LOS ANGELES – The No. 10/11 ranked USC Trojans led the whole way on Friday night at the Galen Center as they won 84-42 against Cal State Fullerton in the season opener. Five Trojans scored in double figures, led by Chimezie Metu with 18. The Titans were led by sophomore Jackson Rowe with 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior Khalil Ahmad added nine points and six rebounds of his own.
"With all due respect to USC, they are a very good team and they are No. 10 in the country for a reason," head coach Dedrique Taylor said. "But, the way that our group came out tonight…we had no energy, no purpose and USC did what they were supposed to do."
The Titans struggled offensively, shooting just 14-60 (23.3%) from the field. But the TItans also hurt themselves with 21 turnovers and they shot just 12-29 from the free-throw line.
Rowe shot 5-10 from the field and connected on two three-point field goals in the first half to reach 12 points. Five of his eight total rebounds came on the offensive end. Ahmad scored all nine of his points in the second half.
USC jumped out to an early 8-0 lead and didn't look back. They led at the half by a score of 42-15 on 16-39 shooting (41%). The Trojans finished the game shooting 28-68 (41.2%) from the field and 10-24 (41.7%) from the beyond the arc. They also connected on 18 of their 25 free throws.
Cal State Fullerton moved to 0-6 all-time against USC and has now dropped its last seven non-conference road games.
The Titans hit the road once again to Moraga, Calif., to face No. 22/22 St. Mary's (CA) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. PT.
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