USC center Omar Oraby dunks in the first half against Texas. (Eugene Tanner / Associated…)
LAHAINA, Hawaii — USC's trip to Hawaii has been less than picturesque. But the Trojans are better off than Texas after beating the Longhorns, 59-53, in overtime Tuesday at the Maui Invitational in a game in which neither team shot well.
"Both of us were in desperate mode," USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said. "It was a rock fight."
Dewayne Dedmon made a layup and a free throw with less than two minutes to play to put USC up for good.
Sheldon McClellan banked in a putback with 25.9 seconds left to get Texas within two points, but J.T. Terrell made two free throws on the next possession to secure the win.
"At least we competed," Coach Rick Barnes said, clearly still smarting from his team's 13-point loss to Division II Chaminade on Monday night.
Eric Wise led USC (3-1) with 13 points. Julien Lewis had 17 points for Texas (2-2).
In a game with 12 ties and nine lead changes, neither team led by more than three points after halftime until overtime.
The teams combined to shoot under 36%, under 30% in the second half. The Trojans and Longhorns each shot 18.2% from three-point range, making two three-point baskets each.
USC, which lost to Illinois, 94-64, on Monday night, will play Marquette on Wednesday in the tournament's fifth-place game. Texas will play Mississippi State in the seventh-place game.
The teams were tied, 26-26, after the first half. USC went up by seven points in the first five minutes and Texas rallied to take a five-point lead on a layup from Ioannis Papapetrou with 5:47 left in the half.
In the second half, Lewis made a jump shot from just inside the free-throw line with 1:36 left to give Texas a two-point lead, but Terrell tied it, 47-47, with 36 seconds left with a dunk. Lewis missed a potential game-winning shot with four seconds left and USC couldn't get another shot off, so the game went to overtime.
"I'm really proud of our guys bouncing back," O'Neill said. "We got whacked last night."
Five players have signed with USC and are set to join the Trojans as freshmen next season, the school announced. They are Roschon Prince, a 6-foot-5 wing from Long Beach Poly; Nikola Jovanovic, a 6-10 post from Serbia who is attending prep school in Jacksonville, Fla., and guards Kendal Harris, 6-4, from Richardson, Texas; Kahlil Dukes, 5-11, from Hartford, Conn., and Julian Jacobs, 6-3, from Las Vegas.