The USC Trojans (9-11, 1-7 Pac-12) took a heartbreaking 98-94 loss to the Colorado Buffaloes (11-9, 4-4) 98-94 in triple overtime Wednesday night at the Galen Center.
Redshirt sophomore Reinhardt had a career night for the Trojans with 35 points including 9-18 from behind the arc. His nine threes tied a USC record. Sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic was a consistent scoring threat throughout the night and finished the game with 30 points and 9 rebounds. Freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin posted a balanced stat line with 11 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds, but only shot 3-13 from the field and 5-12 from the line. McLaughlin was held scoreless until two minutes into the second half, and he struggled shooting the ball all night.
In triple overtime, it was up to McLaughlin to lead the team after Reinhardt fouled out. McLaughlin continued to attack the basket and get to the line, but it was senior guard Askia Booker who led the way down the stretch for Colorado with his clutch shooting, including the go-ahead free throws at the end.
In double overtime, Reinhardt and Booker went back and forth, but it was Jovanovic who hit the shot late to give the Trojans the late lead before Booker hit a floater to send the game to a third overtime.
In overtime, redshirt sophomore Darion Clark provided a spark with clutch rebounding and free throws. But it was junior guard Xavier Johnson who hit a three with 30 seconds left to tie the game. McLaughlin, once again, had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but his shot rolled off the rim to send the game to double overtime.
McLaughlin missed a contested layup at the end of regulation that would have won the game for USC.
Booker led the way for Colorado with 43 points and overcame a hard foul by Jovanovic in the second half to keep the Buffs ahead most of the second half and eventually led them to the victory. Booker did a lot of damage from the line as he shot 13-15 from the stripe. Freshman forward Tory Miller scored 11 points and added 13 rebounds and Xavier Johnson added 12 points for the Buffs, despite fouling out in double overtime, who were balanced scoring all around.
Jovanovic started off the contest going 5-5 from the field before he finally missed a shot late in the first half. Reinhardt had 16 points in the first half when he shot 6-12 from the field including 4-9 from behind the arc. USC had a strong first half overall as they led 38-37 and shot 46.4 percent from the field.
USC next faces the 11th ranked Utah Runnin’ Utes (16-4, 6-2), Sunday at the Galen Center. Utah is led by head coach Larry Krystkowiak and senior guard Delon Wright. Wright leads his squad in both points and assists and has been in the conversation all year for the Wooden Award which is awarded to the most outstanding college basketball player every year. Utah is coming off a loss against UCLA (12-9, 4-4).