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He Finally Got a Shot

January 21, 2002

He's USC's equivalent of the fifth Beatle, or the fourth Ghostbuster.

Gennaro Busterna is the Trojans' forgotten fourth senior.

Busterna hadn't really done anything memorable in his two-year USC career ... until Thursday during the Trojans' meltdown at Arizona.

Busterna made a basket. Then another. And he sprinkled in some free throws for good measure.

Midway through his senior year, the junior college transfer from Nebraska's McCook College had finally scored ... big. After failing to register a point in 15 previous career appearances, Busterna was the Trojans' third-leading scorer with 10 points in the 97-80 loss to the Wildcats.

"I thought he was going to be the first Division I player to go through his career and not score a basket so I was happy to see him make a couple," USC Coach Henry Bibby said with a smile. "He might be a guy that I start using a little bit. I've always thought Gennaro was one of our best shooters."

The Trojans' three senior starters--David Bluthenthal, Sam Clancy and Brandon Granville--were happy to see their classmate bust open his personal goose egg by making two of five shots, all three-point attempts, and four of five free throws in six minutes.

"It was good to see him light it up like that," Clancy said. "He's one of the best players on the team."

Busterna, though, said that finally scoring was bittersweet.

"It hurts to lose when I finally get a chance to play," said Busterna, now averaging 1.1 points and 2.1 minutes in nine appearances this season. "It felt great to make my first shot. Then I felt like every shot was going in."

He played three minutes and missed his only shot in USC's 81-73 win at Arizona State on Saturday.

Paul Gutierrez

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