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USC Basketball: Jio Fontan injures knee in loss to Brazilian team

Usc-hoops_640 USC lost, 81-70, to Mogi das Cruzes in Sau Paulo on Tuesday, but its biggest loss by far was the left knee injury that senior guard Jio Fontan suffered in the first half.

Fontan, who scored 57 points in USC's first two games on its five-game, 10-day exhibition trip in Brazil to play professional Brazilian teams, took a hit and landed awkwardly 4 minutes, 24 seconds before halftime.

USC is calling it a left knee sprain for now. X-rays were negative and Fontan is expected to have an MRI on Wednesday after the team flies to Rio de Janeiro.

If it's a major injury, it would be a major blow.

Fontan makes up half of the team's returning starters and is the team's leading returning scorer (10.5 points per game).The Trojans return eight players in all.

As for the game, USC was led by sophomore guard Maurice Jones, who scored 17 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, quite a feat considering he's (generously) listed at 5-foot-7.

DeWayne Dedmon scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and had three blocks.

USC started 7-footers Dedmon and James Blasczyk, who scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds. Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson continued his strong play with 12 points and six rebounds. Junior forward Aaron Fuller missed the game because he felt ill.

Junior guard Greg Allen and freshmen guards Alexis Moore and Byron Wesley all played in their first official games as Trojans after their summer-school grades were posted Tuesday. Allen scored six, Moore scored three and Wesley went scoreless.

USC shot 38.6% (27 for 70) from the field while Mogi shot 40% (24 for 60).

USC is scheduled to play the final game of its trip Friday.

RELATED:

USC basketball: Trojans drop second game of Brazilian tour, 87-81

USC's Jio Fontan leads leads men's basketball team to exhibition win in Brazil

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: USC guard Jio Fontan is fouled as he dribbles past Cal defender Brandon Smith in the Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament in March. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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