Wednesday the struggling Trojans will try to turn their season around after losing five of their last six games. Their opponent will be the Oregon State Beavers — a team they lost to 85-70 when they played in Corvallis.In their first meeting with the Trojans, the Beavers came back after initially being down by 4 points at halftime to win by 15 points.Despite holding the Beavers to just 3-for-18 from deep, their 47 percent 2-point shooting percentage helped bolster an early Pac-12 upset. Thanks to Oregon State’s Gary Payton II and his 22 points and 15 rebounds, the Beavers were virtually unstoppable in the second half.Redshirt junior guard Katin Reinhardt, junior guard Julian Jacobs and sophomore guard Elijah Stewart were explosive on offense, combining for 40 points, 10 assists and 15 rebounds off of 14-for-29 shooting, including five 3-pointers.Unfortunately, like their most recent game against Stanford, McLaughlin and Boatwright were held to just 3-for-16 overall, missing 10 of their 11 3-point attempts. Coming back to Galen Center, the Trojans’ 3-point prowess could perhaps re-establish itself after a slump.Where USC has been hurting the most has been on the defensive side of the ball but one of the team’s best defenders redshirt junior forward Darion Clark is set to be back against OSU.Jacobs emphasized the importance of playing defense after practice Monday. USC’s last two games resulted in 20-point-plus losses.“I can’t stress enough how important that is for this team because when we play defense, that opens up so much more for us offensively,” Jacobs said. “We like to get out in transition, that’s the type of team we are, but when we don’t play defense, it’s kind of hard to attack a team that’s waiting for you.”Head coach Andy Enfield stated that Clark’s injury is “day-to-day.” In practice, however, Clark stated that he was he was feeling very good thanks to a synthetic sleeve over his shoulder and upper forearm.Where Clark’s presence will be needed is on the defensive zone against Oregon State’s 6-foot-3 guard Gary Payton II who leads the team with 15.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game including seven straight games scoring in double figures to go along with 11 games of 19 or more.Payton, along with scorers Tres Tinkle and Stephen Thompson Jr., should be a handful for USC considering they combined for 51 of the Beavers’ 85 points.As always, though, crowd support from the Trojans home fans could give USC the edge in a conference which is characterized by tough arenas.“As we know as well as they know, it’s a very important game for us to hopefully come out with a victory,” Reinhardt said. “We’re just looking forward to this crowd to come out and helping us win this game. Everybody needs to be there. We’ve been pounding it out all year and the fans have been great for us.”The 19-10 Trojans and 17-10 Beavers are set to tip off at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Galen Center.
J.B. MartinJB “Jim” Martin, of Wellington, Kansas, passed away Wednesday, December 19, 2012 in Wellington, Kansas at the age of 82.JB was born the son of WB Martin and Lucy Martin on November 27, 1930 in Roff, Oklahoma.On October 17, 1954, JB and Donnis Martin were united in marriage in Wellington, Kansas. Together they celebrated 49 years of marriage.JB served in the United States Navy for 4 years. He was an engineer for the Santa Fe Railroad for over 40 years.Survivors include daughters, Debra Potestivo of Staten Island, New York, Jemi Steinkamp and her husband Greg of Denver, Colorado, JoJeana Robertson and her husband Roby of McKinney, Texas, Donette Cypert and her husband Mike of Wellington, Kansas, sister, Wanda Bowlin of Grapeland, Texas, brother-in-law, Jim Wartick of Aurora, Colorado, 8 grandsons and 1 grand-daughter.He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, 2 brothers: Basil and Bruce and a sister, Marie.Memorial services for JB will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at the First Baptist Church, 201 West Lincoln Ave., Wellington, Kansas. A burial will follow at Sumner Memorial Gardens, Wellington, Kansas.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.dayfuneralhome.info.Arrangements are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington, Kansas.