For the third time this season the Colorado Buffaloes defeated the USC Trojans. However this time, it was in the semifinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Colorado had a strong semifinal debut and exerted a physical presence over the Trojans which led to a 72-70 defeat.
Right from the start, the Trojans were sluggish, playing on their heels allowing the Buffaloes to a 17-0 point run for seven straight minutes in the first half. USC looked rattled struggling to execute on offense and failing to put away simple points.
It was only in the final few minutes of the half that we saw the Trojans start to get into a groove, gaining composure and showing strength on offense.
While USC was lacking on all ends, Evan Mobley, standout freshman put the team on his back scoring 17 of the 30 points in the first half. His aggressive edge with calm composure allowed him to step up to the plate on both offense and defense, playing the game without hesitation, excelling in every possible way.
Mobley’s passing game, stellar left handed blocks, play making rebounds and 26 points is what has him in the NBA draft discourse.
In the semifinals game, Trojans defense was the direct downfall. After gaining steam on the offensive front, especially by Tahj Eaddy’s finishing touch to knock down a jumper and a free throw after being fouled to tie the game with 35 seconds left, the defense was not 100 percent present.
The Trojans had a chance to take the lead or send the game into overtime but allowing D’Shawn Schwartz to finish the game with an offensive rebound tip shot to put Colorado up by two was the defining factor of the game.
The Trojans put up a constant battle making an impressive comeback after trailing in points throughout the entire game, but it comes down to the last seconds of play that make an impact. Grit in the final moments of play was the missing element for the Trojans leading to their downfall.
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