Nick Rakocevic scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as USC improved to 4-0 with a 76-66 victory over Nevada on Saturday night in Reno, Nev.
Daniel Utomi, a grad transfer from Akron, scored 12 points and Elijah Weaver added 11 points for the Trojans, who finished with a 42-10 edge in points in the paint. Freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu tied Rakocevic for top rebounding honors in the game with 11 to go along with six points.
Jazz Johnson led Nevada (2-2) with 26 points, including 6-of-14 3-pointers. Lindsey Drew finished with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Wolf Pack, who lost for just the fourth time in their last 48 home games.
USC used a 9-0 run capped by a 3-pointer by Weaver to take a 13-5 lead in the first five minutes. But Nevada answered with a 13-3 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers by Johnson to take a 21-18 lead.
The Trojans then built their largest lead of the half, 31-21, with a 13-0 run capped by a Rakocevic left-handed drive with 4:12 remaining. Johnson then scored six straight points, including a four-point play, to bring the Wolf Pack back to within four, 31-27, but USC, despite two late 3-pointers by Drew, went into halftime with a 40-35 lead.
USC led 56-48 with 12:40 to go on a short jumper by Utomi but Nevada cut the deficit back to four on Johnson's second four-point play of the game. The Trojans then went on a 13-2 run over the next four minutes highlighted by six points by Rakocevic to take a 65-54 lead with 8:27 remaining.
Nevada got as close as six points, 65-59, after a free throw by K.J. Hymes but USC then put the game away with a 9-3 run capped by a tip-in by Rakocevic with 2:35 to go.
The Trojans outshot the Wolf Pack 44.6 percent to 32.8 percent.
--Field Level Media