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Feb 2, 2024 8:46 pm

Oregon State, USC share sad skids heading into matchup

One of two dubious streaks — Southern California’s six-game skid or Oregon State’s winless record away from home — will end Saturday when the Trojans host the Beavers in Los Angeles.

USC (8-13, 2-8 Pac-12 Conference) could not recover from a hole of as many as 18 points on Thursday in a 78-69 loss to Oregon.

Boogie Ellis, playing in his second game after a three-game absence due to a hamstring injury, scored a team-high 17 points. But despite Ellis rejoining the lineup, the Trojans continue to deal with pivotal injuries amid their slide.

Isaiah Collier has been sidelined with a hand injury suffered in the second half Jan. 10 vs. Washington State. That game, a 72-64 USC loss, kicked off the skid the Trojans carry into Saturday’s matchup.

“In practice, we’ve been locked, we’ve been locked in,” Oziyah Sellers said in Thursday’s postgame news conference. “We’re all kind of trying to figure out ways we can get better individually. Once we figure that out, then everything will change for us.”

Sellers made his third start in the past four games on Thursday and scored 12 points for his fourth double-figure scoring performance in the past five contests.

He finished with three points the last time USC faced Oregon State, an 86-70 Beavers win on Dec. 30.

Oregon State (11-10, 3-7) is 11-2 at home, including its 83-80 win over then-No. 9-ranked Arizona on Jordan Pope’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Jan. 25.

The Beavers are 0-8 away from Gill Coliseum, including going 0-5 in true road games after their 71-63 loss at UCLA on Thursday.

Pope scored 14 points and Tyler Bilodeau finished with 18 points, including cutting the deficit to one point on a jumper with a little more than five minutes left in the game, but Oregon State could not overcome a late Bruins push. Bilodeau and Pope scored 26 and 20 points, respectively, in the Beavers’ win over USC in December.

Pope is averaging a team-best 17.6 points per game this season.

“Huge heart,” Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said on 750 The Game radio, speaking about Pope this week. “Obviously he has a lot of moxie and gumption to him when that spotlight is on him to make plays.”

— Field Level Media

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