COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Chimezie Metu scored 14 points and Jordan McLaughlin added 13 as Southern California wiped out a late deficit to defeat Texas A&M 65-63 on Friday night.
The Aggies (2-1) led 63-60 with 58 seconds remaining when the Trojans (3-0) closed with a flourish. Bennie Boatwright made two free throws with 45 seconds remaining to tighten the gap to 63-62. A&M's JC Hampton then drove the lane and missed a short jump shot, and Boatwright missed a 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession. But McLaughlin grabbed the offensive rebound, and Metu followed with a dunk to lift the Trojans to a 64-63 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Hampton then dribbled the ball up court with 17 seconds left, but De'Anthony Melton stole the ball from behind, and Admon Gilder fouled Melton when he drove to the basket with 11 seconds left. Melton made his first free throw but missed his second, and A&M guard D.J. Hogg's 3-point attempt from the top of the key missed the mark at the buzzer.
Hogg led the Aggies with 17 points, and Tonny Trocha-Morelos added 15.
USC's Elijah Stewart had 11points and 11 rebounds and Metu grabbed 10 boards.
After two easy wins at home to start the season, the Trojans showed plenty of resiliency in their first time on the road, overcoming a late deficit in front of a hostile crowd. A&M coach Billy Kennedy said he believes USC is an NCAA Tournament team, and the Trojans looked like it on Friday.
The Aggies are young and it showed. Freshman forward Robert Williams has been a dynamo around the basket, but a couple of errant long shots late in the game showed he still has a lot to learn. That goes for plenty of his underclassmen teammates, as well.
Texas A&M goes on the road for the first time on Thursday, and will face Cal State Northridge in Fullerton, California, in the Wooden Legacy.
(© 2016 KAGS)