USC basketball: Trojans lead Santa Clara at halftime, 39-34
USC looked pretty sharp in the first half against Santa Clara, leading 39-34 despite the fact that senior forward Alex Stepheson, who the Trojans learned Monday suffered a fractured left hand against UC Irvine on Saturday, is essentially playing with one hand.
Truth is, Stepheson, who is wearing a temporary cast on that hand, was never really a player with good hands anyway, and the injury hasn't seemed to affect him one way or the other.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Stepheson shot two for two for four points and grabbed five rebounds in the first half, typical numbers for him at intermission.
The first time he tried to grab a rebound, he did, but fumbled it away. The second time, he simply couldn't corral it.
But with 12:04 left in the first half, Stepheson tipped in a missed shot by USC freshman guard Maurice Jones to put USC up 19-14.
On USC's next possession, Stepheson slammed it home with his right hand after receiving a no-look pass from a cutting Jones, who has a game-high 13 points on four-of-eight shooting with four assists.
Stepheson also has one block and has altered several other shots.
Overall, the Trojans are shooting 15 for 29 (51.7%) as compared to the Broncos' 12-of-32 shooting (37.5%), including making five of 13 tries from three-point range.
USC also has a 22 to six points-in-the-pain advantage.
Santa Clara is being led by guard Kevin Foster and forward Marc Trasolini, who each have 12 points.
-- Baxter Holmes