BERKELEY -- After struggling with his shooting throughout the non-conference season, Eric Vierneisel found the perfect time to regain his touch.
Vierneisel made consecutive 3-pointers to break open a one-point game midway through the second half and California spoiled O.J. Mayo's high-scoring Pac-10 debut by beating No. 22 USC 92-82 Thursday.
"It's been kind of a struggle the first part of the season," Vierneisel said. "Tonight it was going in so I can't really complain. I have confidence in my shot, my teammates have confidence in me, my coaches have confidence in me. That's what I'm out there to do."
Vierneisel was 6-for-35 on 3-pointers this season before hitting the two from long range that put Cal (10-2, 1-0) up 72-65 with 5:44 to go. That started a 15-3 run that carried the Golden Bears to their fourth win in 12 conference openers under coach Ben Braun.
Patrick Christopher led the way for Cal with 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Mayo, the talented freshman, scored 34 points but missed seven of 10 3-pointers for USC (9-4, 0-1).
Dwight Lewis added 17 points for USC and Davon Jefferson had 12.
"Everybody knows Eric can knock down shots," Braun said. "He got in the game and played with extreme confidence. That's not easy for a guy who has been struggling. I thought he played with confidence and played with poise."
Cal was 11-of-25 from long range for the game, hitting three straight at one point midway through the half to erase a USC lead.
The Trojans' first 12 opponents made just 29 percent of their 3-pointers.
"We were down throughout the game and right when you get in reach there's another 3," Mayo said.
"It happened time and time again. ... Any time as a team you give up 92 points it's going to be tough to win on the road. They shot well from the arc but we have to communicate better on defense."
ARIZONA STATE 62, OREGON 54, at Tempe, Ariz. -- The Sun Devils (11-2) went on a 13-2 run late in the second half to notch their first conference-opening win since 2003 and only the program's fourth victory in a Pac-10 opener in the last 20 years.
FRESNO STATE 61, LOUISIANA TECH 44, at Ruston, La. -- Eddie Miller scored a game-high 17 points as Fresno State handily defeated Louisiana Tech in a Western Athletic Conference opener.
Top 25 Men
Jeff Robinson scored 20 points to lead No. 2 Memphis to a 102-58 victory over visiting Siena. ... Dominic James scored 21 points to help No. 10 Marquette beat visiting Providence 96-67 in a Big East opener. ... Shan Foster had 24 points and five rebounds, and No. 15 Vanderbilt remained undefeated by knocking off visiting Rice 76-58. ... Draelon Burns scored 20 points for host DePaul, which upset No. 17 Villanova 84-76.
Top 25 Women
Tina Charles had 19 points and 11 rebounds to help guide top-ranked Connecticut to an 88-38 win over host Villanova in the Big East opener for both teams. ... Crystal Langhorne had 15 points and 10 rebounds, leading No. 5 Maryland to its seventh win in a row, 83-49 over host Wake Forest in an Atlantic Coast Conference opener. ... Quianna Chaney scored 18 of her career-high 27 points in the first half to lead No. 11 LSU to a 73-61 victory over host Florida State. ... Chante Black was 7 for 7 while scoring 17 points for No. 12 Duke, which beat visiting North Carolina Central 82-29. ... Morenike Atunrase scored 22 points to help No. 13 Texas A&M cruise past visiting Stephen F. Austin 84-53. ... Lisa Steele made a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining to give No. 20 George Washington a 68-66 win over host Auburn. ... Freshman center Jantel Lavender scored 14 points and had a game-high 12 rebounds to lead No. 21 Ohio State past Michigan 66-42. ... Hanna Zavecz hit a jumper at the buzzer, and No. 22 Wyoming overcame terrible shooting (34.7 percent) for a 53-51 victory over host San Francisco.