HONOLULU (AP)—Rory O’Neil hit the game-winning 3-pointer with five seconds left as Southern California defeated Alabama-Birmingham 81-78 in the semifinals of the Rainbow Classic on Wednesday evening.
With time running down on the shot clock, Gabriel Pruitt passed the ball to O’Neil at the top left corner and his basket fell through the net as the shot clock expired. A last second shot by UAB fell short.
Pruitt scored 15 points, Lodrick Stewart 14, and O’Neil and Nick Young had 13 apiece to lead USC (6-3). Donell Taylor scored 19 points to lead UAB (6-3), while twin brother Ronell Taylor and Demario Eddins added 11 apiece.
UAB rallied from a 13-point deficit late in the second half behind a 20-5 run. Eddins’ basket tied the score at 73 with 3:36 remaining, and the Blazers took a 75-73 lead, their first lead since the 4:08 mark in the first half, on a layup by Marques Lewis with 2:40 remaining.
The score was tied twice after that, the last at 78-all on Ronell Taylor’s free throw with 40 seconds remaining.