INDIANAPOLIS — Joseph Yesufu scored a game-high 26 points, but USC pulled away from Drake in the second half for a 72-56 win in the NCAA tournament.
No. 11 seed Drake trailed by just three points at halftime, but No. 6 seed USC went on an 11-3 run to start the second half. Poor shooting hurt the Bulldogs in the game, especially in the second half. Drake shot 29.4% overall from the field, including just 19% in the second half.
Yesufu was Drake’s only player to score in double figures. ShanQuan Hemphill, who was coming off a foot injury, played sparingly. Hemphill scored 6 points but was unable to play in the second half. Tremell Murphy and Darnell Brodie also scored 6 points apiece for Drake. Brodie and Garrett Sturtz both grabbed 7 rebounds.
USC’s height proved to be a mismatch, totaling 7 blocks in the game. Seven-footer Evan Mobley had a team-high 17 points and 11 rebounds. He is projected to be a lottery pick if he declares for the NBA draft. Evan’s older brother, Isaiah Mobley, scored 15 points. Drew Peterson added 14 points for the Trojans. USC shot 50% from the floor.
USC, now 23-7, advances to play No. 3 seed Kansas in the second round on Monday.
Drake finishes the season with a 26-5 record. The Bulldogs won their first NCAA tournament game in 50 years against Wichita State on Thursday. This was Drake’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008.