The Golden Eagles will take aim at the Pac-12’s USC Trojans in the next round int he winner’s bracket for the Orlando Invitational. The Trojans got to this point in the brakcet after defeating the Fairfield Stags on Thanksgiving, and will now be tasked with combating the high-flying Golden Eagles.
Markus Howard will obviously be one to watch in this one. Howard dropped 40 points on 26 shots in the win over Davidson, and went 13-for-15 from the free throw line. It was a rather dazzling display for him, and one that we’re pretty much used to at this point. Howard was able to power them to a win on Thursday, but MU will hopefully have a smidge more balance this time around. Only one other player, Sacar Anim (12), got into double figures in the victory. Brendan Bailey had eight points but no one else had more than four. It was a winning formula against the Wildcats, but may not be against a better team in the case of the Trojans.
USC is 6-1 through their first seven games, their lone loss coming to the Temple Owls last Friday. The Trojans’ best win to this point came against the Nevada Wolf Pack back on Saturday, November 16 out in Reno. They have been winning games by and large with good defense, as they only allowed more than 70 points just once, in a 91-84 win over the Pepperdine Waves. They’ve also allowed at least 70 points just twice, which happened against Pepperdine and Temple. USC allowed just 47 points to Fairfield, but only scored 54, so they’ll have to hope their offense trends up this time around. Because, well, they probably won’t be able to get by with 54 points against the Golden Eagles.
The key for MU will be stopping Onyeka Okongwu and Elijah Weaver. Isaiah Mobley has also been tremendous as a freshman, but he hasn’t gotten as much work as the other two. Nick Rakocevic has been a big presence on the boards but has been relatively inefficient this year, as have Jonah Mathews and freshman Ethan Anderson. If they can keep the hot shooting from Okongwu and Weaver at bay, then they should be able to swim move past them into the next round.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. PT
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Spread: Marquette -4.5
Moneyline: Marquette -190 | USC +160