It was almost like a groundhog day a full week early, as tonight's USC-Oregon State game was eerily similar to last year's matchup in Corvallis.
The five-point margin at the break in USC's favor, the Calvin Haynes shooting clinic, the miserable night for Dwight Lewis — everything was reminiscent of last January's horrific showing at Gill Coliseum.
And, not surprisingly, the Trojans were upset again, this time 51-45.
Last season, USC led 25-20 at halftime before Oregon State tied it in the second half and eventually won it in overtime.
This season, USC led 27-22 at the break after starting the game on a 15-5 run, but the Beavers took a one-point lead with 11 minutes left on a layup by Roland Schaftenaar. From there, the Trojans never got closer than two points.
Last season, Haynes shot seven of 12 from the field for 16 points. This season, he scored 25 points and made seven of 15 shots.
Last season, Lewis made only two of 13 shots (two of nine on three-point attempts) for six points. This season, he made two of 12 shots (one of eight on three-pointers) for five points.
Oregon State (9-11, 3-5) got 25 points from Haynes and 10 from Schafetenaar, but no other Beaver had more than six points.
Nikola Vucevicled USC (12-8, 4-4) with 12 points and reserve forward Leonard Washingtonhad 11. The Trojans' four other starters — besides Vucevic — totaled an abysmal 13 points on five-for-20 shooting.
But the Trojans' undoing was their turnovers — 20 of them, in fact, including 12 in the first half. The Beavers had only 10.
In short, it appears USC coach Kevin O'Neill's requests were delivered upon by the Beavers but not to his liking.
O'Neill practically begged Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, through the media this week, to pressure his team's offense. Robinson said he would do so, and he did.
And it worked, evidently.
Now it's back to the drawing board for O'Neill's team, who must now prepare to face the inside-outside threat of Oregon's Tajuan Porter and Michael Dunigan at 3 p.m. Saturday in Eugene.