Mayo scores 21 points, USC beats Miami of Ohio in Anaheim Classic
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—O.J. Mayo made two free throws after being intentionally fouled with 3.3 seconds remaining and Southern California escaped with a 57-53 victory over Miami of Ohio in the Anaheim Classic on Friday night.
Mayo finished with 21 points after playing all 40 minutes. The star freshman wasn’t perfect, though. He missed a 3-pointer and had a big turnover on a bad pass before sinking the free throws to seal the win in front of a crowd loaded with NBA scouts.
Carl Richburg missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left for Miami.
Daniel Hackett added 11 points for the Trojans, who shot 50 percent from the floor.
The Trojans (4-1) advanced to Sunday’s championship game against No. 19 Southern Illinois, which beat Mississippi State 63-49. The teams take Saturday off.
The RedHawks (2-1) will play the Bulldogs in Sunday’s third-place game. The loss prevented Miami from its first 3-0 start since 1998-99.
Tim Pollitz scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half for Miami, which led by six early in the second half before the game turned into a back-and-forth contest. Michael Bramos added 12 points a night after scoring a career-high 28.
The game was tied four times over the final 13 minutes, with neither team leading by more than four points. The Trojans clamped down on Pollitz, who made his last basket a 3-pointer with about five minutes left.
The Trojans outscored Miami 16-8 over that span, with Mayo getting nine and Hackett four.
The RedHawks led most of the first half when they shot 56 percent and controlled the boards, 14-9. Their biggest lead was seven points near the end of the half, which Mayo cut to 33-29 on a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Pete Carroll arrived during a timeout in the first half and USC fans chanted the football coach’s name as he waved.