UC Irvine upsets USC, 70-60 at the Galen Center

No. 16 USC men's basketball team suffers first loss to UC Irvine at the Galen Center.

LOS ANGELES – The Trojans played their third match of the season against UC Irvine, but they were missing Boogie Ellis from the lineup. The Anteaters have a season record of 1-1 and their forward, Devin Tillis, has been leading the team in scoring so far this season.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

A slow first half for the Trojans

The Trojans had a very challenging first half, with their freshman of the week player struggling to find his footing. As a result, the Anteaters took a 29-26 lead into the locker room. Isaiah Collier, who scored 8 points, grabbed 2 rebounds and had 0 assists, was only able to make 2 out of his 10 shots in the first half. In a recent interview, Coach Enfield mentioned that Collier needs to work on his decision-making skills. Although he had three turnovers in the first half, he continued to play aggressively and keep his team in the game by pushing the tempo.

Despite having an amazing start to the game against Bakersfield, DJ Rodman couldn’t seem to score a single point in the first half, going 0 for 4. However, Joshua Morgan and Harrison Hornery were able to contribute six points each during the first half. USC’s three-point shooting accuracy was 2 for 11, and their overall field goal accuracy was 8 for 32.

In the game, Trojans guard Oziyah Sellers missed his first five shots, but managed to gather three rebounds and two assists. Despite the slow start, USC was able to stay competitive against UC Irvine, largely due to the efforts of Justin Hohn, who scored 13 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting.

In the first half, the Anteaters displayed great ball movement and made smart plays, shooting 34.3% from the field. On the other hand, both sides of the ball seemed to be off for the Trojans, with everyone being at least one step behind. Coach Andy Enfield’s players were not positioned correctly for success tonight. USC only had three assists in the first half and seemed to miss Ellis’ playmaking skills on Tuesday night.

Isaiah Collier is currently dealing with an injury

It was tough to watch Collier play tonight on the court, particularly because he’s such a talented player. He faced difficulty during the game, however, with a total of seven turnovers, four of which occurred in the second half. Despite this, Collier was able to score 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist, although he only made 6 of his 18 field goal attempts in what was only his third game with the Trojans. Collier seems to be improving his scoring ability with each game, but his turnovers have been a bit out of control.

Coach Enfield mentioned in the postgame interview that Collier was injured, which prevented him from practicing this week. He only participated in half of the practice on Monday, and his availability for the game was uncertain as it was a gametime decision. Collier had banged his knees during the home opener and had been dealing with the injury over the weekend.

“He only practice half day yesterday, he’s been hurt the whole week, he hurt himself and banged knees in our last game. I thought he gave a good effort, he got tired and started cramping up.” Said Coach Enfield postgame.

During his media availability after the game, Collier mentioned that the team wasn’t fully focused at the start of the game. He also stated that there was no excuse for losing by 10 points, even though he had missed back-to-back practices in the past few days. Collier expressed his thoughts on how to reduce the number of turnovers during the game.

“Film, just gotta be better.”

In recent years, UC Irvine has demonstrated a consistent and impressive performance, evidence of their efforts to establish a reputable program. On Tuesday, they faced a Trojans team that was without key players Boogie Ellis, Kobe Johnson, and Bronny James. Despite the absence of these players, the UC Irvine team managed to maintain their momentum and play a strong game and upset the Trojans on their home court.

“They are a very good coached team and I feel like they were just a better team tonight.” Collier on UC Irvine getting an upset win at the Galen Center.

The Trojans look to get healthy for their next home game

On November 19th, USC’s Galen Center will host the Brown Bears from Providence, RI. The Trojans are eager to get back on track and hope to do so against Brown. Currently, Brown has a record of 0-3, having lost 82-64 against New Hampshire on Tuesday night. Before facing USC on Sunday, Brown will take on Rhode Island College on November 16th.

This is the first ever meeting between the Browns and the Trojans on the basketball court. We expect Collier to be on the court on Sunday as he mentioned that an injury won’t be keep him away from helping his team in any way possible.

The Trojans displayed heart and effort, but it was too late during Tuesday’s game. They look to carry that momentum forward and improve during upcoming practices.