December 2, 2019 / 1:28 AM / 12 days ago

Okongwu stars as USC pulls away to rout Harvard

USC shot 60 percent for the first half, and 6-foot-9 freshman Onyeka Okongwu recorded his fourth double-double of the season as the Trojans routed Harvard, 77-62, to take third place in the Orlando Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Sunday evening.

Okongwu, one of coach Andy Enfield’s talented freshmen, was an athletic mismatch for the Crimson. He had 21 points and nine boards at halftime while making 9 of 10 shots from the floor. He finished with 27 points and 14 boards in 25 minutes.

USC (7-2) broke the game open over the first 10 minutes of the second half, as the Trojans hit a 18-2 run and took a 70-45 lead while Harvard (5-4) missed 13 of its 14 shots from the field.

Okongwu figured prominently in that run, with two slams off of alley-oop passes from Ethan Anderson and Nik Rakocevic. Columbia transfer Quinton Adlesh nailed a pair of 3-points as well, as the Trojans’ offense picked up where it left off in the first half.

Adlesh and Jonah Mathews had 12 points each for the Trojans, as Mathews scored all of his points in the first half. His perimeter game was a complement to Okongwu, as the duo caused multiple problems for the Crimson.

USC held Harvard to 25.9 percent in the second half after the Crimson shot 47 percent in the first 20 minutes.

Noah Kirkwood led Harvard with 12 points, while USC held Crimson leading scorer Chris Aiken to 10 points, well below his season average of 23.8.

The Trojans made 13 of their first 17 shots, as Okongwu worked the boxes for 12 early points while starting 6 of 7 from the floor.

USC grabbed an 18-10 lead when Mathews scored on a conventional 3-point play.

However, the Crimson fought back and took a short-lived 39-38 lead on a 3-pointer by Chris Ledlum with 4:16 left in the first half.

The Trojans then closed the first half on a 14-4 run, as Okongwu and Mathews combined for nine points in that closing sprint.

—Field Level Media

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