The USC Trojans are a young team in their third year of the Andy Enfield regime but they are off to one of their best starts this century and hung tough with the 7th-ranked team in the nation. The Trojans held a double digit lead in the second half but the Wildcats made a run late to take the game (eventually) into four overtime periods. It would have been easy for the Trojans to become discouraged after blowing a huge lead but USC was determined and continued to fight.
The story of the first two overtime periods was one of missed opportunities and second chances. Both teams had multiple opportunities to close the game out but the other team would not be denied. That would continue to be the theme in the third overtime with 9 seconds left in the third overtime USC held a 2-point lead 95-93 when the Wildcats hit a clutch bank shot to tie the game. Enfield called time out on the ensuing Trojan possession Jordan McLaughlin missed the potential game winner forcing the game into a fourth overtime period.
In the fourth overtime period fatigue was a major concern. The USC players were actually given apple sauce for nutritional support after 55 minutes of basketball. Both teams once again exchanged baskets as both teams cross the 100 mark with surprisingly no one fouling out. The game was tied at 101 with 22.3 seconds left as Elijah Stewart was fouled. Stewart nailed both clutch free throws giving the Trojans a 103-101 lead. Arizona got the ball back but could not get a desperation three pointer to fall.
The USC Trojans knock off the 7th-ranked Arizona Wildcats in a quadruple overtime classic!
There are still plenty of things that need to be corrected but the Trojans improve to 14-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
What a time to be a Trojan. #FightOn #ItTakesATeam pic.twitter.com/GYZtwJXhnM— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) January 10, 2016