Sports

USC sinks No 6 seed SMU on Stewart 3-pointer

11th-seeded Trojans advance to meet Baylor

TULSA, Okla. - USC wouldn't go away and finally pulled off the upset of SMU.

The 11th-seeded Trojans erased multiple double-digit deficits on their way to a 66-65 victory over sixth-seeded SMU in the East Region on Friday at the BOK Center.

Trojans guard Elijah Stewart hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 37 seconds left and ultimately felled the Mustangs. SMU guard Shake Milton took a running jumper in the lane with one second left but it bounced away off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Stewart led USC (26-9) with 22 points while forwards Chimezie Metu and Bennie Boatwright each added 14.

Forward Semi Ojeleye scored 24 points to lead SMU (30-5), guard Sterling Brown added 17 and Milton had 11.

Boatwright nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc that gave USC its first lead of the contest with 2:03 left. But Milton, who had a pair of key 3-pointers late in the game, answered with a trey that put the Mustangs back in front.

That set up Stewart's game-winner that completed a resilient effort for the Trojans, who advance to play Baylor in the second round on Sunday.

SMU saw its 16-game winning streak snapped and failed in its attempt to notch its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1988.

USC opened the second half with a 10-2 surge to erase SMU's 38-30 halftime lead.

Metu threw down a dunk to tie it at 40 with 15:39 left. But SMU stopped the run on the other end when Ojeleye got inside for a layup and completed a three-point play.

SMU extended a double-digit lead in the first half when Ojeleye got to the basket for a layup, capping a 14-3 run that gave the Mustangs a 30-18 lead with 7:31 left in the first half.

USC punched back with a 10-2 run and cut SMU's lead to four when Stewart made a layup. But the Mustangs still led by eight at the break after holding USC to 39 percent shooting and outrebounding the Trojans 19-14 in the first half.

Ojeleye led SMU with 11 points and seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Stewart scored 11 in the first half to pace USC.

NOTES: USC defeated SMU earlier this season, winning 78-73 on Nov. 25 in Los Angeles. The Trojans lead their all-time series versus SMU, 5-1. ... The Mustangs' three games versus ranked opponents so far this season were all against the same team -- Cincinnati. SMU defeated the Bearcats in the AAC tournament championship game and on Feb. 25 in Dallas, and lost on Jan. 12 in Cincinnati. ... USC coach Andy Enfield is now 4-2 in the NCAA Tournament after the Trojans lost in the first round last season. Enfield led Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16 in his first NCAA Tournament appearance as a coach in 2013.


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