Colorado shocks USC in double OT, 92-89, after erasing a 16-point deficit

The Buffaloes stage a spectacular comeback to defeat the Trojans after being down by 16 points, winning in double overtime 92-89.

LOS ANGELES — The Trojans successfully defeated the Utes on Thursday and attempted to win their third consecutive home game this season. The Colorado Buffaloes, with a record of 16-9 entering Saturday’s game, they lost their previous game to UCLA by a score of 64-60. Coach Enfield made several changes to the lineup in the last game, but has decided to stick with the same starters against the Buffaloes after finding a winning combination.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

A surprising first half for USC

In the previous game against the Utes, Kobe Johnson only scored two points in the second half. However, he seems to have regained his form, as he has scored seven points early on in the game against Colorado. Johnson had been struggling in recent weeks, which resulted in him being benched for three games before being moved back into the starting lineup.

Isaiah Collier has returned to the team after an injury, and this is his fourth game back. Since his return, Collier’s leadership has elevated his teammates’ performances. The team had been missing Collier’s leadership for the past month. During the game against Colorado, Collier’s block on Eddie Lampkin’s shot late in the first half was a pivotal moment that got the Galen Center crowd going.

During the recent game, Oziyah Sellers played earlier than usual, even though he only played in the final seconds of Thursday’s win over the Utes. Sellers had a few noteworthy games, demonstrating his capabilities whenever given the chance. It is expected that he will be a clear option for the team next season, as he continues to develop under Coach Enfield. Another player who is currently developing is James, who failed to score in the first half after attempting only one shot. Enfield did not call a play for James, but he defended him when he did not receive a foul call on a fast break. Enfield let the official know how he felt after the play.

The Trojans offense was on fire, shooting 53.8% from three-point range and 51.6% from the field. USC’s defense only allowed two made three-pointers by the Buffaloes, giving them a 39-33 lead at halftime. Johnson led the team with 12 points and collected three steals, while Ellis scored 11 points and Collier added 10 points and 4 assists in the first half. Despite being 2.5 point underdogs, USC led by as much as 9 points.

The Trojans relied on their defense with Joshua Morgan standing out by blocking three shots in just ten minutes of the first half. However, the team struggled with rebounding as they were outrebounded 19-8 in the first half. While DJ Rodman had been a key player for the Trojans’ defense, he didn’t perform as well as he would have liked in the first half, with only two points, one rebound and one assist. The Trojans did manage to force nine turnovers and scored eight fast-break points.

Cody Williams led the charge for Colorado with ten points, while Tristan Da Silva contributed six points, five rebounds, and two assists on 2 of 7 from the field. KJ Simpson scored six points, four rebounds, and one assist in the first half. Colorado dominated in the paint, scoring 20 of their 33 points below the basket, thanks to their six offensive rebounds.

Colorado climbs back up after erasing a 16-point lead forcing OT

During the game, the Trojans led by six points after the first half. In the early part of the second half, they expanded their lead by 14 points. Collier was unstoppable at the beginning of the second half, scoring 8 quick points. Ellis also had a great night, with excellent shooting throughout the game, helping the Trojans take control. There was a memorable moment in the second half when Collier led a fast break and lobbed the ball to James, who was fouled as he tipped it in, much to the delight of the Galen Center crowd. It was James’ first basket of the game, and it gave his team a 65-49 lead with 9:52 to go.

James is an excellent basketball player and has a high basketball IQ, despite being a freshman. Coach Enfield believes that James has the potential to become an even better player, and he continues to work on improving his game. During the second half, it also became apparent that Ellis and Johnson had come out of their slump. The Trojans started to look more relaxed on the court, particularly towards the end of the game when Simpson helped to trim the lead to 70-69 with just under two minutes remaining.

The Trojans were ahead for most of the game, but they were struggling with rebounds. Rodman had a hard time scoring, and he was fouled late in the game while attempting a three from the corner. He made two out of three free throws, giving the Trojans a 72-69 lead with 1:28 left on the clock. Da Silva then scored a layup, cutting the lead to 72-71. Collier had a great steal and was fouled on a fast break, but he missed one of two free throws. With 11 seconds remaining, Collier gave the Trojans a 73-71 lead. Simpson drove to the basket and made a great pass to O’Brien for the slam dunk, tying the game at 73. James checked the ball in with no timeouts remaining, giving Johnson an opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, but he missed the three-pointer. USC’s largest lead was by 16 points, but they let it slip away as they headed into overtime.

In the overtime period of the game, the Trojans did not play very well, but Collier had a chance to tie the game by scoring a layup, which forced a double overtime. Simpson performed amazingly well in this game, as he scored a three-pointer to begin the double overtime, which gave him a total of 28 points in the game. During the double overtime, Ellis and Johnson scored back-to-back possessions, which reduced the Buffaloes’ lead to 88-87. J’Vonne Hadley was fouled and made both his free throws, giving Colorado a three-point lead.

Ellis drove to the basket late in double overtime and scored, giving himself a total of 30 points in the game. Moments later, with just under a minute to go and trailing by three, Ellis attempted a three-pointer in front of his bench but missed it. The Trojans managed to stop the following possession, and Enfield called a timeout with 11.8 seconds remaining, with USC trailing 92-89. The last play of the game was a little sloppy, which resulted in Ellis taking an off-balance three-pointer, shooting an airball to end the game. Ellis ended the game with 30 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists in the double-overtime loss.

Although the Trojans lost their game, Collier managed to score 25 points, made 9 assists and 3 steals in 42 minutes of play. Johnson scored 14 points, with 12 of them in the first half, and only 2 in the second half of the game, which included both overtimes. The only other Trojans players to score in the double digits were Ellis and Collier. Joshua Morgan scored 8 points and made 4 rebounds but fouled out of the game, leaving the Trojans short-handed in overtime.

Can Enfield unite his players before they face UCLA?

Enfield expressed his disappointment with his team’s performance during the postgame press conference. He particularly highlighted the excessive use of isolation plays in the second half which allowed the Buffaloes to ultimately win the game in double overtime. Enfield’s opening statement was straightforward as the team’s failure to rebound and play defense was the main issue.

“Tough loss for our team. They played hard but couldn’t get defensive stops and rebound the ball in the last ten minutes of the game.” said Enfield postgame.

During the game, USC’s defense allowed guard J’Vonne Hadley to grab 10 rebounds, while not a single Trojan managed to get more than 4 rebounds. On the other hand, Colorado had a total of 47 rebounds, compared to USC’s 22. Unfortunately, the bench for the Trojans couldn’t contribute much, scoring only six points in the double overtime loss. Vincent Iwuchukwu played around 14 minutes but couldn’t score a single point or grab a rebound in the game. James finished the game with two points, two assists, and one rebound, despite only playing for 14 minutes. After the game, Enfield talked about James’ performance and his development.

“He’s done a good job, hes improved. We just went with our veterans down the stretch, he just needs to continue to improve.”

During the game’s double overtime, James was benched as fans began chanting, “We want Bronny.” Enfield ignored them and chose to sit one of his best defenders. This loss was indicative of how the team’s season has gone so far. With only a week left until their next game against UCLA, Ellis, one of the team’s players, hasn’t forgotten what happened when they faced the Bruins in the Galen Center and lost.

“It’s a rivalry game, they got us here so we gotta go get them at their place. It’s a must win game.” said Ellis postgame on facing UCLA.

Since the win against USC, the Bruins have won six consecutive games, while USC has lost five out of their seven games. The Trojans have won six out of the last ten games against UCLA.