Character Builder - USC vs. Oregon

For the most part USC did what they needed to do against The Ducks last weekend in Eugene. They led for most if not all of the game, excluding the game tying lay-up at the end of regulation. Once the got to overtime the shot the lights out going 5-for-5 on 3-point attempts.

They had their issues like leaving a guy open when The Ducks went into their rotation allowing for an easy 3-point shot but they didn't turn the ball over as much as they have in past games. Mayo had ZERO turnovers.

It was not a great feeling to see SC lose a 9-point lead in the final 1:40. The Ducks found a way to shoot 3-pointers and hope that SC would falter at the foul line. That is exactly how it played out but the play that really burned me was the tying lay-up at the end of regulation. SC got burned when they were fooled by the Ducks rotation and they made the easy lay-up. All that hard work seemed for naught until SC got into overtime.

[E]nter Angelo Johnson and Keith Wilkinson.

USC exited shortly thereafter with an unlikely 95-86 overtime victory over Oregon that was made possible in large part by the contributions of the reserves.

Wilkinson, averaging only 1.6 points and 11.8 minutes in Pac-10 games, made a three-point basket from the wing to give the Trojans an 80-74 lead in overtime.

The junior forward finished with four points, two rebounds, one block and one steal in 22 minutes.

Johnson followed several possessions later by finding Daniel Hackett open in the corner for a three-pointer that gave USC an 88-82 advantage.

And Johnson's three-pointer from the corner with 23 seconds left extended the Trojans' cushion to 92-84 and sealed USC's third consecutive road sweep of the Oregon schools, a feat that hasn't been achieved since 1966-68.

With Mayo and Hackett both suffering from Cramps and with both Gibson and Jefferson having fouled out SC had no choice but to either dig down deep or fold altogether. They chose the former.

This is how teams come together, we saw it against ucla and we saw it again against Oregon. SC has the hot hand right now but they need to continue to the little things that add up to wins. Jefferson only scoring 4 points and being in foul trouble all night really put a lot of pressure on the rest of the team. Some of Jefferson's fouls were poor calls like the his last one I'm not sure what the refs saw there, regardless sometimes that will happen and SC found a way to over come it and come away with the win.

Dwight Lewis was one of those who picked up the slack and really paid off. He had a less than stellar game offensively against Oregon State but he really made the shots that SC needed to make in their win against the Ducks.

Hackett really kept things together with one of his best nights this season as he had a career high 26 points with 11 of 15 from the line to go along with 6 of 8 from the field.

So now we face the Arizona schools, lets hope SC can keep the momentum going.

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