Arizona outdoes depleted USC Trojans in second half

As expected, the USC Trojans were going to be shallow in the talent pool but not weak in the oil they were burning.

In fact, they put a little scare into the Arizona Wildcats.

It wasn't pretty, but the Wildcats (20-9, 11-5 Pac-12) did what they needed to in dispatching the struggling Trojans (6-22, 1-14) on Thursday, using a 12-0 finish to the first half to come back from an eight-point deficit en route to a 70-54 victory in McKale Center.


Kyle Fogg led the way with 16 points and 12 rebounds and despite Josiah Turner coming off the bench, the freshman went for 15 points and six assists. The Wildcats told the media Turner was benched because of replacement Brendon Lavender's strong play of late, and Lavender didn't disappoint either, scoring eight points.

Yet, the win didn't come easily.

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor in the first half before Arizona heated up to break the game open.

The Trojans built a 24-16 lead twelve minutes into the game, but the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run to tie the game and finished the half on top 28-24, holding USC scoreless in the final eight minutes of the period.

Sean Miller's team shot 45.6 percent from the floor for the game, meanwhile holding the Trojans to 38.6 percent. Most of the attacking came from the three-point line, where the Wildcats shot 8-for-21 from the field.

That made up for quiet evenings for Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry, who combined for 13 points and 10 boards.

And in general, the game was perimeter-oriented. Both teams packed in their man defenses to keep each others' athletic and fast backcourts out of the paint. In a way, that didn't stop the guards from becoming the focal point of both offenses.

It was just that Turner got in the paint often, scoring with his patented floater or dishing to opponents.
USC's guards scored their points as well, with freshman Byron Wesley scoring 18, and point guard Maurice Jones scoring 10 and dropping seven dimes.

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