Metu - USC - blog

Oregon State will try to slow down USC forward Chimezie Metu (with ball). Metu averages 14.3 points and 7.5 rebounds and is coming off a career-high 29 points at Washington State last Saturday. 

Anibal Ortiz, Mid-Valley Media

Here's a look at USC, which hosts Oregon State in a Pac-12 game Thursday night.

The Trojans (20-4, 7-4) are on their way to a second straight NCAA tournament under coach Andy Enfield. They've won four straight games, including an 84-76 home win against UCLA on Jan. 25. They've allowed an opponent to shoot better than 48 percent three times in the past four games while passing that mark just twice themselves.

Sophomore forward Chimezie Metu averages a team-best 14.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 53.8 percent from the floor. He had a career-high 29 points (on 12-14 shooting) and eight rebounds at Washington State last Saturday.

USC also gets contributions from junior guard Elijah Stewart (13.7 points, 4.8 rebounds), junior guard Jordan McLaughlin (13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists) and sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright (12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds).

Boatwright has played two games after missing the previous 20 with a sprained knee. He matched his career high with 23 points in his Feb. 1 return at Washington.

McLaughlin is third in the Pac-12 in assists and freshman guard De'Anthony Melton is tied for second in steals (1.9).

The Trojans lead the conference in steals (7.2) and are second in turnover margin (plus-1.92).

USC defeated Oregon State 70-63 on Dec. 28 in the Pac-12 opener at Gill Coliseum. Metu had 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Trojans led 24-9 with eight minutes left in the first half and 17 at halftime. The Beavers eventually climbed within single digits with less than four minutes left and got no closer than six the rest of the way.  

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