March 19, 2017
The Trojans NCAA tournament run came to an end on Sunday night against Baylor, after losing 82-78 in the round of 32.
Johnathan Motley had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and King McClure added 17, as the Bears advanced to the Sweet 16 to play South Carolina.
Chimezie Metu scored 28 points and Bennie Boatwright had 16, as the Trojans bid to make their first Sweet 16 since 2007 fell short.
A four-point play from Manu Lecompte put Baylor up 69-67, and was his first points of the game. He then scored 8 points in 45 seconds to give the Bears a 73-67 lead. Lecompte would finish the game with 12 points, and all of them coming in the final five minutes.
Metu summed it up nicely. “Lecomte,” forward Chimezie Metu said. “Or whatever his name is.” “He kind of took over in the last couple minutes,”
USC had won 13 games after trailing by double figures. They nearly did it again. The Trojans scored 10 points unanswered in a run that started the end of the first half and the start of the second. 1:16 into the second half, the score was tied.
“This was a game that was there for the taking if we would have executed down the stretch,” USC Coach Andy Enfield said.
“I actually joked with Andy,” Baylor Coach Scott Drew said. “I said, ‘Do you want to be up at halftime?’ He said, ‘No, no, we like being down.’”
However, it was Lecomte who made the big plays in the final five minutes to help Baylor avoid the upset.
USC can’t be too disappointed with how their season turned out despite the loss. The Trojans lost quite a bit of talent after last season, yet Enfield led the team to an unexpected run in the NCAA tournament.