The Trojans came out in a triangle-and-two defense early and totally threw Memphis' high-octane offense out of rhythm. Memphis came into the game average 85 points a game utilizing their pressure defense and fast break offense. But USC Head Coach Tim Floyd surprised John Calipari and his Memphis team with the unconventional defense.
The triangle-and-two defense allowed the Trojans to focus on freshman sensation Derrick Rose and sophomore Chris Douglas Roberts, who have been the Tigers top two scoring options.
On the night Memphis committed 21 turnovers and shot just 37.3 percent from the field and an atrocious 38.9 percent from the foul line.
By slowing down the tempo with stifling defense the Trojans jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the first six minutes of the game.
The Trojans were in control the entire first half of play. Holding Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas Roberts to a combined two points and took a 29-24 lead into the half.
The play was just as sloppy in the second half and Memphis capitalized on the Trojans turnovers and lack of rebounding to go on a 10-2 run and took a 47-46 lead with 6:32 left in the game.
The Trojans were just as careless with the basketball as Memphis, committing 21 turnovers of their own. USC also shot just 28.8 percent from the field and went 1-9 from behind the 3-point line.
Chris Douglas Roberts made two free throws with 33 seconds in regulation to give the Memphis Tigers a 3-point lead. USC's Davon Jefferson made two free throws with 17 seconds left to cut the Memphis lead to 1 point.
After Douglas Roberts missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Daniel Hackett got the rebound as was fouled. Hackett went to the line and made 1 of 2 free throws and sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, Memphis jumped out to a 61-56 lead and never looked back beating USC, 62-58.
Junior forward Robert Dozier lead Memphis with 13 points, Chris Douglas Roberts added 10 and Derrick Rose was held to 9.
OJ Mayo had 16 points for USC, Davon Jefferson had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Daniel Hackett scored 10.
For the second week in a row the Trojans have played well enough to stay close to two of the Top 5 teams in the nation but have come up just short in the end. In both contests the Trojans weakness has been rebounding.
The Trojans return to the Galen Center for four games before opening up Pac-10 play on the road, Jan. 3rd against California.