No. 10 USC dispatches Lehigh
Sophomore guard Jonah Mathews made four 3-pointers, pacing No. 10-ranked USC to a hot shooting night in a 88-63 rout of Lehigh on Wednesday night at Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Mathews scored 18 points, one of four Trojans in double figures. Senior guard Elijah Stewart connected on 3 of 6 from beyond the arc for 13 points. Junior forward Bennie Boatwright made 3 of 7 from deep and scored 19 points.
Boatwright also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, while junior forward Chimezie Metu had 15 points and nine boards.
The Trojans made 12 of 26 3-point attempts.
USC (4-0) started both halves on a torrid pace, in stark contrast to the Trojans’ overtime win Sunday at Vanderbilt. USC fell behind early in both halves of that game after sluggish starts but avoided a similar scenario against Lehigh with opening runs of 10-2 in the first half and 10-0 in the second.
The Mountain Hawks (3-2), coming in off to their best start since 2008-09, battled to within nine points in the final minute before halftime. Senior guard Kahron Ross scored four of his game-high 24 points on a pair of layups prior to intermission. That was as close as it got for the visitors from the Patriot League.
USC’s hot 3-point shooting and balanced offensive effort compensated for struggles at the free-throw line, where the Trojans shot 62.4 percent. Metu went 3 of 7 at the foul line.
Both teams struggled to generate points off the bench. USC reserves finished with 18 points combined, though they were stuck on 12 until the final two minutes. Lehigh mustered only four points off the bench.
Junior guard Lance Tejada scored 19 points for Lehigh. Tejada and Ross were the only Mountain Hawks in double figures.
USC senior guard Jordan McLaughlin amassed five points, seven assists and three steals.