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USC basketball: Trojans trail New Mexico 23-15 at halftime

December 10, 2011 |  4:59 pm


It hasn't been pretty for USC so far against New Mexico. 

But, really, when have the Trojans games been pretty at all since USC Coach Kevin O'Neill took over?

In another low-scoring affair -- a nightly trend under O'Neill -- USC trails the Lobos at halftime, 23-15.

USC's lowest-scoring half since 1953, which, apparently, is as far back as USC's official media guide tracks this stat, is when it scored 10 in the second half at Oregon State in 1982.

The Trojans avoided tying that dubious mark with 1 minutes 13 seconds before halftime when Maurice Jones, who scored a team-high nine points, hit a three-point shot from the right wing.

Jones then hit a layup with 49 seconds left to pull USC to within eight points.

USC broke the double-digit scoring mark on Garrett Jackson's driving layup with 6:05 left in the first half.

The Trojans are still struggling to score, missing 18 of 25 shots; New Mexico, which is led in scoring by UCLA transfer Drew Gordon's nine points, isn't doing that much better, missing 14 of 23. 

USC redshirt sophomore Evan Smith played for the first time in two seasons. The Calabasas native and the Trojans' lone recruit from its 2009 class has been hobbled by shoulder injuries.

Smith missed his only two shots, both from beyond the arc. 

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: USC forwards Garrett Jackson (33) and Dewayne Dedmon (background) battle with New Mexico forward Drew Gordon for a rebound in the first half Saturday. Credit:  Bret Hartman / Associated Press