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Nevada basketball trounces USC thanks to second-half surge

Cody Martin
Cody Martin and the Wolf Pack beat USC on Saturday. (John Byrne/Nevada athletics)

A slow start turned into a potential signature win for Nevada on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles.

With Wolf Pack alum and Los Angeles Laker JaVale McGee watching from the front row, No. 5-ranked Nevada scored a 73-61 victory over USC at Galen Center. For the first time this season, the Wolf Pack trailed at halftime, but it exploded to start the second half and was never challenged thereafter.

Nevada was held to 34 first-half points – tied for its fewest in a half this season – but the Wolf Pack went on a 27-6 run after scoring the final five points of the first half and the first nine of the second. Nevada, which trailed by a season-high seven points early on, shot 46.7 percent from the field, including 8-of-20 from three. It was sluggish against the USC zone before finding a rhythm late in the first half. After trailing 35-29 in that first half, the Wolf Pack scored 27 of the game’s next 33 points to take a 56-41 edge it never gave up.

Jordan Caroline led Nevada with 24 points and 11 rebounds; Tre’Shawn Thurman added 14 points and nine rebounds; Caleb Martin had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists; Jazz Johnson had nine points; and Cody Martin added eight points and seven assists.

The Wolf Pack improved to 8-0, although this was the team’s first win over a Power 5 opponent (and its fourth straight away from home). USC (5-3) largely played without projected lottery pick Kevin Porter Jr., who logged just four minutes as he deals with a quad contusion. Nevada’s next game is also against a Pac-12 team when it plays Arizona State on Friday in Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Each of Nevada's eight wins have come by double-figures.

Check back to Nevada Sports Net later tonight for a full video recap from Los Angeles. We’ll also have a full interview with Wolf Pack coach Eric Musselman on Sunday’s Wolf Pack All-Access show.

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