February 26th, 2017
The USC men’s hoops team looked like they had this one in the bag, but Arizona State shocked the Trojans in the final 30 seconds. The Sun Devils defeated the Trojans 83-82 on Sunday in Tempe.
The Sun Devils rallied from 6 points down in the final 30 seconds, capped off by Tra Holders two free throws with 6.9 seconds left to play.
Trailing 82-76, Holder made a layup with 28 seconds left. USC’s Elijah Stewart missed the front end of a one-and-one and Kodi Justice followed with a 3-pointer to cut the Trojan lead to 82-71 with just 14 seconds left.
Then the improbable happened. Bennie Boatwright turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, which resulted in Holder driving the lane and getting fouled. He made two free throws, and just like that the Sun Devils were up 83-82. Boatwright had one final chance to win it, but his 3-pointer missed at the buzzer.
USC Coach Andy Enfield wasn’t as concerned with the final play. “That play shouldn’t have determined the game. We missed open shots, turned the ball over,” He said. “We were up eight and just threw it to the other team, we missed a front-end of a one-on-one, we missed a right-hand layup and we missed another free-throw.”
Justice scored a career-high 22 points, including 6 three-pointers. Boatwright led the way for USC with 22 points of his own, but it wasn’t enough.
The Trojans lost their fourth in a row, and fell to 8-8 in Pac 12 play. USC will try to snap out of their slump next week against the Washington schools, before traveling to Vegas for the Pac 12 Tournament.