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Rakocevic takes charge as USC tops Florida Gulf Coast

Rakocevic takes charge as USC tops Florida Gulf Coast

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nick Rakocevic scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Southern California finished its nonconference schedule with a 71-58 victory Sunday night over Florida Gulf Coast.

The game matched seventh-year Trojans head coach Andy Enfield against the Eagles program he led for two seasons. Enfield was 41-28 in two seasons at Florida Gulf Coast and is now 216-120 at USC.

Daniel Utomi had 13 and Jonah Mathews had 10 points for the Trojans (11-2), who won their fifth consecutive game.

The Trojans won without leading scorer and rebounder Onyeka Okongwu, who was dealing with a mild ankle sprain. Okongwu is expected to be available for the start of Pac-12 Conference play on Thursday.

Sam Gagliardi scored 10 points for the Eagles (3-12), who lost for the seventh time in their last eight games. Florida Gulf Coast also was closing out its nonconference schedule.

The Eagles got off to a hot start in their only scheduled trip to the West Coast, grabbing a 7-1 lead. USC didn’t make its first field goal until a Mathews 3-pointer nearly three minutes into the game.

USC immediately went on an 11-0 run to take a 12-7 lead and never trailed again, taking a 35-31 lead into halftime while shooting 43% from the field in the first half, but just 27% from 3-point range.

The Trojans shot 46% from the field in the game, while holding the Eagles to 41%.

USC held a 37-32 rebounding advantage and had 14 fast-break points to just two for the Eagles. FGCU committed 17 fouls to just six for the Trojans. The Eagles attempted just six free throws, making one.


Florida Gulf Coast: The Eagles are now 0-7 in road games this season. … FGCU will play host to USC next season with Sunday’s game the first ever between the programs.

USC: The Trojans now have two winning streaks of five games this season, the third time they have accomplished that feat over the last decade, while also doing it in 2016 and 2017. … Enfield made one NCAA Tournament appearance as head coach at FGCU in 2013 and has made two appearances at USC in 2016 and 2017.


Florida Gulf Coast: The Eagles open Atlantic Sun Conference play Thursday at home against Liberty.

USC: The Trojans open Pac-12 Conference play Jan. 2 at Washington State.


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