USC returns home to Los Angeles on Thursday, looking to build a new winning streak against an Oregon State team that snapped the Trojans' previous win streak.
USC (12-3, 6-2 Pac-12 Conference) won six straight ahead of its Jan. 19 trip to Corvallis, Ore., but shot just 20-of-48 from the floor and failed to recover from an early hole in its 58-56 loss to the Beavers.
The Trojans returned to offensive form in a 76-68 win at Cal on Jan. 23, which season-long leading scorer Evan Mobley sparked with a career-high 25 points.
"He's getting better, and we demanded that of him this week," Trojans coach Andy Enfield said of Mobley in his postgame press conference. "He responded in a huge way."
The freshman Mobley, who is averaging 16.5 points per game, scored 12 in the loss at Oregon State and got to the free-throw line for only two attempts. At Cal, he went 12-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Another marked improvement for USC at Cal after the Oregon State loss was its 7-of-15 3-point shooting, led by Tahj Eaddy's 3-of-4 performance. The Trojans went 6-of-20 in Corvallis.
The 56 points that USC scored last time against Oregon State were a season low.
For the Beavers (8-5, 4-3), the Jan. 19 matchup was their best defensive performance of the campaign in terms of points allowed. The win also followed a different tenor than the other two wins Oregon State recorded in its current, three-game streak.
The Beavers began their run with an 80-79 defeat of Arizona State on Jan. 16, and dominated Oregon in the paint en route to a 75-64 win on Jan. 23.
Oregon State outrebounded the Ducks, 42-23, and got to the foul line to convert 22-of-24 attempts.
"We've challenged them," Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said in his postgame press conference following the win. "We got knocked around enough to where there's a little more urgency. We've tried to keep it simple, focusing on executing the plan, playing harder than our opponent and playing together."
Catalyst of the Oregon State offense, guard Ethan Thompson, comes into Thursday's matchup averaging team-highs of 16.1 points and 3.8 assists per game. He scored 13 points in the Beavers' win over USC and keyed the defense with two steals.
Warith Alatishe, who shot 7-of-10 from the floor against Oregon, will lead Oregon State's efforts to again limit USC standout Mobley on the interior.
--Field Level Media