USC basketball: Trojans drop second game of Brazilian tour, 87-81
The USC men's basketball team wasn't scheduled to play an official game Monday during their 10-day exhibition tour in Brazil.
Instead, the team had planned to scrimmage in Sau Paulo against Sao Jose dos Campos Club Team, one of the top teams in Brazil's first division pro league.But USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said they decided to make it an official game.
Final score: 87-81, Sao Jose.
"I was really proud of our team," O'Neill said by phone. "They played really well."
O'Neill said USC trailed by close to 20 points at halftime but whittled the deficit to four late in the game. A crucial miss cost them, but O'Neill still praised their effort.
"Everybody played great in the second half," he said.
Senior guard Jio Fontan scored 28 points one day after scoring 29 in USC's 60-51 win against Pindamonhangaba, a second-division team. Sophomore guard Maurice Jones added 20 points.
"Jio and Mo were unbelieable today," O'Neill said.
Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson scored 11 and grabbed 10 rebounds. DeWayne Dedmon added six points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Junior center James Blasczyk had seven points and five rebounds.
USC stayed with the same starting lineup as its first game: Fontan, Jones, junior forward Aaron Fuller, sophomore forward Evan Smith and Dedmon.
O'Neill said guards Byron Wesley and Alexis Moore, both freshmen, and newcomer Greg Allen, a junior college transfer, sat out again and likely won't play until Tuesday against Mogi das Cruzes, a first-division team, when their grades from summer classes are posted.
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: USC guard Maurice Jones brings the ball upcourt against Cal State Fullerton last season. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times