Oweh Scores On Tip-In With 1.4 Seconds Left To Give Oklahoma A Thrilling 72-70 Win Over USC

In a game-winning tip-in from Otega Oweh, Oklahoma won 72-70 over No. 23 Southern California on Friday in the championship game of the inaugural Rady Children’s Invitational.

Friday, November 24th 2023, 6:36 pm

By: Associated Press


Otega Oweh tipped in Javian McCollum’s missed jumper with 1.4 seconds left to give Oklahoma a thrilling 72-70 victory over No. 23 Southern California on Friday in the championship game of the inaugural Rady Children’s Invitational.

Boogie Ellis’ desperation heave was off the mark at the buzzer, setting off a wild celebration as the Sooners surged to 6-0. McCollum scored 18 points and was named tournament MVP. Oweh had 16 points and John Hugley IV added 14.

USC’s DJ Rodman was fouled by Oweh with 27.9 seconds left and made both ends of a one-and-one to tie it at 70. Oklahoma called a timeout with 25.4 seconds left and played for the final shot. McCollum’s step-back jumper from just inside the 3-point line with about three seconds left bounced off the rim, but Oweh crashed from the side, got over Rodman for the rebound, and put in the winner.

Neither Rodman, the son of former NBA rebounding great Dennis Rodman, nor any of the other three Trojans in and near the key boxed out. “It was a tie game at the end so we had to crash. We were just playing to the end, that’s all,” Oweh said. “I saw the guy turn his back, I just crashed, was wide open and went for it.”

McCollum said he “got some space, took the shot and I saw Otega flying in for the rebound. Coach always preaches coming in for the rebound flying. That’s what he did.”

Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said Oweh knew he had to crash. “I love how Otega got bottled up on one possession and then fouled, and then he came back and made that play. He came out of nowhere and made a great athletic play.”

Failing to block out was just one of several mistakes the Trojans made down the stretch. “We played good defense to defend his shot and then DJ forgot to block out,” coach Andy Enfield said. “He blocked out the time before and was able to get two free throws because they came over his back, but we had four guys with inside position and we didn’t block out. He ran in from the corner and we didn’t put a body on him. He tipped it in. That’s on our guys. “It would have been nice to settle that in overtime,” Enfield said. “But you have to block out, especially in the last second.”

Ellis, who played at San Diego’s Mission Bay High, and Kobe Johnson scored 16 points apiece for USC (4-2) while Rodman and Isaiah Collier had 10 apiece.

USC had an eight-point lead early in the second half but was hurt by turnovers and missed shots, including a 3-pointer by Ellis that would have given it the lead with just more than a minute left. With USC still trailing by two, Collier slipped and turned over the ball with 35.1 seconds left.

USC led 39-36 at halftime and Ellis scored the first five points of the second half, including a long 3-pointer, for the first of two eight-point leads. But the Sooners came racing back with a 7-0 run that included a 3-pointer by McCollum, a steal and a slam dunk by Oweh and another dunk by Sam Godwin.

BRONNY JAMES

USC’s Bronny James went through a full warmup, including hitting a nice step-back 3-pointer. It was the third straight game he was on the court with his teammates before a game. He also high-fived some kids and signed autographs. The son of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has yet to make his collegiate debut after it was determined he had a congenital heart defect that was treatable and the team has not given a timetable.

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma: Hugley, a 6-foot-10, 275-pound center, made all four of his 3-point shots.

USC: Collier had six of USC’s 11 turnovers.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma: Hosts Arkansas Pine Bluff on Thursday night.

USC: Hosts Eastern Washington on Wednesday night.

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