TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Fogg had 16 points and a career-best 12 rebounds, and Arizona overcame a slow start to beat USC 70-54 on Thursday night.
Freshman Josiah Turner added a career-best 15 points and six assists. He scored four in the final 44 seconds of the first half to put the Wildcats ahead for good.
The Wildcats (20-9, 11-5 Pac 12) reached 20 wins for the second year in a row and 33rd time in school history. The last-place Trojans lost their sixth straight to fall to 1-14 in the conference and 6-22 overall.
Byron Wesley led USC with 18 points. Maurice Jones and Garrett Jackson added 10 apiece.
Arizona, winner of six of seven but coming off a loss at Washington, outscored USC 24-6 at the end of the first half and start of the second to erase an early eight-point deficit and go up 40-30 on Solomon Hill’s three-point play with 16:07 left.
The Trojans were scoreless for the final 7:56 of the first half while the Wildcats scored 12 in a row.
Arizona trailed 24-16 after James Blasczyk’s 16-footer with 7:56 to play before halftime. But the Trojans never scored again in the half.
Fogg started the comeback with a 3-pointer. Nick Johnson hit a 3, then Fogg’s 14-footer tied it at 24 with 2:47 left.
Turner scored twice in the final 44 seconds to give Arizona a 28-24 lead at the break. First, he stole Jackson’s pass for a breakaway stuff with 44 seconds left, then he made a short bank shot at the buzzer.
The Wildcats outscored USC 6-2 to start the second half to lead 35-26 after Johnson’s driving layup. Johnson’s second 3-pointer of the game made it 45-32 with 13:17 left.
After Angelo Chol’s two free throws put Arizona up 54-38 with 10:13 left, the Trojans got consecutive 3s from Greg Allen and Jones to cut it to 54-44 with 8:07 to go. Jones’ inside basket cut the lead to 54-46 6:36 from the finish. But Turner made one of two free throws, then Hill’s 3-pointer made it 58-46 and USC never got it to single digits again.
Jackson scored all 10 of his points in the first half and wound up with 3 of 13 shooting. Jones was 4 of 14. The Wildcats had seven turnovers in the first half and three in the second.
The Trojans entered the game last in the Pac-12 in shooting percent (39 percent) as well as in scoring (53.4 points per game), 3-point percentage (28 percent) and free-throw percentage (61 percent). Their 59.5 points allowed per game, though, led the conference.
The Wildcats were without seldom-used center Kyryl Natyazhko, who was suspended for the game for violating team rules. Arizona plays its final home game of the season on Saturday against UCLA.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.