by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES – The USC Trojans (15-3) completed the Bay Area sweep due to a thrilling 2nd half and overtime 82-78 victory over the Stanford Cardinal (15-3) at Galen Center.
USC moves into first place in the Pac-12, and owns the tiebreaker over Stanford in the standings.
With less than 30 seconds remaining in the game, Elijah Weaver knocked down a 3-pointer that tied the game. USC trailed Stanford at halftime by 20 points. However whatever speech head coach Andy Enfield gave the players responded in a big way. The Trojans opened up the second half on a 10-1 run before the Cardinal called timeout.
Terrible mistakes by the Trojans cost them opportunities to get ahead, as they trailed by five points with approximately 13.1 seconds remaining. Stanford’s Oscar da Silva’s pass was intercepted by Ethan Anderson who acted like a cornerback, gave the ball to Jonah Mathews who missed a 3-pointer. However Onyeka Okongwu knocked the ball in as USC trailed by three with 7.3 seconds remaining.
After the Stanford timeout, Mathews stole the ball and launched to Weaver who knocked down the 3-pointer to tie the game and force overtime.
Weaver also scored the driving, reverse layup that got USC the lead back up to four points with 14 seconds remaining in overtime.
“That’s what it’s all about, big-time crowd, big-time game,” Weaver said. “It’s just time to win. It’s just time to be clutch. You got to make big plays in big games.”
Weaver finished with 13 points and Jonah Mathews added 19 points and five rebounds in the win.
The Trojans now have a tough test next weekend as they face the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers on the road.