After the USC Trojans missed shots that would have won the game at the end of regulation and the first overtime, the Nebraska Cornhuskers scored eight consecutive points in the second overtime and held on for a 64-61 win, dropping the Trojans to 1-1.
USC center Dewayne Dedmon had a chance to win the game in regulation after Aaron Fuller wrestled for an offensive rebound, getting the Trojansa final possession with 19 seconds remaining. Maurice Jones found Dedmon alone at the free-throw line with one second on the clock, but his shot bounced off the rim.
The end of the first overtime period was just as hectic. After Jones banked in a running jumper with seven seconds remaining to give USC a 54-52 lead, Nebraska was the beneficiary of a bang-bang call just across midcourt, as Toney McCray charged into USC freshman Alexis Moore, with Moore whistled for a blocking foul. The subsequent free throws knotted the game and a long 3-point attempt from Jones rattled off the rim at the buzzer.
Jones missed another 3-point attempt at the end of the second overtime, which would have sent the game into yet another overtime period.
Jones led the Trojans with 18 points, but needed 22 shots to get there, as the sophomore is noticeably carrying the weight of the team on his shoulders. He received some offensive help from Moore, who hit three 3-pointers on his way to 11 points. But Dedmon was absent for large stretches of the game, as early foul trouble relegated him to the bench and limited him to four points and 10 rebounds.
Two games isn't a large sample size, but the Trojans need to find some offensive stability going forward. Jones will continue to serve as the focal point, but Dedmon and true freshman Byron Wesley will need to mature quickly to give USC an inside presence as well as a slashing scorer that can work off of Jones. With such a young and inexperienced roster, there are sure to be growing pains in the early going -- evidenced by Monday night and the Trojans' inability to capitalize on 19 Nebraska turnovers.
Next, USC will head south for a 7:00 p.m. game Thursday night at San Diego State. The Aztecs will be coming off a tough game at Baylor.