USC outlasts Oregon 70-69 behind Drew Peterson’s late-game heroics
The game billed as the headliner of the day had stiff competition, but Oregon-USC lived up to the hype. The Ducks and the 16th-ranked Trojans were both playing with stakes. USC wants to improve its seed line in the NCAA Tournament and ensure it avoids Arizona’s side of the bracket at the conference tournament. Oregon just wants to keep its tourney hopes from flat-lining.
Fitting that in front of a packed Matthew Knight Arena, it came down to the very end.
USC’s big-shot-maker buried his look when it mattered. Oregon’s couldn’t. That was the difference in a 70-69 win for the Trojans.
Drew Peterson delivered. With 14 seconds to play and USC down 69-67 following a 3-pointer from UO’s Quincy Guerrier, the Trojan guard splashed a wing triple that proved to be the game-winner. Peterson finished with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-17 shooting.
But with 14 seconds still on the clock, Oregon had more than enough time to draw up something to try and get a decent look at a game-winner of its own.
First, it was guard Jacob Young with a hesi-crossover from right to left at the top of the key that created just enough of a lane for him to attack the basket. A bit of daylight closed fast, though, as two Trojan defenders met him at the rim and swatted the ball out of bounds.
Oregon’s next attack was again from Young, this time triggered from the corner. As he drove, the ball was poked away from behind and into the hands of Oregon’s Will Richardson. His drive was met again at the rim by tremendous individual defense from the Trojans, and Richardson’s shot fell harmlessly short as the buzzer sounded.
While Peterson—with help from Isaiah Mobley and his 17 points—carried the Trojans, Richardson couldn’t buy a bucket. The Ducks’ leading scorer at over 15 a game on the season was held to just two points on 0-of-8 shooting. Richardson was able to supply eight assists, but he missed all four of his triples.
As a team, Oregon shot just 39% from the field. Turnovers weren’t an issue and Oregon did fairly well to get to the line, it just needed one more shot to fall at the end.
Guerrier led the way for the Ducks with 15 points. De’Vion Harmon had 13, N’Faly Dante had 12, Young added 11, and Eric Williams Jr. put in 10.
Both sides exchanged lengthy runs late in the first half, with USC jumping out in front thanks to an 11-0 run before Oregon closed the half on a 15-3 run to take a one-point lead into the break, but the final 20 minutes were tight all throughout. Neither side led by more than two scores in the second half.
Oregon is in need of some serious help now, as far as its tournament chances are concerned. The Ducks (18-11, 11-7 Pac-12) likely need to enjoy a lengthy stay at the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, but with Colorado upsetting No. 2 Arizona Saturday night, the Ducks are now just a half game clear of the Buffaloes for the fourth and final first-round bye.
Oregon has two road games remaining in the regular season: against Washington next Thursday at 7 p.m. PT and then against Washington State next Saturday at 1 p.m. PT on CBS.
USC (25-4, 14-4 Pac-12) secured a program record for regular-season wins with the victory and guaranteed a top-three seed in the conference tournament field. USC plays Arizona next Tuesday, with tipoff set for 8 p.m. PT on ESPN.