USC: Rick Barnes

Basketball: USC 73, Texas 56

December, 5, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- Either Kevin O'Neill game-planned better for this game than ever before or his players just never listen to him.

The second-year USC coach had the visiting Longhorns pegged exactly right Sunday night, preparing his players just right to match Texas' speed and athleticism on offense and getting his players in tip-top shape defensively for one of the biggest games they'll play this year, as USC handily topped No. 20 Texas, 73-56, at the Galen Center.

It was Trojans' first win over a ranked opponent since they upset No. 9 Tennessee at home last December. Afterward, O'Neill had a telling remark in talking about what worked against Texas compared to what had so clearly not worked in recent weeks against teams like Rider, Bradley and TCU.

"That's the first time we've really game-planned and guys followed it," O'Neill said, explaining that his group of young players is simply not used to the task of executing a real, live game plan.

"Finally tonight and this week in practice, we found out what's important to us and that's playing good defense," O'Neill continued. "We executed defensively about as well as you can against a really good basketball team."

Texas didn't have much offensively, but USC did its part in limiting the Longhorns. Leading scorer Jordan Hamilton, averaging nearly 22 points a game coming in, had 12 points on 13 shots. Reserve guard J'Covan Brown led the Longhorns with 17 points but shot 5-of-15 from the field. Defensively, they inexplicably stuck in a man-to-man defense all game and left Vucevic in one-on-one situations throughout the first half, when he scored 16 points.

"We didn't deserve to win," Texas Coach Rick Barnes said. "We got outplayed in every area of the game."

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