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Instead, the game was going according to USC’s NCAA tournament schedule: Early deficit, a halftime awakening and, at least until Sunday, a win.
It held until Lecomte launched a three-pointer with four minutes and 39 seconds left from the top of the key. USC was leading. It would not lead again. The three-pointer went in. He was fouled, and he made the free throw too. Then he ripped away a steal from Jordan McLaughlin, made another pair of free throws and a layup on the next possession.
USC had flirted with collapse in its first two tournament games. In each, down big, it did what it has done so many times this season: Woke up, tightened its defense and rallied furiously. The Trojans won 13 times this season after falling behind by double-digits, exactly half its win total.
Third-seeded Baylor and Lecomte smashed the formula to defeat No. 11 USC, 82-78, denying the Trojans of their first regional semifinal appearance since 2007.