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Young, Oklahoma hang on to beat No. 25 USC
Friday, December 08, 2017
Final Score: OKLAHOMA 85, USC 83
 
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LOS ANGELES -- Trae Young scored 29 points and dished out nine assists, and Oklahoma withstood a second-half USC rally to upset the 25th-ranked Trojans 85-83 Friday in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at Staples Center.

The Sooners (7-1) appeared to be headed for a comfortable win when, with 16:41 remaining, Christian James made a 3-pointer off a Young pass to push Oklahoma ahead by 18 points.

But USC (4-3) was not ready to take its third consecutive loss without a fight. Elijah Stewart made seven 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 23 points, keeping the Trojans from falling any further behind.

A trio of baskets in the paint from Nick Rakocevic and a running hook shot by Chimezie Metu after a solid defensive stretch brought the Trojans within four points.

Jordan McLaughlin answered an and-one conversion from Oklahoma's Khadeem Lattin with a 3-pointer to again bring USC within four at 70-66 with 7:19 remaining. McLaughlin's own and-one with 11.5 seconds to go pulled the Trojans to the game's final, two-point deficit -- the closest USC had been since 9-7 at 17:54 in the first half.

USC's 17 turnovers were the Trojans' most since committing the same number Nov. 13 against North Dakota State. Giveaways led to periods of offensive stagnation for the Trojans in both halves.

On the defensive end, the Trojans never found an answer for the backcourt duo of Young and James.

James scored 19 points. He made 5 of 6 attempts from behind the 3-point arc, pacing Oklahoma on a blistering 48.4 percent shooting night deep (15 for 31) for the Sooners.

Meanwhile, Young -- the nation's leader in points per game who was also ranked third nationally in assists coming into Friday's game -- controlled the game's flow enough to keep USC at arm's distance despite the rally.

Brady Manek joined Young and James in double-figures with 15 points. McLaughlin scored 20 points, Metu netted 13 and Rakocevic and Bennie Boatwright both recorded 10 for USC.

NOTES: Oklahoma freshman G Trae Young fell one assist shy of his fourth double-double just eight games into his college career. ... Sooners junior F Bennie Boatwright has shot below 40 percent from the floor in all three of USC's losses. He went 3-for-13 Friday. ... USC, which was outrebounded in its previous two losses, beat Oklahoma on the boards, 40-31.

 
 
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