Any concerns of USC men’s basketball coach Andy Anfield that his team would take Cal State Northridge slightly faded 10 minutes into the season on Tuesday night at Galen Center.
The Trojans perfected their half-court offense and used their stubborn defense to score nine losses and build a 33-point break on their way to an 89:49 non-conference win. The best moment for the USC players was that the fans were in the stands – and they gave their loyalists a lot to celebrate.
“It was a good opening victory. We played hard, shared the ball and had 1,000 students coming early, which was great to see, ”said USC Coach Andy Anfield, who admittedly had nothing to criticize as he begins his ninth season at the helm. “It’s hard to single out a game in which you block six shots, get eight interceptions, score 52 points in paint, score 20 points for losses and hold the other team with 49 points. We were building up the advantage in defense, and we made efforts for 40 minutes. We have 13 fellows and they all played. “
After a 25-win season in which he finished second in the Pac-12 Conference and reached the eighth elite of the NCAA tournament, USC had 52 points at halftime. Transfer Boogie Ellis (15 points), defender Drew Peterson (10) and striker Isaiah Mobley (13) were double-digit at halftime. Ellis had a record result in the game – 20 points.
Evan Mobley’s older brother, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defender of the Year last winter in his only season with the USC before being selected third in the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Draft, Isaiah Mobley finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and three. passes in less than 27 minutes of play.
“It was a lot of fun and the return of the Trojan family made it so much better,” Mobley said. “To hold another tournament, you need a village, so we wanted to involve everyone, and we did it. Boogie and I played well with each other – he’s a great playmaker. “
Ellis became the second man of the year at the American Athletic Conference as a sophomore in Memphis last year, and is delighted to be back in Southern California, where he grew up. He graduated from Mission Bay High in 2019.
“It was a great experience and I am happy to be back home,” Ellis said.
Peterson finished with 14 points, senior striker Cheves Goodwin had eight points and seven rebounds, and sophomore Boubacar Coulibey had seven points and six rebounds. USC never lagged behind or outperformed the Northridge 40-25.
With interim head coach Trent Johnson and eight new players, the Matadors were led by guards Elijah Hardy and Darius Brown II, each with 10 points.
Northridge dropped to 1-8 all-time against USC.
“What have I learned from this game?” Anfield was asked. “It was fun to play in front of the fans again.”