Trojans Down Gaels In Overtime

Dec. 6, 2003

USC rallied from five points down with less than half a minute to play to force overtime and hung on in the extra period to defeat host St. Mary's, 84-83, on Saturday night (Dec. 6) in Moraga, Calif.

St. Mary's had chances to win the game in the final moments of regulation and overtime, but failed both times. St. Mary's guard E.J. Rowland committed a turnover at the end of regulation as he drove to the basket. Then, forward Tyler Herr, with time running out in overtime and the Gaels down one, misfired on a game-winning three-point attempt.

In regulation, the Gaels (4-3) went up by five points, 77-72, with 26 seconds left on two free throws from Jonathan Sanders.

But senior guard Desmon Farmer, who led USC (2-2) with 19 points, came down and hit a three-pointer with 16 seconds to go. The Trojans then fouled Rowland, who missed two free throws a second later, giving USC a chance to tie.

The Trojans put the opportunity to good use as junior guard Errick Craven drove the lane to score with eight ticks left to send the game into overtime, tied at 77-77.

USC went up by two at 83-81 in overtime on a Farmer jumper with 2:10 to play. Rowland cut the lead in half after making 1-of-2 free throws with 1:18 to go only to see Craven do the same to give USC an 84-82 lead with 1:02 left.

Rowland again made 1-of-2 foul shots to get the Gaels to within 84-83 with 46 seconds left. The Gaels got their chance to win after Craven missed a jumper with 12 seconds left, but couldn't make the Trojans pay.

Junior guard Derrick Craven made 7-of-7 shots en route to 16 points, the second-highest total of his career, and junior forward Jeff McMillan posted his second consecutive double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The game was USC's second consecutive overtime affair. The Trojans fell to UNLV earlier in the week on Dec. 3 after losing all of a seven-point lead with 1:07 to go in regulation against the Rebels.

The Trojans pulled the same act against the Gaels, who led by as many as 10 points in the second half and still led by seven with a little more then three minutes left.

USC made 50.0% of its field goals and outrebounded St. Mary's, 42-40. Freshman Lodrick Stewart finished with 13 points and three steals off the bench.

The Trojans only led one time before overtime and that was at 13-12 early in the first half. The Gaels, led by Daniel Kickert's 24 points, were up by as many as 12 points in the first half before going into the halftime break ahead 44-36.

USC last played back-to-back overtime games during the 1997-98 season.

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