Southern California blows out Stetson 95-59; Boatwright back
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nick Rakocevic had 16 points and 13 rebounds — his third double-double in as many games — and Southern California routed Stetson 95-59 on Wednesday night when Bennie Boatwright made his season debut.
Boatwright had 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting while making four 3-pointers in 18 minutes after missing the first two games of his senior season. He had offseason left knee surgery after toying with leaving early for the NBA draft.
The Trojans (2-1) started on a 30-7 run, including 14 straight points, and the Hatters (1-2) never recovered in a game played as part of the Hall of Fame Classic. All of USC’s seven players on the floor in the first half scored while the team shot 54 percent.
Christiaan Jones had 11 points for the Hatters in their first visit to California since 1995. They were just 9 of 34 from the floor in the first half and made just 4 of 22 3-pointers in the game.
USC began the second half on a 35-18 spurt that extended its lead to 74-32. Boatwright sandwiched 3-pointers around another basket. Kevin Porter Jr. punctuated the run with a one-handed dunk, drew the foul and made the free throw.
Porter, the freshman five-star recruit, finished with 12 points, his third straight game in double figures.
The Trojans’ largest lead was 41 points with 2:55 left in the second half.
USC’s Elijah Weaver had nine points in his collegiate debut after missing the first two games. He had left ankle surgery on Aug. 30.
The Hatters gave up 90 points for the first time since allowing 91 at USC Upstate on Feb. 8.
Stetson: The Hatters are putting up big numbers to start the season. They scored 116 points in a season-opening win against Johnson and had 66 rebounds (second-most in school history) in a loss at Missouri State. Their bench averaged 60 points in those two games.
USC: Getting Boatwright back is huge for the Trojans as they take a considerable step up in competition against Texas Tech on a neutral court Monday. The Red Raiders lost to eventual champion Villanova in the Elite Eight last season. That will be USC’s toughest game to date until they host No. 6 Nevada on Dec. 1.
Stetson: Visits Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday as part of the Hall of Fame Classic.
USC: Plays Texas Tech in an opening game of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City on Monday.
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