USC can’t hold off Pirates

staff and wire reports

Jeremy Hazell scored 17 points and Eugene Harvey made a free throw with five seconds remaining to help Seton Hall upend No. 19 USC, 63-61, in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament Thursday night.

After Harvey missed his second free throw, USC’s Daniel Hackett missed a three-pointer at the buzzer to secure the win for Seton Hall

Harvey scored 16 and had a team-high five assists for the Pirates (3-0), who overcame a 43-28 halftime deficit to pull off the upset. John Garcia notched a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. It was his second double-double of the season.


Taj Gibson led the Trojans (2-1) with 19 points and 18 rebounds, and Dwight Lewis chipped in 12. Donte Smith made a game-high three three-pointers in the loss.

With the score tied, 17-17, the Trojans went on a 12-1 run that helped give them a comfortable cushion at the half. The Pirates came out of the gate on a similar run in the second, scoring 10 points before the Trojans got their first bucket of the period.

The teams traded baskets the rest of the way before Hazell’s dunk and subsequent three-pointer with less than two minutes to play put Seton Hall ahead for good.

The Pirates and the Trojans each shot 41% from the field for the game, but the Seton Hall defense stepped up in the second half, holding USC to 18 points.

-- Associated Press

Two sign letters of intent

Noel Johnson, a guard/forward from Fayetteville, Ga., and Derrick Williams, a forward from La Mirada, signed national letters of intent to play basketball next season at USC, the school announced.

Coach Tim Floyd said in a statement that the Trojans could have as many as two more signees in the spring.

Johnson, 6 feet 7, is the son of former NBA player Lynbert “Cheese” Johnson.

He averaged 23.8 points and 8.4 rebounds as a junior at Fayette County High.

Floyd said Johnson was “one of the most versatile and sound players fundamentally we have brought into the program.”

The 6-8 Williams averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds as a junior at La Mirada High.

Floyd said that Williams could play inside but that he also has a good mid-range game and an “ability out to the three-point line.”

-- Gary Klein