A week and a half after their crushing 73-72 loss to #4 Oklahoma, the Trojans were back on the court to take on the Pepperdine Waves, Monday night. With over a 20 point lead going into the half, the well-oiled Trojan machine developed a little rust in the second, as Pepperdine played on USC’s mistakes to bring it within six late in the game. Part of the problem was due to Daniel Hackett’s unusually high turnover numbers, 7, making 40 so far in the past nine games, nearly double that of what he started with last season.
Still, Hackett made up for his mistakes with 16 points, 6 steals and 6 assists. Lewis finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, Washington had 14 points and DeRozan had 10. But the real story of the night was Taj Gibson. Gibson who is generally known for his defense abilities, has been steadily improving his draft stock, by proving his offensive abilities can match. Gibson hit a career high double double with 25 points and 11 rebounds adding 3 blocked shots to the mix.
With the win, the Trojans improved to 6-3 on the season.