NDAKST
USC

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No. 10 USC rallies to beat North Dakota State 75-65

LOS ANGELES (AP) Three years ago, it was inconceivable that Bennie Boatwright wouldn't be shooting a boatload of 3-pointers.

And harder to imagine that the junior scored a career-high 28 points with just one made 3 in 10th-ranked Southern California's 75-65 victory over North Dakota State on Monday night.

''I credit it a lot to the coaching staff and my teammates for helping me get in the gym and working on my all-around game,'' Boatwright said, ''and not just being a 3-point shooter.''

The Trojans (2-0) closed the game on a 13-5 run to hold off the pesky Bison (0-2).

USC twice trailed by 10 points in the first half and was down five in the second half before rallying late. The Trojans struggled at the free throw line, going 17 for 31.

''It was just one of those nights,'' said USC's Jordan McLaughlin, who had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Cameron Hunter scored 24 points to lead the Bison (0-2), which were better in nearly every category. They held the lead for 20 minutes and 10 seconds, but their shooting went cold in the closing minutes and they had 19 turnovers in the game.

''We competed for the better part of it, which was exciting,'' Bison coach David Richman said. ''Now the next step is learning how to finish. We pride ourselves in being finishers and we need to do a better job of that.''

Hunter hit a 3-pointer to cut USC's lead to 70-65 but it was one of just two field goals the Bison made in the final 3:43.

''The first half I feel like we punched right away and we were aggressive right away,'' Hunter said. ''In the second half I felt we were a little tentative, didn't have that aggression that we had the first half.''

Chimezie Metu added 14 points for USC.

Deng Geu's consecutive dunks gave North Dakota State a 56-51 lead, its last of the game. The Bison tied it at 58-all on Rocky Kreuser's dunk before the Trojans took over.

''It was a grind-it-out win, but we'll take it,'' USC coach Andy Enfield said. ''We started the game 0 for 5 from the field with five open looks. We missed layups and we missed dunks. You get deflated when you start out like that.''

The Bison pulled away to a 10-point lead in the first half, hitting four straight 3-pointers by different players in a 16-4 run. The Trojans were limited to a field goal and missed 4 of 6 free throws in that span.

But Boatwright's four-point play launched a 12-2 spurt that helped USC tie the game 33-all at halftime. He had two other baskets and McLaughlin scored his first points of the game in the run. Dylan Miller's turnover was picked up by McLaughlin who tied the game on a fastbreak layup with 1 second remaining.

MELTON SITS AGAIN

Sophomore De'Anthony Melton was in street clothes on USC's bench for the second straight game. The team has said it's holding him out for precautionary reasons that involve a potential eligibility issue. The FBI investigation of assistant coaches accused of using bribes to influence star players' choice of schools, shoe sponsors and agents referred to a USC sophomore. Melton has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

ONE AND DONE

USC's Nick Rakocevic sprained his left ankle a minute into the game and is likely out a few days. He limped to the bench and winced in pain as a trainer examined it.

ANTHEM SINGER

National anthem singer and USC student Tiah Barnes took a knee as she finished the song.

BIG PICTURE

Picked to finish third in the Summit League, North Dakota State will test itself against another Pac-12 team when it visits No. 3 Arizona in December.

USC blew out Cal State Fullerton by 42 points in its opener and is boasting its highest ranking since the 1974-75 season. The Trojans won't face a ranked opponent until at least Nov. 26 when they host No. 16 Texas A&M.

UP NEXT

North Dakota State concludes its season-opening, three-game road trip at Missouri State on Friday.

