USC men’s basketball outlasted UC Riverside in a close 67-62 overtime win Tuesday night.
With less than a minute left in regulation, UC Riverside took a one-point lead over USC, but redshirt senior guard Isaiah White had the opportunity to reclaim the lead at the free-throw line. White missed the first free throw but tied the game with his second shot. UC Riverside took the ball down the court and put up one last shot that was blocked by freshman forward Evan Mobley, sending the game into overtime.
The Trojans dominated the overtime period with eight of their 14 points coming from junior guard Drew Peterson.
“My teammates trusted me to make the right shots,” Peterson said.
Peterson was not without some help in overtime as Mobley put up the other six points that the Trojans scored.
Mobley finished the game with a team-high of 20 points. His brother, sophomore forward Isaiah Mobley, finished with 16 points and led the team with 12 rebounds. Evan Mobley added 11 rebounds, making this the second-straight game where the brothers each had a double-double.
Although USC came out of the game with the win, the Trojans’ shooting performance left a lot to be desired. The Trojans only made 24 of 63 total shots and went 3-of-21 outside the arc. Even with the offensive struggles, USC outrebounded UCR by a margin of 47-37 and the Trojans managed to score 14 more free throws than the Highlanders.
“It was a good win given the circumstances of shooting 3-for-21 from the 3-point line,” USC head coach Andy Enfield said postgame.
Coming off a successful road trip where USC beat Arizona and Arizona State on the road for the first time since the 1984-85 season, the Trojans were looking to continue their momentum as the team returned home to face the Highlanders.
USC struggled early, shooting 1-of-6 from the field and falling behind 7-2 after the first three minutes. Soon after, the Highlanders hit a hot streak and scored 16 unanswered points to increase their lead to double digits. This marked the second straight game where the Trojans allowed their opponent to achieve a 16-0 run.
USC came within two points of UC Riverside moments before halftime, but redshirt senior guard Dominick Pickett made a 3-point buzzer-beater to end the half on a high note for the Highlanders.
In their 27-point first half, USC shot only 34% from the field and made two of 10 3-point shots. UC Riverside’s success came from its impressive 3-point shooting, having made six of 13 shots from beyond the arc.
USC came into the second half on a 9-0 run but was immediately held in check when UC Riverside followed with a 6-0 run of its own.
The Trojans will host Washington Huskies at the Galen Center on Thursday.