Titans Fade in 2nd Half

Nov. 24, 2010

Box Score

Los Angeles, Calif. - Five-foot-seven guard Maurice Jones scored 20 points and 6-foot-10 forwards Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson combined for 26 rebounds Wednesday night as USC pulled away in the second half for an 81-54 non-conference win over Cal State Fullerton.

Vucevic had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Stepheson had 11 points and 12 boards and guard Bryce Jones added 15 points. Fullerton got 15 points from Devon Peltier and 13 from Sedric Martin.

USC is now 4-2 while the Titans are 1-4 this year and 0-3 all-time vs. the Trojans.

USC broke the game open a few minutes into the second half. After Orlando Brown's 3-pointer brought Fullerton to within a point at 36-35 at 17:58, the Trojans took advantage of several Fullerton turnovers to make a 14-4 run to take a double-digit lead at 50-39 and the lead continued to grow after that.

"They got serious and played better in the second half," said Fullerton Coach Bob Burton of the Trojans. "We played good defense the first half but our offense was terrible all night. We took bad shots and didn't play together. "The bright spot was Jer'Vaughn Johnson played 13 minutes. He's had four practices in 8 weeks.

And "Sedric Martin had a terrific game. Unfortunately, Orane Chin had the worst game of his career."

Fullerton trailed 32-30 at the half, but matched its first-half turnover total in less than four minutes of the second half and saw a 36-35 deficit quickly swell to 42-35 after a couple of breakaway layups.

The Titans never led but came back to tie the game on four occasions in the first half, the last at 23-23 on Peltier's 3-pointer at 4:06. Fullerton was outrebounded, 21-15, and had only one offensive board. But the Trojans offset their advantage by committing 9 turnovers to 4 by Fullerton.

Johnson was making his season's debut after missing six weeks with a knee injury.

The Titans play their home opener Saturday night vs. Cal State Bakersfield.