St. Bonaventure, with only nine players in uniform, found itself out-manned Monday night in a 91-82 loss to the University of Southern California before 2,070 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
Coach Henry Bibby's Trojans (4-0) scored the first 10 points of the second half after taking a 45-39 lead into the intermission.
Already without injured forward Terrence Durham and two suspended players (Tim Winn and Isaac King), Bona (2-3) also lost center Caswell Cyrus with an ankle injury early in the second half. He returned to the game, but was held out of the last five minutes as a precaution. How serious the injury is was not known immediately after the game.
"We have to get guys back and healthy," said Bonnies coach Jim Baron. "Against a team like this, you have to play almost flawlessly."
Durham, who suffered a knee injury in the loss at Siena last Thursday, is expected back for Bona's next game, at Kent University Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Greg Lakey got the Trojans' second-half run started with a baseline jumper and a three-pointer from the left wing. Freshman guard Brandon Granville then nailed a trey, and Brian Scalabrine hit a pair of free throws to make it 55-39.
USC pushed the lead to as many as 25 (82-57). Led by David Messiah Capers, J.R. Bremer and James Hayden, Bona outscored the Trojans, 17-5, in the last 2:48 to trim the final margin down.
"We made a good comeback, but we just didn't have enough," Baron said.
Messiah Capers had 19 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs, for Bona. Bremer finished with 18 and Hayden a career-best 17 points.
Adam Spanich led the Trojans with 18 points.
The Trojans shot 51.7 percent for the game, 61.9 (13 of 21) in the second half. Accurate shooting (17 for 31, 54.8) kept Bona close in the first half.