Senior forward Bennie Boatwright scored 19 points and junior guard Derryck Thornton added 16 as USC closed out its nonconference schedule and avoided an upset at home with a 73-55 victory Sunday over UC Davis.
The Trojans (7-6) trailed by as many as seven points in the first half and used an 11-2 run to take a 32-30 led at halftime before taking control midway through the second half.
Senior guard TJ Shorts scored 14 points and senior guard Siler Schneider added 13 as the Aggies (3-10) lost their third straight and fourth in their past five games. UC Davis lost to its second Pac-12 opponent in eight days after losing at Arizona 70-68 on Dec. 22.
UC Davis was still within a point at 44-43 with 12:24 remaining in the game before the Trojans went on a 16-6 run to take a 60-49 lead. Reserve freshman guard Elijah Weaver scored eight points during that stretch, finishing the game with 13 on 5-of-6 shooting.
Junior forward Nick Rakocevic scored just five points and grabbed six rebounds for USC. Rakocevic entered the game tied for ninth in the country in double-doubles with six.
UC Davis not only outrebounded USC 32-28, the Aggies also had a 36-24 advantage on points in the paint.
After a tough shooting first half, USC was 16 of 25 (64 percent) from the field after halftime to go 29 of 55 (52.7 percent) for the game. UC Davis was held without a field goal over the final 4:15 of the game as USC closed on an 8-0 run.
UC Davis was just 1 of 6 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range in the second half and 4 of 17 (23.5 percent) in the game.
USC opens Pac-12 play Thursday at home against California. UC Davis has one more nonconference game against Holy Names on Saturday before moving on to Big West play Jan. 10 at UC Irvine.
—Field Level Media