Tyson scores 27, Celestine clutch in OT as Cal tops USC 83-77 after blowing 16-point lead

Updated Feb. 8, 2024 2:08 a.m. ET

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Jaylon Tyson had 27 points, Jalen Celestine had six of his 11 points in overtime and California defeated Southern California 83-77 after blowing a 16-point lead in the second half on Wednesday night.

Celestine hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer that made it 75-72 with 1 1/2 minutes left in overtime and then made three free throws in the last 24 seconds. The Trojans missed their last three shots, including Fardaws Aimaq's block on Isaiah Collier with 27 seconds left and the Bears up 80-77.

Keonte Kennedy contributed a pair of free throws with 32 seconds remaining and Cal was 8 of 10 in the extra sessions and 14 of 16 for the game.

Jalen Cone had 20 points and Aimaq 15 for the Bears (10-13, 6-6 Pac-12), who ended an 11-game losing streak in the series. Aimaq had 20 rebounds and Tyson had 11 in Cal's 54-27 advantage on the boards, a crushing 19-5 on the offensive end.


Collier, the star freshman who missed six games, had 20 points, all after halftime, for the Trojans (9-14, 3-9). Collier, who suffered a hand injury on Jan. 10, was 4 of 13 from the field but 12 of 16 from the line. He had 14 points in the last 7 1/2 minutes of regulation, taking over when the deficit was 58-47.

DJ Rodman added 17 points for USC with his third 3 pulling the Trojans within 78-77 with 36 seconds left in regulation.

USC freshman Bronny James finished with five points. His father LaBron was at the game and greeted his son after the game. LaBron James also had hug for Cal coach Mark Madsen, who was a coach on the Lakers’ staff.

Collier made nine straight from the foul line, tying the game with 27.7 seconds to play in regulation, but after he missed the second on the two-shot foul, Tyson had an opportunity to win the game but missed a 3 as time ran out.

Tyson's 3 early in the second half made it 47-31 but a 9-0 run — a Kobe Johnson 3, a Rodman 3 and Collier's three-point play, which marked his first points of the game — cut the deficit to 51-45.

Collier's three-point play started his own 7-0 run and the Trojans were within 58-54 with 5:50 to play. He made two free throws that made it 61-60 with 2:36 to go and Rodman pulled them within 67-65 with a layup with 1:02 to play.

Aimaq and Cone both had 14 points at halftime as the Bears shot 50% with five 3-pointers for a 42-31 lead. USC shot 46% but was outrebounded 24-9, with Cal grabbing nine offensive boards.

USC led twice early, on Boogie Ellis' 3-pointer that made it 9-8 and on Bronny James' 3 that made it 14-13.

Cone had 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions and on the next Cal possession he was fouled on a 3-point attempt. When he converted the foul shots it capped a 14-2 run that made it 36-25. James contributed a pair of foul shots in a 6-0 bump for the Trojans but Aimaq had a pair of dunks and Cal closed with a 6-0 run.

UCLA is at Cal on Saturday when USC goes to Stanford.

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