USC basketball: Trojans lead Northridge at half, 29-21; Dedmon has 8 points
On the first missed shot on the defensive end, the 7-foot sophomore touted by USC Coach Kevin O'Neill as a future NBA lottery pick, snatched the rebound with two hands.
And with 18:25 in the first half, Dedmon caught a no-look pass from a driving Maurice Jones on the left side of the basket, and Dedmon came up on the other side and dunked it strong with his right hand.
Then he took that right hand, balled it into a fist, beat his chest three times with it and roared.
Like that, Dedmon had matched his career-high in points scored for all of high school.
Yes, he only scored two points in high school -- all in his senior year, which is the first year he began playing organized basketball. His is a remarkable story that was featured in The Times.
In the first half, which USC finished with a 29-21 lead, Dedmon had eight points, making four of five shots from the field while grabbing four rebounds.
He checked out of the game with 8:20 before halftime after picking up his second foul and did not return.
But before that, he scored six consecutive points during one stretch -- hitting three short-range jumpers -- and after a rebound the USC student section was chanting, "Ded-mon, Ded-mon, Ded-mon."
Aside from Dedmon, USC has looked young. It led 14-4 before the Matadors scored six unanswered points. USC responded with a 9-0 run, and the two teams exchanged more runs before the buzzer sounded.
USC is shooting 10 of 24 (41.7%) from the field while Northridge is shooting only four of 29 (13.8%). Junior forward Aaron Fuller is the leading scorer for USC with nine points.
For Northridge, Vinnie McGhee and Stephan Hicks each have six points.
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: Dewayne Dedmon. Credit: USC