NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jordan McLaughlin scored a career-high 35 points, and 10th-ranked Southern California 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.
USC: Boatwright, the Trojans’ leading scorer (20.5 points per game), didn’t score until 3:09 left in the first half. He fouled out with 1:16 left with 14 points. … The only area where the Trojans made Vandy pay was off turnovers, converting 18 turnovers into 20 points. … McLaughlin’s five 3s matched his career high.
Vanderbilt: Rebounding was supposed to be the Commodores’ biggest issue with center Luke Kornet gone. Against the Trojans, the Commodores dominated the boards with a 38-28 edge.
The Trojans notched an impressive road win early in the season, which should only help.
USC: Host Lehigh on Wednesday night.
Vanderbilt: Play Virginia Thursday in the NIT Season Tip-off in New York.
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