November 7, 2018 / 6:30 AM / 11 days ago

Rakocevic, Aaron lead USC over Robert Morris

Junior forward Nick Rakocevic had 18 points and 18 rebounds Tuesday, and senior guard Shaqquan Aaron added 20 points as Southern California held off Robert Morris for an 83-62 nonconference victory in the season opener for both teams at Los Angeles.

The Trojans used an 11-0 run midway through the second half to take control of the game and win for the ninth time in their last 10 home openers.

Senior guard Josh Williams led Robert Morris with 20 points. Williams was playing in his first game for the Colonials after sitting out last season following his transfer from Akron.

Sophomore forward Koby Thomas had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Colonials, who have averaged 20.3 victories over the last 11 seasons. Robert Morris was 16-17 last season under head coach Andy Toole.

Junior guard Jonah Mathews had 15 points for USC while freshman guard Kevin Porter also had 15 in his college debut. USC now has 24 victories in its last 27 home games against nonconference opponents.

The Trojans are coming off a 24-12 season and an appearance in the Pac-12 Conference championship game. They lost in the second round of the NIT Tournament.

Robert Morris senior guard Matty McConnell, who averaged 10.8 points last season, did not score, going 0-for-6 from the field, but had 10 rebounds and seven assists.

The Colonials held the lead with under three minutes remaining in the first half, but the Trojans went on a 7-2 run for a 37-35 advantage at the break.

USC made just one 3-pointer in the first half, going 1-for-4 from behind the arc. It finished the game 7-of-12 from 3-point range.

The Colonials struggled from long range in the first half, going 2-of-13 from 3-point range (15.4 percent) over the first 20 minutes. They were 5-of-30 (16.7 percent) for the game.

Rakocevic led all scorers in the first half with nine points.

USC is coming off its winningest three-year stretch with 71 victories going back to the start of the 2015-16 season under head coach Andy Enfield.

—Field Level Media

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