USC overrun by Army late in second half and loses in overtime, 85-77

USC overrun by Army late in second half and loses in overtime, 85-77
USC guard Jordan McLaughlin, leading a fast break against Drexel, scored 24 points in a loss to Army on Saturday night. (Mic Smith / Associated Press)

Based simply on history, USC's basketball team figured to have an edge against Army on Saturday night.

The Black Knights arrived at Galen Center with a dismal 1-11 all-time record against teams currently in the Pac-12 Conference.


But those opponents never included USC — this was the first time the Trojans had met Army on the basketball court.

And Army paid no heed to history as the Black Knights defeated USC, 85-77, in overtime after the Trojans blew a nine-point lead in the second half.

The loss snapped USC's streak of four consecutive wins and dropped its record to 6-4. Army improved to 7-2.

"You have to execute down the stretch and finish the game, we did not do that," USC Coach Andy Enfield said. "Army deserves the credit, they outplayed us, especially down the stretch. It's hard to take a loss like that when you have so many chances."

Army's leading scorer, Kyle Wilson, again led the Black Knights with 30 points, his 13th consecutive game with double-digit scoring dating to least season. The junior forward entered the game averaging 22 points per game.

Freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin led USC with 24 points and Katin Reinhardt scored 17.

But the Trojans shot only 40.3% (29 for 72) from the field, and Enfield was displeased with the poor accuracy.

"Some of our better shooters are missing under pressure and they have to get better at that," he said. "I'm not going to make excuses for them."

After trailing 36-33 at halftime, USC opened the second half with an 8-0 run to take a 41-36 lead.

The Trojans widened to lead to nine points, 63-54, with just over five minutes left in the second half.

But USC's shooting went cold and Army stormed back, starting with a Wilson layup with 4:06 remaining.

The Black Knights' Larry Toomey sank a three-point shot to cut USC's lead to two points with one minute left, then Wilson made another layup to tie the score at 65.

As the final seconds wound down, Nikola Jovanovic had a chance to win the game for USC but his short jump shot missed and the teams went to a five-minute overtime period.

Army quickly seized the momentum in overtime and when Dylan Cox made a layup to give the Black Knights a 76-69 lead with 1:09 to play, it all but ended USC's chances.


McLaughlin, who entered the game as USC's leading scorer with 12.9 points per game, sank a three-point shot to cut Army's lead to 78-74 with 40 seconds left, but it was too little too late.

Army shot 42.9% (30 for 70), with Wilson making 10 of 24 attempts.

The Black Knights built their three-point halftime lead on the strength of freshman forward Luke Morrison's 11 points on four-for-five shooting.

No Trojan scored in double digits in the first half; Jovanovic led USC with eight points. He finished with 14.

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