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USC basketball coach: Believe it or not, USC's sloppy win was a hoax

December 8, 2009 | 11:16 pm

Kevin_240 The game seemed real enough, but USC basketball Coach Kevin O'Neill called Tuesday night's 51-36 win over Sacramento State a farce.

"We were filming a bloopers reel of turnovers for "Ripley's Believe It or Not"! show coming up on the first of January," he said. "So we were just faking it all out there -- I hope."

Despite a season-high 25 turnovers, the Trojans snapped their three-game losing streak. They now host Idaho State on Friday and have a week off before facing No. 9 Tennessee on Dec. 19.

But senior guard Dwight Lewis, who led the Trojans with 16 points Tuesday, said 25 turnovers are unacceptable.

"I feel like some games, we don't have too many turnovers and some games, it's just ridiculous, like today," he said.

Lewis, who played just six minutes in the Trojans' 79-53 loss to No. 23 Georgia Tech on Saturday, made two three-point shots in USC's game-clinching 16-0 run in the second half. North Carolina transfer Alex Stepheson continued his steady improvement, finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds, seven blocks and eight turnovers.

"Slowly but steadily, I'm getting my wind back together," he said. "My timing is coming together, my chemistry with the team. We're going to be good this year."

Said O'Neill: "I'm just happy we won."

--Baxter Holmes

Photo: Trojans' Kevin O'Neill watches game action on Nov. 17. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire.