LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — USC may have walked into the Galen Center on Wednesday night at .500 and well out of first place in the Pac-12, but they looked elite on the court when they upset conference leading #11 Arizona 89-78.
Eric Wise scored 22 points and was one of five Trojans in double figures as USC (13-15, 8-7 Pac-12) shot 61 percent from the field. Byron Wesley contributed 18 points, J.T. Terrell had 14, and Jio Fontan scored 12 points with nine assists. Aaron fuller added 12 points of his own.
Arizona (23-5, 11-5) was led by Solomon Hill, who had 21 points, and Kevin Parrom with 16. The upset snapped a five game winning streak for the Wildcats against USC.
The Trojans led by as many as ten points in the first half, and as many as 13 in the second. Arizona did hold an 18-16 lead in the first half, but then USC went on a 5-0 run to lead, and they never looked back, leading 42-36 at the half.
USC delivered a punch to open the second half, in the form of a 9-2 run.
Arizona did mount a comeback, capped off by a 3-pointer by Jordin Mayes that cut the Trojan lead to 60-56 with 12:23 left in the game. That was the closest the Wildcat rally would come.
Interim head coach Bob Cantu’s squad continued to hit crucial shots and held off the Wildcats for arguably their biggest win of the season.
USC started fast, spearheaded by Wise, who scored seven points in the first three minutes as the Trojans jumped out to an early 9-5 lead. But Arizona, the biggest 3-point shooting threat in the Pac-12 at 36.2 percent, got 3-pointers from Kevin Parrom and Hill to take their first lead of the game 11-10 in the first half.
But the Trojans were stellar on offense in the first 20 minutes of play, shooting 58 percent, and on defense, with 7-foot-2 Omar Oraby grabbing seven first-half rebounds and blocking three shots.
The upset could mean big things happening in the race for the conference lead, with #24 Oregon in first and Arizona now .5 games back with UCLA contending for the lead. UCLA will host Arizona on Saturday March 2.
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