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Cats Beat USC 86-80, Tied for 1st in P12

February 14th, 2016 News No Comments

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AP — Gabe York scored 17 points and No. 17 Arizona moved into a tie for first place in the Pac-12 with an 86-80 victory over No. 23 Southern California on Sunday.

Allonzo Trier scored 12 of his 14 in the second half as the Wildcats (21-5, 9-4) held off a rally by the Trojans (18-7, 7-5), who were swept over the weekend in the desert.

Bennie Boatwright, scoreless in Friday night’s loss at Arizona State, had 18 points for the Trojans.

Arizona led by as many as 19 in the first half and was up 16 at halftime. USC rallied to cut it to 70-68 with 6:40 to play, but the Trojans missed their next nine shots and the Wildcats pulled away.

Ryan Anderson added 14 points for Arizona, and Mark Tollefsen scored 11 of his 13 in the first half. Jordan McLaughlin had 15 for USC.

Arizona began the weekend two games behind first-place Oregon, but the Ducks were swept at California and Stanford, and the Wildcats beat both Los Angeles schools.

Arizona has won five in a row since losing at home to Oregon, a game that broke the Wildcats’ 49-game winning streak at McKale Center.

Arizona never trailed but had to weather a furious USC rally.

Trailing 46-30 at halftime, the Trojans outscored Arizona 23-9 to cut the lead to 70-68 on McLaughlin’s 3-pointer with 6:40 to play.

Dusan Ristic and Kaleb Tarczewski each sank a pair of free throws, Trier hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down and Kadeem Allen made a driving floater in a 9-1 spurt that put the Wildcats back in control 79-69 with 3:36 to play.

The Trojans went 6:07 without a field goal before Boatwright’s 3 with 33 seconds to play.

It looked like a blowout in the first half.

The Wildcats, who lost 103-101 in four overtimes at USC on Jan. 9, took apart the USC zone defense, shooting 54 percent to lead 46-30 at the break.

Leading just 22-18 eight minutes into the game, the Wildcats outscored the Trojans 21-6 over the next 10 1/2 minutes. Tollefsen scored 11 in the run, capped by his tip-in that put Arizona up 43-24 with 1:39 left in the half.

Boatwright sank a pair of jumpers to cut the lead to 43-28, then York — under severe duress at the top of the key — hit a falling-away 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. A 10-footer by McLaughlin at the halftime buzzer made it a 16-point lead at the break.

TIP-INS

USC: The Trojans fell to 1-5 on the road in the Pac-12. … Boatwright got in early foul trouble for the second game in a row, drawing his second 4:23 into the game. … The Trojans have lost seven in a row at Arizona.

Arizona: York became the 50th Wildcats player to top 1,000 points in his career. … It was the first time in nine years that USC and Arizona were both ranked when the teams played. … The Wildcats are the only team with a winning road record in Pac-12 games.

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