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Isaiah Mobley’s career night gives USC victory over Cal – San Bernardino Sun

LOS ANGELES – Over the past few weeks, the USC men’s basketball season has morphed into a network procedure that neighborhood broadcasters will be proud of.

Each game begins with the same storyline, with USC falling into an initial hole, then using its defenses to initiate the run and return to its thicket. Sometimes it leads to USC wins, sometimes not, but the formula has lasted for seven games now.

And, as any TV executive will tell you, a strong leadership man is a must. And in Saturday’s 79-72 win over Cal, junior forward Isaiah Mobley showed once again why he’s taking on that role for the USC No. 15 this season.

The Trojans (18-3, 8-3 in Pac-12) understand that they can’t sustain slow starts. Mobley attempted to establish an early stage against the Golden Bears by attacking the perimeter in opening possession. The result was a missed opportunity and being watched by the big man, but it sent a message to his teammates to be aggressive, with their first five attempts baffling.

That mindset can’t prevent another initial flaw. Cal (9-12, 2-8) started 6-8 from the ring and took advantage of a 3:34 goalless gap from USC to take an 11-point lead.

That was the moment when Mobley seemed to decide enough was enough. He scored seven consecutive goals for the Trojans, including a three-point match,

Mobley scored seven goals in a row for USC, with a second chance, two free throws and three points. But Cal continued to pressurize with a second-chance jump and a 3-pointer.

Mobley’s effort, however, appeared to spark a spark for USC, who took a 14-1 lead to take the lead of the game with Ethan Anderson’s pull-up jump and make it four. When Cal answered with Makale Foreman’s 3 pointer, Mobley answered back with his own 3 to bring his first-half total to 12.

As we’ve come to expect last month, USC hasn’t made life easy on its own. Cal took seven of the nine shots to open the second half and got one.

But the Trojans never drew, nor surrendered again, thanks in part to Mobley. He drives from perimeter to cup to hit the ball with one hand. Then, with a hesitation, the player jumped back out of the glass to make contact for the second three-point match of the second half.

Mobley has received a lot of support in this game. Defender Boogie Ellis scored 21 points, including a tough shot for the three-pointer game with two minutes left. Ethan Anderson contributed the highest 5 assists of the season.

But Mobley bounced back from Thursday’s loss to Stanford, in which he missed two chances to score in weak seconds, to score a career-high 24 with six rebounds and two saves.

When Cal turned it into a two-point game with three minutes to play, the Trojan went right up to Mobley, who posted and took a hook from the backboard. And when the hands were down and USC was leading by three points, Mobley drove to the paint zone and flexed his body to take a swing around the rim before going in.

https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/29/isaiah-mobleys-career-night-powers-usc-to-win-over-cal/ Isaiah Mobley’s career night gives USC victory over Cal – San Bernardino Sun

Tom Vazquez

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