porter scored 20 points for the Ducks (8-21, 2-15). LeKendric Longmire added 13 points and Josh Crittle had 10 points and eight rebounds. Oregon, which trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, built a 39-38 lead with 18:57 to play. But USC rallied behind a 16-2 surge to move ahead 54-41 with 8:57 left. The Ducks missed 11 consecutive shots at one point. Oregon narrowed the deficit to 64-62 with 3:59 to play. But after DeRozan shot a 17-foot jumper, Hackett made a pivotal defensive play on the Ducks' ensuing possession. Hackett blocked Porter's attempted 3-point shot, secured the rebound and passed to DeRozan for a dunk. "We had a play set up but didn't get the look we wanted," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "Porter had to take a difficult shot. Hackett stayed down and played good defense." DeRozan's two baskets began a 12-0 spree that enabled USC to extend its lead to 76-62 with 1:08 left. Hackett led the run with six points, a rebound, a block, an assist and a steal. "We pushed the pace and were attacking but just couldn't finish it," Kent said. "It was not an energy thing. I call it a mental toughness thing. If we could have continued to keep the pressure on, things may have been different." USC shot 58.3 percent while the Ducks shot 37.3 percent.

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