Williams’ buzzer beater hits rim, No. 20 USC survives the Palouse

Despite the fact that the Cougars got a missed free throw and the last offensive possession of the game, No. 20 USC (8-0, 1-0) left Pullman, Wash. with a 63-61 victory over the Washington State men’s basketball team (7-2, 1-1) on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars fed their star the ball as time expired but his three pointer just missed and it sent the Trojans home the victors.

Noah Williams had his shot blocked with 6.2 left and then the Cougars were forced to foul. Morgan missed the free throw which lead to WSU quickly moving the ball down court; they got it to Williams and his three at the buzzer hit the front of the rim to hand Southern California the win.

Out of the under four media timeout both sides had empty possessions, and Tyerll Roberts cold shooting continued as he was now 0-7 on the afternoon. The Trojans finally got on the board with Morgan bucket. Williams quickly responded to tie it up; but Morgan took over the game at this point as he scored his second bucket.

Williams would not be stopped as he got a bucket to tie it with about 1:17 left in regulation. Enfield took a timeout at 1:13 with the score tied at 58.

A flop by Williams went uncalled as Drew Peterson hit a midrange jumper. TJ Bamba drained a three to give WSU the lead back with 31.4 left on the clock; the Trojans took their final timeout. Dishon Jackson fouled Chevez Goodwin as he made a dunk, the free throw was hit to make USC up 63-61 with 16 seconds left.


At the star of the second half, the Trojans quickly tied it up. That was followed up by a missed three point attempt by Williams; on Southern California’s next response was a hit layup and one to give the Trojans a three point lead at 35-32. Another turnover for Washington State was negated by a USC turnover. Robert missed a jumper which led to a relatively easy USC bucket and a timeout for Kyle Smith with his squad down by five.

Roberts missed a jumper as he was 0-4 throughout the game at that point. USC’s run was extended to 9-0 with an Anderson jump shot from near the stripe. Ellis’ third foul put the Trojan in foul trouble early on. The D2 transfers in Roberts had a three rim out; but Jackson corralled the rebound and made the second chance layup while he also drew a foul; he hit the free throw.

It didn’t take long for Southern California to tie it up as a drive down the lane led to an easy layup. The Cougs followed that up with yet another empty possession to open up the half. Mobley hit a jumper for USC; which was then followed up by a Michael Flowers three to cut the Trojans lead to three.

After a defensive stop for WSU, the Cougars were called for a foul on an offensive board. Southern California turned that turnover into a bucket to make it 43-38, Trojans.

Shots continued to not fall for WSU as they rimmed an uncontested three and then they forced a turnover on defense. Rodman tipped in a second chance after Bamba’s shot runner out. Peterson hit the second of two free throws for USC as its lead stood at four with 13 minutes left.

Flowers followed that free throw up with a long three attempt and then Mobley was just short on his. That sequence was followed up by a turnover by Rodman then a charge call against USC as both defenses reasserted themselves.


An uncontested three by Flowers cut Southern California’s lead to one. Both teams swapped buckets after that three to keep the lead at one. Peterson’s third foul came on a charge right before the under 12 media timeout.

Roberts cold shooting continued out of the timeout as he was 0-6 at this point. Fortunately for the Cougs, the Trojans missed two shots and they corralled the defensive rebound. Jakimovski drove the lane to get the Cougars back in the lead at 47-46. A pair of WSU fouls gave it five for the half; the Trojans weren’t able to score.

Bamba was called for a travel, which was WSU’s 11th turnover. Goodwin was called for a travel after Bamba clogged his lane which was the Trojans 10th turnover of the game. Both sides struggled to find holes in the others defense.

The Cougars pushed their lead back to four with a Bamba three to get their run out to 7-0 and bring Beasley back to life. A foul was called on Bamba, but Smith wanted a travel, and Southern California got a chance to run a play. That was followed up by a horrific foul call when Bamba swatted the ball out of the Trojans for his third and to get USC into the bonus.

Peterson hit the first of two free throws, and the scramble on the floor for the board as the Cougars called a timeout. Washington State got the ball and it led to back-to-back missed three point attempts. Fortunately the defense forced a poor shot that was easily recovered by WSU.

Goodwin was called for his fourth personal foul with 7:07 left to send Williams to the line. He hit both of them to get Washington State’s lead back up to five at 52-47. Peterson hit a fall back jumper with little time left on the shot clock to get his scoring into double figures


Jakimovski has the ball tipped away from as he tried to drive the lane. A missed three was the Trojans response which was then followed by a inbound save by Flowers. On the offensive side of the court, Rodman’s three hit the front rim. But Southern California had its own empty possession. Those empty possessions continued as both teams pressed to generate scoring and no one was really letting their teammates get set.

