Onyeka Okongwu hadn’t made a 3-point bucket all season.
His first one, however, will be one that he remembers forever.
The USC freshman drilled perhaps the craziest buzzer-beater of the year on Thursday night to close out the first half of their 57-48 win against Arizona at the Galen Center.
Okongwu, after grabbing a rebound underneath the Arizona bucket with just seconds left on the clock before halftime, took one dribble down the court and heaved up the shot before he even hit the Wildcats’ 3-point line. As he did, Arizona guard Dylan Smith cut in front and tripped Okongwu, sending him spinning to the ground.
Somehow, though, his shot was right on the mark.
Okongwu banked the shot into the net, sparking a wild celebration heading into the locker room.
“I just took a chance,” Okongwu said, via Josh An of USC Scoop. “Got fouled, no call, but it still went in.”
His shot seemed to be the boost the Trojans needed, too.
After bouncing back and forth with Arizona in the first half, USC quickly extended its lead to nine midway through the second half and held on in the final seconds to grab the nine-point win and snap a two-game losing skid.
Jonah Matthews led the Trojans with 14 points and five rebounds. Okongwu finished with a double-double on the night, his 11th of the season, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
And after going 0-of-3 from behind the arc to start the year, Okongwu is just happy to have finally made a 3-point.
“Not at all [how I thought it’d go], but I’ll take it,” Ogongwu said.
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