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USC Men's Basketball Falls To Miami In NCAA Tournament First Round, 68-66, Despite Second-Half Rally

Mar 18, 2022

Drew Peterson scored 17 points and Reese Dixon-Waters posted a career-high 16, but it wasn't enough as 7-seed USC men's basketball fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to 10-seed Miami (Fla.), 68-66, in Greenville, S.C., on Friday.

Isaiah Mobley scored 11 points — all in the second half — with eight assists. Chevez Goodwin added 10 points and six rebounds.

The Trojans finished the 2021-22 campaign with a 26-8 (14-6 Pac-12) record.

USC's 26 wins this season tied for the most in school history (the 2016-17 team finished 26-10). USC also set the team record for most wins in a regular season (25).

USC has won a school-record 73 games over the last three seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021 and 26 in 2022). The previous school record for wins in three consecutive seasons was 71 (2016-18). The three consecutive seasons of 20+ wins also equal the school record for most consecutive 20-win seasons set from 2016-18.

The Trojans held Miami to 42.9% shooting and allowed just one 3-pointer on 14 attempts, but poor first half shooting and 18 overall turnovers hampered USC from winning.

USC fell behind in the first half by committing 12 turnovers and going on a 5:30 scoring drought. The Trojans shot just 8-of-27 in the opening period and conceded a 18-6 run in the final minutes of the half to give Miami an 11-point lead into intermission.

Despite trailing by 13 points late in the first half, the Trojans rallied out of halftime and battled with the Hurricanes (24-10, 14-5 ACC) for the entire second half. Dixon-Waters scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and led a 12-0 run that momentarily gave the Trojans the lead at the 15:32 mark.

Both teams wrestled for the lead but Miami pulled away late with six answered points, extending the Hurricane lead to seven points with 35 seconds remaining.

Peterson got hot in the final minute by hitting a 3-pointer, forcing an out-of-bounds turnover and making another trey to cut the lead to one point.

The Trojans fouled Sam Waardenburg, who split his free throw attempts. Peterson made another layup that tied the game at 66 with 14 seconds remaining.

On Miami's final possession, Ethan Anderson fouled Charlie Moore, who sank both of his free throws that proved to be the game-winners. Peterson's halfcourt heave before the buzzer rimmed out, knocking the Trojans out of the NCAA Tournament.

Isaiah Wong finished with 22 points but fouled out with 2:07 left in the game.