Los Angeles, CA – California had one last shot with 14.1 on clock when the Bears went inside to the paint to Ivan Rabb who was fouled and sent to the free throw line trailing by one.
He went to the line and knocked them both down to take the game 74-73 over USC at the Galen Center Sunday night.
Rabb was Cal’s leading scorer with 17 points, 8 rebounds and a three pointer, with guard Charlie Moore with 16 points (3-4) 3-pt range.
USC coming into tonight’s game had started off the season 15-1 which was their best start since the 1971 season where they finished 24-2 after a 16-0 start.
Chimezie Metu played strong tonight for USC leading the team with 20 points in his battle with Rabb in the paint.
“[Metu] did surprise me with the shots he made.” said Cal coach Cuonzo Martin, ” He’s a very talented kid.”
The California Bears came into the Galen Center looking for at least a split on their road trip to Los Angeles after losing to UCLA Thursday. They split their first conference home swing to start 1-2 in PAC-12 and 10-5 overall.
Mid way through the first half Cal look faster to the ball leading 16-12 at 11:02 mark after USC Jordan McLaughlin was called for a charge in the lane.
“Cal did a good job in the first half getting offensive rebounds.” said USC coach Andy Enfield “We came out on the wrong end of it [game].”
The crowd was inspired by the USC football team who was honored for their the Rose Bowl Game victory over Penn State 52-49.
Cal lead most of the game but USC kept making runs to try and steal the game away.
McLaughlin had his numbered called with 37.3 seconds on clock down by one 72-71 when he got foul in the lane then he missed both free throws before getting a second chance where made a layup at 17 seconds.
“It was just one of those nights at the line.” said McLaughlin “That’s basically where we lost the game.”
USC will go on the road next week to face Utah (11-4, 2-1) on Thursday January 12, then Colorado (10-6, 0-3) on Sunday January 15.