Sooners Triumph over No. 25 Trojans
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trae Young had 29 points and nine assists and Oklahoma edged No. 25 Southern California 85-83 on Friday night in the Hall of Fame Basketball Classic tripleheader.
Young, a freshman who leads the nation in scoring, topped 28 points for the sixth straight game.
Christian James added 19 points, tying his career-high with five 3-pointers, and Brady Manek had 15 points for the Sooners (7-1), who won their fifth in a row.
Elijah Stewart led five players in double figures with 23 points for the Trojans (4-3), who never led in losing their third straight. Chimezie Metu had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
After trailing by 18 early in the second half, the Trojans made things interesting in the final minute when the Sooners faltered at the free throw line.
Oklahoma missed its last four free throw attempts, including two by Young.
Jordan McLaughlin, who finished with 20 points and nine assists, scored five in a row to get the Trojans to 85-83. But his potential game-winning 3-point attempt from midcourt missed at the buzzer.
Oklahoma made 15 3-pointers, tying its season high set against Ball State. The Sooners began both halves with a barrage of 3s. Five of their first six baskets to start the second half were from long range and that helped them extend their lead to 65-50.
The Sooners came out firing, hitting three quick 3-pointers to start the game. They kept it up and moved out to a 20-10 lead, making 3-pointers on six of their first seven baskets.
USC closed within two before Oklahoma pushed its lead to 13 points. Young scored seven of the Sooners' last nine points of the half to send them into the break leading 48-36.
Oklahoma continues rolling behind its prolific offensive output. The Sooners have scored at least 82 points in all seven of their wins and they came in averaging 94.4 points, second-best in the nation. The win should lift them into the Top 25 next week.
After being ranked No. 10 and winning four straight to open the season, USC is on a downward slide. The loss will drop the Trojans out of the Top 25 with just over two weeks left until they begin Pac-12 play.
The Sooners continue a challenging portion of their non-conference slate when they head to Wichita, Kan., to face No. 6/6 Wichita State on Saturday, Dec. 16. The 3 p.m. contest will be played in Wichita’s downtown arena, INTRUST Bank Arena, and air on ESPN2.