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Booker's 43 Pushes Colorado Over USC, 98-94

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Colorado notches first road win of the season

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Behind a career-high 43 points from Askia Booker, Colorado rallied from a one-point halftime deficit at Southern California to grab their first road win of the season, prevailing 97-94 in triple overtime.

USC took a ten-point lead in the first half, behind strong offensive performances from Katin Reinhardt (16 first half points) and Nikola Jovanovic (14 first half points). But Colorado battled back to close to within one at halftime with a Tory Miller putback.

CU struggled with foul trouble, as Wesley Gordon, Dustin Thomas, and Miller all had to sit stretches of the first half with two fouls.

Colorado was able to control Reinhardt and Jovanovic a little better in the second half, and Booker got hot in his hometown, helping put Colorado up by as many as 11 points in the second half.

USC stormed back with a 7-0 run, closing to within two points with under four minutes to go, beginning an interminably long stretch where Colorado failed to hit a field goal.

Xavier Talton snapped the run with a pair of free throws at the 3:42 mark. Reinhardt responded with a three-pointer, forcing Tad Boyle to call timeout.

Out of the timeout, Dominique Collier drew a foul, and knocked down both free throws to extend the Colorado lead to three.

Up two with just a minute to play, Booker got whistled for a push-off. USC tied things up with a Jovanovic hook shot.

With the game tied and 30 seconds to play, Boyle called timeout to draw up a play. Out of the timeout, Xavier Johnson missed a wild layup attempt. USC's Jordan McLaughlin missed a runner at the buzzer to force overtime.

USC grabbed the lead in overtime with a pair of Darion Clark free throws after a needless foul from Johnson. Booker responded with two points of his own. Clark knocked down two more to give the Trojans the lead back.

The battle from the line continued, when Talton went one-of-two from the line to bring CU within one. With Colorado down three with 30 seconds to play, Johnson hit CU's first field goal in roughly 15 minutes with a three-pointer to tie things up. McLaughlin missed a wild turn-around to send the game to a second overtime.

Reinhardt continued his career night with a pair of threes. Booker knocked down a trey to bring CU within two. With 1:36 to play, Booker knocked down a pair from the line to tie the game at 81. Jovanovic hit a layup and got fouled with 19 seconds to play. Jovanovic missed the free throw, keeping the score at 83-81, USC.

Booker tied the game with nine seconds to play with a silky floater. Reinhardt missed a long three to extend the game to a third overtime.

Collier hit a pair of free throws on the first possession of the third overtime. Reinhardt stuck a long two in the left corner, and McLaughlin hit layup to give the Trojans their first lead of the third overtime.

Colorado caught a huge break when Reinhardt fouled out on an over the back call. Tory Miller hit a pair of free throws to tie things back up. Booker hit a turn around to give CU the lead with under three minutes to play. Booker nailed another jumper and Miller tipped a Tre'Shaun Fletcher miss to keep the lead at three.

With 13 seconds to play, Booker was sent to the line up one, where he hit both shots to put Colorado up three. USC elected to try to pick up a quick two, McLaughlin missed the layup. Miller went back to the line, where he iced the game by hitting one-of-two free throws.

Colorado looks for their third straight win on Saturday at UCLA.