USC’s losing skid reaches four games with road upset in Santa Clara

first_imgSenior captain Bennie Boatwright watched a lot of film on Santa Clara before Tuesday’s matchup at Leavey Center. He wasn’t prepared for the onslaught that awaited them.“I’ve never seen them play this well,” Boatwright said.If USC thought it could waltz into Santa Clara for a much-needed win to snap out of a three-game losing skid, then it received much more than it bargained for. Instead of an expected easy win against an inferior WCC opponent, the Trojans fell in double overtime, 102-92, for their fourth straight loss.Andy Enfield, in a game in during the 2016 season. USC’s head coach is searching for answers after it fell to Santa Clara on Tuesday for its fourth straight loss – Daily Trojan file photo.USC had not lost to Santa Clara since 1984. More importantly, the loss continued a disturbing trend of defeats that has head coach Andy Enfield searching for answers as the Trojans fall below .500 for the first time this season.“I don’t know what to say anymore,” Enfield said.Not many of the 2,226 in attendance did, either, as they watched a Santa Clara team down to its third string center and with seven scholarship players available dominate USC early on and hold off several runs by the Trojans to pull out a double-overtime victory. Though the Trojans were shorthanded themselves, with eight scholarship players available — and freshman guard Kevin Porter Jr. not making the trip due to a quad contusion —  they still had a clear talent advantage on a Broncos squad that had not beaten anyone of consequence before Tuesday.“I’m the head coach and it’s on me,” Enfield said. “I have to figure this out and my staff. There’s only one person to blame for this loss and that’s me.”Defensive lapses felled the Trojans late, as they had leads in the final seconds of both regulation and the first overtime. With both Boatwright and junior forward Nick Rakocevic fouled out, USC was outscored 13-3 in double overtime. Santa Clara scored the game’s final 6 points to pull away.USC trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half, but rallied to take an 80-79 lead on a layup by junior guard Jonah Mathews with 24 seconds left in regulation. But sophomore forward Jordan Usher lost track of his man on the ensuing Santa Clara possession, resulting in a foul and overtime after Santa Clara’s Josip Vrankic split two free throws.In overtime, redshirt senior guard Shaqquan Aaron made a pair of foul shots to put USC ahead 89-87 with 11 seconds to play, but Santa Clara’s Trey Wertz drove right past redshirt junior guard Derryck Thornton for a game-tying layup to force double overtime.“All of our guys have had equal opportunity to step up and make plays,” Enfield said, “so it is frustrating because we have some veteran guys on this team who have made crucial mistakes on offense and defense, especially in important parts of the game when the other team goes on runs.”Wertz led all scorers with 28 points, and accounted for 11 of Santa Clara’s 13 points in double overtime. Usher had 22 points to lead the Trojans, while Mathews chipped in 20 points.USC once again started off poorly, missing its first eight shots attempts and seven 3-point shots. The Trojans shot 38.7 percent from the field in the first half, while the Broncos were at nearly 60 percent and jumped out to a 42-31 lead at halftime. Against Oklahoma on Saturday, the Trojans began the game shooting 1-of-9 from the field.“It’s a common thing,” Boatwright said. “We do it every single game. We come out slow and we have to claw our way back.”Enfield hinted at potentially making changes to the starting lineup, and called out his veterans for the sluggish openings.“In our starting lineup, we have some guys who’ve been around a lot, and that shouldn’t happen,” he said.Though the Trojans came to life in the second half, shooting nearly 50 percent, the hole they dug themselves in the first half was too deep to climb out of. And they were not going to win, according to Enfield, shooting 5-of-28 from the 3-point line. If USC’s previous three losses — which came by an average of 19 points — were not wake-up calls, losing to a team picked to finish second-to-last in the WCC this season serves as the fire alarm going off, if the Trojans want any hope of a successful 2018-2019 campaign.“We’ve got to figure out how to put our guys in position to win games,” Enfield said. “We’ll keep at it.”last_img read more

MESSENGERS OF PEACE

first_imgThe paradox of Ebola epidemic started from onset of the disease outbreak in Liberia. First was the denial. The International medical humanitarian organization Medicine Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned of its devastation and cried for action, very few, took notice.Fear, anxiety and the slow response from Government and the International community were paradoxes ’in the prevention and control of Ebola. Finally, the paradox of Ebola Virus Disease could best be explained by its mode of transmission. Most Liberians lost their lives because of their compassion, love and care for humanity.  Today, we notice the efforts put in place to control Ebola, the disappointment of every Liberia when a new case was identified. No longer are we in the era of denial, fear and anxiety. Control and prevention effort is now placed on stopping stigma and discrimination of Ebola survivors, educating the public about the danger of complacency and ensuring the total eradication of EVD from Liberia.To declare Liberia free of Ebola, we need to identify every person that came in contact with the last positive case and place them in quarantine. The contact tracing programme has to be enhanced.As we seek to implement lessons learned in our fight to defeat Ebola in future outbreak, we urge Government and the International community to focus on reducing the factors that contributed in the first place to the high Ebola mortality.The challenges ahead and the difficult choices that we need to make in the absence of established treatment for Ebola further explain the paradox of Ebola Virus Disease. While a large number of children orphaned by the Ebola virus now receive housing, education and other form of welfare, the country still has to deal with accounting for the huge amount of funds spent to control EVD.There is an urgent need for transparency and the sharing of information as well as data. The need for greater coalition, collaboration and coordination cannot be over-emphasized. We have come a long way and therefore need to remain on course.The Ebola outbreak is not over until there are zero cases in the entire country for 42 days. We should be constantly reminded that our neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Guinea are not out of the wood yet.  According to Margaret Harris, “No one can make any specific predictions on when the Ebola outbreak will be over” Therefore, the control of our porous borders (Land frontiers must be a priority. The road to safety is long but the destination to an Ebola free country can be reached.To ensure that we are totally free, we need to wake people up and put in place permanent systems. We also need to educate our children through the stories and information we provide them with.Support the “Ebola Educates” Campaign in kind through your stories or with your generous cash donation.Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates- Placing emphasis on Human Social Security”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more