Arizona controlled USC from the tip, as it defeated the Trojans 74-50 Saturday at McKale.
Arizona opened the game with a 6-0 lead, led by two baskets by Nick Johnson and one from Solomon Hill. J.T. Terrell got the Trojans on the board, but Kaleb Tarczewski scored in the pain to give the Wildcats an 8-2 lead with 15:45 left in the first half.
Johnson proceeded to score four consecutive points before Jio Fontan hit two free-throws. Mark Lyons and Kevin Parrom then hit a three-pointer each to put Arizona up 18-4 and force USC to call timeout. Out of the timeout, Ari Stewart hit a three, but Lyons matched it the next time down court to keep Arizona’s lead at 21-7 with 11:46 left. Brandon Ashley made two free-throws to end the lead to 16 before a jumper by Hill brought the lead to 18 with about ten minutes left.
Ashley made two free-throws shortly after and Hill made a layup to force USC to take a timeout down 29-7 with 7:55 left in the first half. Eric Wise hit a jumper to try to get something going for the Trojans, but a turnover led to an easy layup for Johnson. After a free-throw by Byron Wesley, Renaldo Woolridge hit a three to cut Arizona’s lead to 31-13 with about 5:30 left.
After an Ashley basket, Fontan hit a three in transition to make it 33-16 with 3:27 left. However, Ashley matched it with one of his own before Stewart scored a basket it to cut the lead to 36-18 with a little over a minute left. Stewart brought USC to within 18, but a Lyons three-pointer gave Arizona the 39-20 lead at the half.
Hill started the second half with a jumper at the free-throw line that was matched by Wesley. Tarczewski then had a dunk on the other end and Terrell proceeded to make one of two free-throws. Wise then added one of his own from the line and shortly after Tarczewski came up with a basket to give Arizona the 45-24 lead with about 16 minutes left.
After Tarczewski made one of two free-throws, Fontan proceeded to do the same before Hill scored on an offensive rebound. Hill added two free-throws to put Arizona up 50-25 with 13:41 left and Parrom scores soon after to extend the lead. After an Aaron Fuller basket, Hill connected on one of two from the line.
Parrom made a free-throw off a technical and Ashley added a basket before a Johnson jumper put Arizona up 58-27 with 9:55 left. Wesley proceeded to make two free-throws and after one from Angelo Chol, a three by Fontan cut Arizona’s lead to 59-32. A dunk by Johnson then forced USC to call timeout down 61-35 with 8:11 left.
Minutes later, a three-pointer by Gabe York put Arizona’s lead at 65-38 before Tarczewski hit two free-throws and Wesley hit a jumper with about four minutes left. York then proceeded to hit another three and the 71-40 lead with three minutes left was more than enough.