USC basketball: Trojans lead Northern Arizona at halftime, 31-19
USC walked into a minefield Saturday against Northern Arizona, the game falling after a big win and before a road trip against ranked and undefeated Kansas and Tennessee.
Not only that, but the Lumberjacks (7-2) have won seven consecutive games and hail from the Big Sky Conference, the same league as Montana, which on Dec. 5 came into Pauley Pavilion and shocked USC's crosstown rival, UCLA.
But so far, the Trojans have been giving Northern Arizona their full attention, and lead 31-19 at halftime.
Junior forward Nikola Vucevic leads USC with nine points. Freshman guard Maurice Jones has seven.
USC started slow, and stood tied with the Lumberjacks, 9-9, before going on an 8-0 run.
Northern Arizona cut that lead down to four points with 7 minutes, 4 seconds before halftime, and USC Coach Kevin O'Neill called a timeout, frustrated by his team's play.
The Trojans apparently got his message as they responded with a 10-2 run to close the half.
USC has shot 10 for 30 (33.3%); Northern Arizona has shot eight for 29 (27.6%). USC has 25 rebounds to the Lumberjacks' 17.
Former Los Alamitos star guard Cameron Jones leads Northern Arizona with six points. Forward Austin Smith also has six points.
-- Baxter Holmes