December 19, 2018 / 6:06 AM / 5 months ago

Santa Clara's Wertz stages big finish in 2OT win over USC

Freshman guard Trey Wertz scored 17 of his 28 points in a pair of overtimes as Santa Clara squandered a late lead in regulation but held off Southern California for a 102-92 nonconference victory on Tuesday in Santa Clara, Calif.

Sophomore forward Josip Vrankic scored 22 points and sophomore guard Tahj Eaddy added 21 as Santa Clara outscored USC 13-3 in the second overtime to put away its fifth victory in its last six games.

Sophomore forward Jordan Usher scored 22 points and junior guard Johan Mathews had 20 as the Trojans (5-6) lost their fourth consecutive game while playing their first true road game of the season.

Wertz scored six points in the first overtime, all on layups, as he kept Santa Clara in the game. His third layup of the first extra period came with six seconds remaining to tie the game 89-89.

Wertz was even better in the second overtime, scoring 11 points, including six free throws in the final 47 seconds to put the game away.

USC trailed 75-60 with 6:12 remaining in regulation before going on an 11-0 run and then a 9-0 run in the final two minutes. The Trojans took an 80-79 lead with 24 seconds remaining on a layup from Mathews, their first lead of the game.

Vrankic made a free throw with two seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score 80-80, but missed a second shot from the line to keep the game tied.

Senior forward Josh Martin added 18 rebounds for the Broncos (6-6), who continued to distance themselves from an 0-4 start and five losses in their first six games.

Senior guard Shaqquan Aaron scored 17 points and senior forward Bennie Boatwright had 14 for the Trojans.

Freshman forward Guglielmo Caruso scored 12 points for Santa Clara, while freshman forward Keshawn Justice added 11. Caruso was starting at center for freshman center Ezekiel Richards, who injured his ankle in the Broncos’ victory over Mississippi Valley State on Thursday.

Santa Clara is now 1-2 against Pac-12 Conference teams this season, losing to both Washington and Cal earlier this season. The Broncos have one more Pac-12 opponent on their schedule, Washington State on Dec. 29.

USC has two more nonconference games remaining, both at home, before opening Pac-12 play on Jan. 3 against Cal, also at home.

—Field Level Media

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