Jordan McLaughlin scored a career-high 35 points, and 10th-ranked USC rallied from a 10-point deficit midway through the second half to a 93-89 overtime victory over Vanderbilt on Sunday night.
McLaughlin forced overtime by hitting his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 25.8 seconds left in regulation. He then scored the first five points of overtime as the Trojans (3-0) escaped with a victory in their first road game this season.
USC first rallied from a 14-point deficit to lead 35-34 at halftime, and the Trojans trailed 62-52 with 9:36 left. Bennie Boatwright started an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer, followed by a three-point play by McLaughlin to set up a thrilling finish and comeback.
Chimezie Metu added 23 points for the Trojans in the program’s first visit to Memorial Gym since Dec. 5, 1975. Boatwright finished with 14 before fouling out late in regulation.
Vanderbilt (2-2) had a chance to win in regulation, but Riley LaChance’s short jumper missed just before the buzzer.
Matthew Fisher-Davis led the Commodores with 31 points. LaChance finished with 19, Larry Austin Jr. had 13 and Jeff Roberson scored 10.
The Trojans never led by more than five until overtime.
The Commodores had every chance to finish off the win as they hit 12 of 14 free throws over the final 7:01 of regulation. But Fisher-Davis went cold, and they just couldn’t match McLaughlin, who kept hitting shot after shot.