Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 12/15/12
LOS ANGELES -- While USC got back on track Saturday afternoon at the Galen Center, UC Riverside continued to veer so far off track the Highlanders may have lost sight of it in a 70-26 loss. The last six Highlander points helped UC Riverside narrowly avoid a very dubious honor. The 26 points scored is just six away from the NCAA all-time shot clock era low of 20, set by Saint Louis in 2008. However, the Highlanders scored the fewest points in program history. The previous low was 29 set in 1956. Jio Fontan and Eric Wise led all scorers with 14 points each and Fontan dished out six assists for USC (4-6) in a win that snapped a five-game skid. Chris Patton and Chris Harriel each scored six to lead the Highlanders (2-8). Things just kind of unraveled on us, said UCR head coach Jim Woolridge. We couldnt make a shot, we couldnt make a free throw. So all around just a poor effort. Woolridge, who USC head coach Kevin ONeill called, a hell of a coach, shouldered most of the blame for the dismal play. Bad execution, bad coaching; Ive got to do a better job, Woolridge said. Ive got to find a way to get these guys ready to play and come out energized. Although it was a confidence-boosting win that the flailing Trojans desperately wanted, it wasnt exactly a morale-builder. The Trojans felt confident about their defense, holding the Highlanders to just 19 percent from the field which was the lowest opponent shooting mark in USC history, but the entire USC squad is all too aware of the feeling that overtakes a locker room after an extra-tough loss. Ive been there, said USC head coach Kevin ONeill. I feel for anyone in that situation. Ive been in a lot of rebuild jobs, thats hard. Theyre not as bad as that score looked, Fontan said. The biggest struggle for the Highlanders was the length of the USC frontcourt. Dewayne Dedmon and Omar Oraby contributed nine of the Trojans 10 total blocks. Dedmon alone swatted six, which is tied for the eighth-most in school history. The attempt to push the offense outside failed as well with several missed threes from long range. We knew USC would give us trouble, especially inside with their size, Woolridge said. But I thought I had prepared them enough to compete. But we just lost our confidence and after that we just didnt play with effort. Harriel hit the only trey for the Highlanders, who attempted a total of 14. I love how our front line played tonight, ONeill said. I thought our front line did a great job of protecting the basket, and rebounding it and sharing it and they made a lot of good things happen. The Trojans shot 52 percent from the field and 45 percent from the perimeter, in an effort that ONeill said was the most complete game of the season. Our effort was there the whole time, said ONeill, who has lamented his teams lack of energy on the court in recent games. We know its not Minnesota, who is 13th in the country, we understand that. But its a step back from digging ourselves into a hole that we got ourselves into by not playing hard, by not defending, by not being serious about the defensive effort. USC appeared to be off to one of its typical slow starts, scoring just five points a little over five minutes. But the Trojans were able to shake it off after the first media timeout at 14:19. After Robert Smith gave the Highlanders their first basket of the night, the Trojans went on a 10-2 run to go up 14-4. Riverside came back to score eight straight, pulling up to 16-8 midway through the first half. A few minutes later, Harriel hit two free throws to once again bring the Highlanders back to within striking distance, 19-10. But a 21-2 run by the Trojans left UCR with too wide of a gap to make up in the second half, as they went down 39-12. As the second half opened, the Trojans continued to execute on both ends of the court while the Highlanders failed to make plays. UC Riverside scored only one point, a free throw by Harriel, in the first 14 minutes of the half. Finally, with 5:38 left to play, Harriel sunk a three. Taylor Johns followed suit with a dunk on the next possession to bring the total to 18 points and Pattons short jumper brought them to 20. Davin Guinn saved his team from the distinction of having scored fewest point total in the shot clock era with a jumper at 2:43. A lot of it is mental toughness, Woolridge said. The guys have got to learn how to be tough out there, especially when things arent going our way.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker