USC made only 37% of its field-goal attempts, 52% of its free throws and was outrebounded by Stanford, 53-33. And the 15th-ranked Trojans won, 73-72, Saturday at the Sports Arena.
Harold Miner's driving layup with 24 seconds remaining in overtime broke a tie. His two free throws with four seconds left made it 73-69 and clinched the Pacific 10 Conference victory for the Trojans (19-4, 11-2), who overcame an eight-point deficit in the final 1 1/2 minutes of regulation.
A three-point shot by Stanford's Peter Dukes as overtime expired completed the scoring.
"There were a couple of times today where I thought it was all over," Trojan Coach George Raveling said. "I said to (assistant coach) Jack Fertig, 'I don't think we have it today.' And he said, 'So what, let's win it anyway.'
"The guy who said it is better to be lucky than good sure knew what he was talking about."
Miner scored his team's final five points, giving him 33 on the day and making him the first USC player to score 30 or more points in four consecutive games.
Miner didn't have his best day, making only 11 of 33 shots, but he kept shooting.
"I was getting tired down the stretch, but when we needed a big shot, I wanted to take it," Miner said. "It was a gut-check type of win. Stanford played well, but we played with heart and took the game from them."
Adam Keefe led Stanford (14-8, 6-6) with 27 points and 18 rebounds. Dukes finished with 12 points.
A follow shot by Keefe with 1:18 left in overtime gave the Cardinal a 69-68 lead, but Miner tied the game by making one of two free throws with 37 seconds to go.
Lorenzo Orr stole the ball, giving Miner the opportunity to score the go-ahead layup for a 71-69 lead. After that, Stanford missed two three-point shots and turned the ball over before Miner was fouled and made the free throws.
"We blew it, no doubt about it," Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery said. "We mentally broke down, and the mistakes killed us. We made some screwball turnovers toward the end of the game. There's no excuse at this stage of the season for that.
"If USC was ever ripe, it was today. We've got to finish off games if we're going to be a tournament team."
Stanford had appeared on its way to a convincing victory. The Cardinal led all the way until Miner's shot tied the game, 63-63, with 33 seconds to play in the second half. The shot capped a 9-1 comeback from a 62-54 deficit.
Rodney Chatman began the rally by making a four-point play with 1:27 left, making it 62-58. Chatman was fouled while making a three-point shot and converted the free throw.
Brent Williams made a free throw with 1:02 remaining to extend Stanford's lead to five points, but Chatman made another three-point shot with 51 seconds to go to make it 63-61, and Miner tied the score 18 seconds later.
"The guy who has hit the most big shots for us this year is Rodney Chatman," Raveling said. "I called his big play twice, and he came through for us. I'm not surprised."
Stanford had scored the game's first four points and 10 of the first 12. It was 21-8 midway through the first half before Miner scored.
But starting with a three-point shot that made it 21-11, Miner scored his team's final 17 points of the half. The Cardinal led at halftime, 34-25.
Turnovers proved decisive. Stanford committed 23 while Southern Cal had only 10.