NEW ORLEANS — Ledell Eackles scored 26 points, including four three-point baskets, Friday night to lead New Orleans to an 85-67 victory over USC, spoiling the debut of Trojan Coach George Raveling.
Eackles, a junior guard who was the 1985-86 player of the year while at San Jacinto (Tex.) Junior College, helped pace the Privateers to a 45-32 halftime. Ronnie Grandison contributed 21 points and a team-high 9 rebounds, and Sam Jones added 15.
"We played a highly rated team tonight, and games like this will make us better," Raveling said. "We did some things well, but losing Dave Wiltz hurt us."
Wiltz suffered a strained thigh early in the second half and did not return.
"We need to get more patient on offense. We played very hard, and I was satisfied with our physical effort," Raveling said. "Mentally, though, we were lacking. New Orleans gave us an opportunity to get back, but we didn't take advantage."