With three seconds in the game, the Beavers were down by one. Major nail biter. For a moment the Beavers were within reach. But they couldn't make it happen.
It will be a long flight for Coach Robinson tonight as he heads to DC for the Presidential Inauguration.
No matter the final score, the Beavers mounted a hard fought comeback. It didn't work in their favor. But it was a hell of a game.
Tonight, the Trojans came in with a game plan: play fast, pressure the shooters (hard) and get easy baskets. In the first half, the plan worked splendidly; Ahmad Starks maybe took two shots in those twenty minutes. The first jumper came late from Olaf Schaftenaar. As for the return of Eric Moreland, his transition back into the game was not, in fact, seamless. He did not score one point in the first half. The Trojans clocked 22 points in the paint to the Beavers 14.
In the second half. It worked. Sort of.
The Trojans turned a six point lead into fourteen in the first two minutes. The Beaver defense needed to tighten up. They needed to settle down.
Finally, they did.
The Beavers found a way to cut a 15 point deficit to 8 with 14:45 left in the game. Coach Robinson maximized a highly intelligent Joe Burton in a game where his knee issues were intensifying.
Roberto Nelson, on point all night going 9-9 from the the foul line, hit a big three to get the Beavers within 3.
With 12 minutes left, the Beavers had tied it 48-48
Devon Collier makes a 15-foot jumper to get the Beavers on the board. 2-2 early.
Devon converts a fastbreak layup, Jarmal makes a driving layup and Joe makes a hook to put the Beavs on top, 8-6.
Roberto drills a confident three putting Beavers up 11-8
But the Beavers defense was letting the Trojans get layup after layup. 14 of first 19 came in the paint
Eric Moreland checks in with 12:46 to go in the first half.
USC isn't giving Beavers any looks. Putting pressure on the shooters
Beavers lost the lead at the 11 minute mark. Down 18-15
JT Terrell rattled it down for three, extending the lead to five with 9:30 left in the half.
USC went for 8 straight, up 32-24 with 5:30 in the half.
Trojans were guarding tightly, making sure to take away the Beaver's threes.
Roberto puts a stop to the USC 8-0 run with a pair of free throws to pull the Beavs within 32-26.
Olaf makes a triple as the shot clock expires - a DEEP one - to make it 35-29 USC. Big shot by Big O.
Second half- USC got five quick ones up 41-31
Another easy layup put the Beavers down 44-31.
They Beavers found a way to cut a 15-point deficit to 8. USC up 48-40 with 14:45 to play.
With 7:45 remaining, the Beavers are only down 54-52. Suddenly, things got interesting.
Then things got really,really close. The Beavers made a huge comeback.
With 30 seconds to go they were only own 66-65. Then..Moreland let inbound pass go through his hands and Wise picked it up, layed it in. USC up 67-66...
The end was insane. Beavers lost by a point. Le Sigh...