Williams drove the lane to get an easy layup and give his team a three point lead. That was quickly erased by Mobley’s first three of the game. An emphatic block by Morgan led to a Peterson turnover for USC.

At the second half’s under four media timeout, the score was tied at 54 with neither team able to separate.

The first bucket of the game came when Efe Abogidi hit a easy layup, but USC quickly tied it. Flowers hit a three to push that lead out to three and it stayed at three after he hit a jumper in response to a Trojan bucket. A missed three led to a contested three and a late whistle on Peterson.

Mouhamed Gueye scored his first bucket and all of the sudden WSU was on a 9-4 to open up the first three minutes of the game — this included all four of its first shots going in.

Peterson hit a two point jumper to cut the lead to three. And WSU missed its first two shots on the possession before Williams got the lead back up for five. It didn’t last long as Peterson drove down the lane to cut the Washington State lead to three at the under 18 media timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Cougars bricked their first shot and USC quickly turned it into a bucket in the paint. Another brick, this time by Roberts, gave the Trojans the ball back until they turned it over. A missed elbow on USC, and a whiffed rebound by the Cougs led to a Trojan missed bucket and WSU defensive rebound.


Roberts, unfortunately, turned over the Cougars next possession for their second turnover of the first half. A pair of ticky tacky fouls on Jackson and Williams (in order) gave Washington State four fouls in the half with 13:30 left in the half.

The Trojans turned it over and Jackson drew a foul as he went for the shot — USC’s fourth. Unfortunately, the sophomore only hit his first shot from the charity stripe. And Ellis was able to tie it up at 12 to cap an 8-3 run for the Trojans.

Washington State got the lead back thanks to a Jackson jumper. Williams attempted to drive on the Cougars next possession but the ball was cleanly swatted away as he went up for a shot and USC turned that turnover into a made jumper to tie the game at 14 right before the under 12.

Morgan gave Southern California its first lead at 16-14. Jackson’s attempt at a layup hit the rim, Rodman corralled the loose ball and kicked it out to Koulibaly who hit the three ball to get WSU back in the lead. After a defensive stop, Rodman hit a layup then made the and one to make the Cougar run at 6-0 with a 20-16 lead. Peterson got called for a charge (his second) and the Cougars extended the run with a Bamba jumper after he corralled a loose ball to make it 23-16 with Washington State on a 9-0 run. USC took its first timeout .

The Trojans first possession of the timeout ended in a short shot; but so did WSU’s. USC made its first shot in nearly four minutes to cut the lead down to four. But Abogidi drained a three in front of USC’s bench to make the WSU seven as the game headed unto the under eight media timeout.


Out of the timeout the Trojans drained one of their two free throws to cut the WSU lead to six. The third tie up of the half ended with the possession arrow in USC’s favor. It led to another empty possession for Southern California.

Gueye missed a long three as the scoring drought for both squads reached neared two minutes following another empty possession on both ends of the court. The drought ended when Goodwin hit a long jumper inside the arc to chip into that WSU lead.

Williams ended the drought when his first free throw rolled around the run before it fell in; he also hit the second to get the lead back up to six. A travel resulted in a USC turnover as Peterson came back in. Unfortunately that turnover resulted in a missed Gueye shot and turnover after a brilliant offensive rebound.

The Trojans and Cougars followed that up with empty possessions, this included the sixth turnover for WSU. A sequence of events that led to a loose ball recovered by USC, a missed shot and an aggressive defensive rebound ended with the possession arrow in favor of Washington State as we headed into the final media timeout of the first half.

A shot clock violation was the result of WSU’s possession out of the timeout. Southern California hit the jumper over a pair of Cougar defenders to make it 28-24 WSU. Flowers took a foul on his three point attempt by Ellis — his second — Enfield was pissed by the call and wanted a flop. The South Alabama transfer drained two of the three shots from the charity stripe to make the Cougar lead six again.

A bucket from Southern California cut the lead to four and then another Cougar turnover led to Peterson draw a foul. He hit the first, but missed the second of his free throws to make it 30-27. But that didn’t last long as a quick dunk for Gueye pushed the WSU lead back up to five.

At this point, the final 90 seconds was a track meet as Anderson drained a bucket for USC. The Cougars missed a shot on their final possessions and Southern California went for the last shot. Gueye was called for a foul with seven seconds left in the half, which stopped the clock and sent Mobley to the free throw line. Mobley hit the first of his shots, missed the second.

Flowers corralled the rebound and got the ball to Williams. Williams was unable to get the shot off before the buzzer and both teams went into the locker room with Washington State up 32-30 at the half.

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Photo Credit: USC Trojans MBB