LOS ANGELES -- It's getting to the point now where it's near-impossible to expect the USC Trojans to beat any opponent.
They'll compete the whole game and they'll stay within reach -- at least for the first half -- but they just won't win. There's not enough offense, there's not enough depth and there's not enough experience.
The lowly Trojans kept visiting Stanford close for almost 30 minutes on Sunday at the Galen Center but couldn't keep up down the stretch and fell, 59-47.
"This is the same old thing," USC coach Kevin O'Neill said afterward. "We had our chances, honestly. We've had our chances a lot.
"I thought we played pretty hard, pretty well. But when you're not making your shots, you're not making 'em."
USC (6-20, 1-12 in the Pac-12) is now nearing all-time worst status. The Trojans' most-ever losses in a single season came into 1988-1989, when they went 10-22. Their worst-ever winning percentage came in 1976-1977, when they were 6-20.
It's very likely they'll break both of those marks this season. With five regular-season games remaining and adding on a likely loss somewhere in the Pac-12 tournament, USC has to win four of its next five to not break the school record for losses.
Currently, the Trojans have won four of their last 21, dating back to Thanksgiving.
Stanford freshman Chasson Randle led all scorers with 16 points Sunday; Byron Wesley and Greg Allen each had 13 points for the Trojans and Maurice Jones added 10 points but on 2-of-14 shooting.
Player of the game: Wesley, a freshman, was assigned to defend Stanford leading scorer and senior Josh Owens for most of the evening and did an admirable job, according to O'Neill.
Owens, who has three inches and 30 pounds on Wesley, had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. But the Trojans' freshman didn't have a bad game, either -- scoring 13 points in 37 minutes.
He also added two assists, a block and a steal while playing his fourth-straight game of 37 or more minutes.
"I love the way Byron Wesley plays," O'Neill said after Sunday's game. "I like his aggressiveness. He fights hard."
10 of Wesley's points came in the first 13 minutes of the game. He was then shut out for 25 minutes, until the 1:35 mark of the second half.
Wesley attributed that to a zone-defense look he saw for much of the game's second period and couldn't quite figure out.
"They did a better job on him in the second half," O'Neill said. "They were more aware of him."
As he has often said this year, O'Neill said Wesley "has a chance" to be a "real, real big-time player" over the next three years.
Stat of the game: USC was out-rebounded 45-19 by Stanford, and the Cardinal grabbed 13 offensive rebounds off of 27 of their own missed shots. By contrast, the Trojans grabbed just one of the rebounds from their 33 missed shots.
The numbers are rare, and they are damning. Stanford started three players measuring in at 6-8 or higher; USC has only one available player taller than 6-6.
Quote of the game: "I think we have a chance going into any game." -- O'Neill
The Trojans' coach was asked about the feasibility of his team winning any one of its five remaining regular-season games, at UCLA on Wednesday, at the Arizona schools next week and at home against the Washington schools the week after that.
Predictably, he brought up one of his favorite lines, about how anybody wearing "short pants" can beat anybody else at basketball. It sounds nice, but it's going to be tough for USC to win any of those games -- with the Arizona State visit being the only real winnable one.
Final notes: Stanford forward Andy Brown, a product of Santa Ana Mater Dei, made his first career field goal in the first half of Sunday's game. Brown is a third-year player but tore his ACL three times over the last four years and never suited up for a college game before last month...Only two USC players made field goals in the first half of the contest, Wesley and Allen. And only five Trojans made anything from the field all game, actually: those two, plus Jones, guard Alexis Moore and forward Garrett Jackson...USC head football coach Lane Kiffin and family watched the first half from Galen Center courtside seats.