USC plays its first road game of the season at Vanderbilt on Sunday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Shaqquan Aaron 14.0
  Rocky Kreuser missed layup 16.0
  Turnover on Jonah Mathews 16.0
  Defensive rebound by Jonah Mathews 18.0
  Rocky Kreuser missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Chimezie Metu 20.0
+ 2 Shaqquan Aaron made dunk, assist by Jonah Mathews 26.0
  Defensive rebound by Jordan McLaughlin 31.0
  Cameron Hunter missed layup, blocked by Jordan McLaughlin 33.0
+ 1 Jordan McLaughlin made 2nd of 2 free throws 45.0
+ 1 Jordan McLaughlin made 1st of 2 free throws 45.0
  Personal foul on Paul Miller 45.0
Team Stats
Points 65 75
Field Goals 24-59 (40.7%) 27-60 (45.0%)
3-Pointers 10-29 (34.5%) 4-16 (25.0%)
Free Throws 7-9 (77.8%) 17-31 (54.8%)
Total Rebounds 30 41
Offensive 3 10
Defensive 26 29
Team 1 2
Assists 11 13
Steals 7 6
Blocks 4 6
Turnovers 17 14
Fouls 24 12
Technicals 0 0
away team logo
22
C. Hunter G
24 PTS, 3 REB
home team logo
25
B. Boatwright F
28 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo No. Dak. St. 0-2 333265
home team logo10 USC 2-0334275
Team Stats
away team logoNo. Dak. St. 0-2 71.8 PPG 35.5 RPG 14.0 APG
home team logo10 USC 2-0 76.7 PPG 43.6 RPG 14.0 APG
Key Players
22
C. Hunter G 8.6 PPG 2.7 RPG 1.6 APG 51.9 FG%
25
B. Boatwright F 14.6 PPG 7.9 RPG 2.0 APG 39.1 FG%
Top Scorers
22
C. Hunter G 24 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
25
B. Boatwright F 28 PTS 8 REB 1 AST
40.7 FG% 45.0
34.5 3PT FG% 25.0
77.8 FT% 54.8
No. Dak. St.
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Samuelson 25 9 0 1 2 0 1 1 3/7 3/7 0/0 0 0
P. Miller 30 7 4 3 1 0 4 2 2/12 1/8 2/2 0 4
T. Ward 28 7 8 5 0 0 4 1 3/10 1/3 0/0 1 7
D. Miller 8 3 1 1 1 0 3 1 1/1 0/0 1/2 0 1
A. Jacobson 20 2 2 0 1 0 1 5 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Samuelson 25 9 0 1 2 0 1 1 3/7 3/7 0/0 0 0
P. Miller 30 7 4 3 1 0 4 2 2/12 1/8 2/2 0 4
T. Ward 28 7 8 5 0 0 4 1 3/10 1/3 0/0 1 7
D. Miller 8 3 1 1 1 0 3 1 1/1 0/0 1/2 0 1
A. Jacobson 20 2 2 0 1 0 1 5 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Hunter 21 24 3 0 1 0 0 4 8/11 4/5 4/5 0 3
D. Geu 15 6 4 0 0 2 1 5 3/5 0/0 0/0 1 3
C. Quayle 22 3 2 0 0 1 1 1 1/5 1/4 0/0 0 2
S. Eliason 17 2 3 0 0 0 1 3 1/3 0/0 0/0 0 3
R. Kreuser 14 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1/3 0/1 0/0 1 1
T. Eady - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Meidinger - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Mertens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Van Dulm - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 65 29 11 7 4 17 24 24/59 10/29 7/9 3 26
USC
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
B. Boatwright 36 28 8 1 0 3 4 1 10/17 1/4 7/10 5 3
C. Metu 34 14 7 1 1 2 2 3 6/11 0/1 2/6 0 7
J. McLaughlin 35 12 8 4 2 1 1 2 4/10 0/2 4/6 1 7
E. Stewart 31 10 6 1 0 0 1 1 3/10 2/5 2/2 1 5
J. Mathews 25 6 4 1 2 0 3 1 2/5 1/2 1/3 1 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
B. Boatwright 36 28 8 1 0 3 4 1 10/17 1/4 7/10 5 3
C. Metu 34 14 7 1 1 2 2 3 6/11 0/1 2/6 0 7
J. McLaughlin 35 12 8 4 2 1 1 2 4/10 0/2 4/6 1 7
E. Stewart 31 10 6 1 0 0 1 1 3/10 2/5 2/2 1 5
J. Mathews 25 6 4 1 2 0 3 1 2/5 1/2 1/3 1 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Aaron 17 2 4 3 0 0 2 1 1/2 0/0 0/2 2 2
D. Thornton 14 2 1 2 1 0 1 1 1/4 0/1 0/0 0 1
J. Usher 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0/1 0/1 1/2 0 1
N. Rakocevic 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
K. Karis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Henderson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Melton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Fleming - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. O'Bannon Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Uyaelunmo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 75 39 13 6 6 14 12 27/60 4/16 17/31 10 29