KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Maurice Jones scored 15 points and Southern California survived a late run by No. 19 Tennessee to beat the Volunteers 65-64 on Tuesday night.
It was the Trojans' first road win in seven attempts, dating back to a Feb. 18 win at Washington last season and came three days after they lost at No. 3 Kansas by two points. Coach Kevin O'Neill got his second straight win over Tennessee, the team he coached from 1994-97.
Meanwhile the Vols dropped their third straight game after beating then-No. 3 Pittsburgh and a 7-0 start to the season and suffered only their fourth non-conference loss in coach Bruce Pearl's six seasons.
Donte Smith hit a 3-pointer from the wing over the heads of three Tennessee defenders to give the Trojans (7-5) a 65-60 lead with 2:13 left. He missed another with 1:00 left.
Scotty Hopson and Melvin Goins each made a pair of free throws for the Vols, with Goins' cutting the margin to 65-64 with 47 seconds left. Tennessee (7-3) got the ball back after Jones missed a short jumper with 15 seconds left, but struggled against USC's press and called a timeout with 3.5 seconds left to set up a play.
Tobias Harris, who led the Vols with 14 points, got a deep 3-point shot off as time expired, but it bounced away.
Alex Stephenson and Jio Fontan both had 13 points for USC, and Bryce Jones added 11.
Cameron Tatum hit 12 points for the Vols, and Goins had 10.
Tennessee committed 18 turnovers, including 11 in the first half, which led to 27 points for Southern Cal. The Trojans hit 57.7 percent of their shots in the first half.
The Vols stayed close thanks to their second-chance points and free-throw shooting. Tennessee outrebounded USC 38-23 and had 20 second-chance points compared to the Trojans' five.
Southern California also committed 24 fouls — twice as many as Tennessee, and the Vols hit 24 of 29 shots from the free-throw line.
The Vols struggled with their half-court offense for a second game. They shot 38.3 percent against the Trojans compared to 35 percent in a loss at Charlotte, where Tatum missed a would-be winning shot at the buzzer.
Tennessee leads the series between the two teams 4-3, but USC defeated the then-No. 9 Vols 77-55 in Los Angeles on Dec. 19, 2009, in O'Neill's first season.