USC stuns Oregon with alley-oop layup in final second

In a Pac-12 showdown with huge conference and NCAA Tournament implications, an alley-oop layup by Chimezie Metu in the game’s final second helped USC defeat Oregon 72-70 on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

USC improved to 18-9 overall and 9-5 in Pac-12 play with the win, while Oregon dropped to 17-9 and 7-6 respectively.

Here’s a look at the last-second bucket from Metu with the assist from Jordan McLaughlin:

And here’s a look at the final stats from the game from ESPN:

Observations

McLaughlin comes up big: In true playmaker fashion, USC point guard Jordan McLaughlin came through in the clutch on Thursday night with a selfless play. He finished Thursday’s win with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting and 11 assists for a double-double. McLaughlin is the Trojans’ heart and soul, and it’s his leadership that will keep USC’s NCAA Tournament chances alive.

Oregon’s offense went cold late: In the final three minutes of the game, Oregon only scored two points — Troy Brown’s game-tying layup on the game’s penultimate possession. The Ducks started the second half scorching hot, hitting their first nine field goal attempts. But with the game — and perhaps their NCAA Tournament hopes — on the line, a youthful Oregon offense floundered.

Metu was a force: In addition to McLaughlin’s playmaking, Metu was consistent all night long. While Jordan Mathews led USC in scoring with 20 points, Metu added 18 to go along with 10 rebounds for his own double-double. Metu set the tone early, scoring nine of USC’s first 21 points. That spaced out the floor and allowed every USC player to create opportunities offensively.

Bennie Boatwright is hurt again: USC’s big man left the game early with an apparent knee injury.

The Number: 10

USC and Oregon combined for just 10 bench points on Thursday night. Depth is often a problem with bubble teams, which the Ducks and Trojans both are. While USC scored a huge win over the Ducks, the Trojans have to find one additional force off the bench to rely on consistently in order to bolster its resume.

What’s Next for Oregon, USC Basketball

Oregon stays in Los Angeles on Saturday with a matchup against UCLA. That game will be televised at 7:15 p.m. PT on ESPN.

As for USC, it faces Oregon State at home on Saturday at 8 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 1.

The post USC stuns Oregon with alley-oop layup in final second appeared first on Diehards.

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