Okongwu has 14 points, USC beats Fairfield 54-47
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Onyeka Okongwu had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and USC beat Fairfield 54-47 in a first-round game at the Orlando Invitational on Thursday.
Jonah Matthews scored 14 points and Elijah Weaver added 13 for the Trojans (6-1), who rebounded after their season-opening five-game winning streak was snapped in a 70-61 loss to Temple on Nov. 22.
Fairfield (1-5) got 16 points from Landon Taliaferro and 13 from Jesus Cruz.
USC overcome an eight-point deficit with 12 minutes left in the first half to take a 25-22 lead at the break. Weaver opened the second half with a pair of 3’s to help USC go up 14 points with 8 minutes remaining.
USC dominated in the paint, outscoring Fairfield 24-6. The Trojans also had a 20-4 advantage in fast-break points.
Fairfield shot just 27% (17 of 63) and USC went 20 for 48 (41.7%).
USC: Started a stretch of playing eight of 10 games away from home, including its first three in conference play. It could be a bonding experience for the Trojans, who started two freshmen and a sophomore.
Fairfield: Coming off a 74-55 loss to then-No. 6 Maryland on Nov. 19 in which the Stags went 12 of 25 (48%) from 3-point range and trailed by just nine midway through the second half. Fairfield made 9 of 26 (34.6%) Thursday.
USC will play the winner of Davidson-Marquette in the semifinals Friday.
Fairfield will face the loser of Davidson and Marquette Friday in the consolation round.
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