May 17, 2017
The Trojans pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the NCAA tournament on Friday, defeating #11 SMU 66-65 in Tulsa.
Elijah Stewart buried a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, and the Mustang’s Shake Milton missed a floater at the buzzer, sending USC into the round of 32.
Stewart scored 22 points in the game, while Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu scored 14 apiece. Semi Ojeleye had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Sterling Brown had 17 points for SMU, which had won 16 straight coming into the game.
For the 2nd straight game USC rallied from a double digit deficit. Throughout the entire game, they had the lead for just over a minute. SMU built a lead as big as 12 points, and used a 14-3 run in the 1st half to take a 38-30 lead at halftime. After the Trojans got a pair of 3-pointers from Boatwright and Stewart, the game was tied four minutes into the 2nd half. However, SMU went on a 10-1 run, and looked like they would put the game out of reach.
Over the next 6 minutes, the Trojans would fight their way back, tying the game on a Stewart dunk with 7:33 left. It wasn’t until Boatwright’s 3-pointer with just over two minutes left that gave USC their first lead of the game.
Even after Stewart’s big 3-pointer in the final minute, the Mustangs had their chance. SMU’s Ben Moore drew a foul with 12 seconds left, and his team down by 1. However, he missed the first half of a one-and-one foul shot. Chimezie Metu was fouled after that, but missed his free throw as well, setting the stage for Milton’s final opportunity. Milton’s shot bounced off the rim and the Trojans prevailed.
USC now moves on to take on the #3 seed Baylor Bears on Sunday.