No. 24 USC holds off Utah 91-85 in double overtime at Pac-12


LAS VEGAS — Evan Mobley scored 13 of his 26 points in the two overtimes and No. 24 Southern California outlasted scrappy Utah 91-85 in the Pac-12 quarterfinals Thursday night.

The second-seeded Trojans (22-6) had a hard time shaking the seventh-seeded Utes in a game filled with methodical possessions.

Utah (12-13) hung around after trailing by 10 midway through the second half and rallied to tie the game on Ian Martinez’s two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in regulation. The Utes tied it again in the first overtime on Alfonzo Plummer’s 3-pointer with 24 seconds left.

Mobley had five points in the first overtime and eight more in the second to send the Trojans in to Friday’s semifinals against the California-Colorado winner.

Timmy Allen had 20 points and Martinez 16 to lead the Utes, who held on to beat Washington 98-95 in the Pac-12 quarterfinals,

USC won the teams’ first meeting by holding Utah to 46 points, but the Utes won by 10 at home by shutting the Trojans down.

USC had the defensive edge in the first go-around despite Evan Mobley being limited to seven first-half minutes due to foul trouble.

The Trojans made it hard on the Utes from the start and seemed to get better without the Pac-12′s defensive player of the year, holding Utah without a field goal for nearly 6 1/2 minutes.

The Utes still managed pull to 34-29 at halftime.

USC shot well in the first half after a slow start and kept it going to begin the second, hitting 6 of its first 11 shots to push the lead to 51-41.

The Utes wouldn’t let the Trojans pull away, fighting back every time they tried to run away with it.

Utah cut USC’s lead to three on Alfonzo Plummer’s pull-up jumper with 4 1/2 minutes left and again on a Plummer runner with just under 2 minutes left to help the Utes force overtime.


Utah kept hanging around to give itself a shot, but didn’t have the gas to finish it off after playing the day before.

USC had all it could handle from the tournament’s No. 7 seed and will have to recover quickly with the semifinals less than 24 hours away.


USC moves on to face Cal-Colorado winner in Friday’s semifinals.

Utah, with an NET ranking of 88, could be a longshot to get an NIT bid.

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