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MENS BASKETBALL


Arizona 70, Southern Cal 49

Arizona 70, Southern Cal 49

MARK ANDERSON
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAS VEGAS - KJ Lewis led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points and sixth-ranked Arizona avenged a loss to USC to end the regular season by rolling past the Trojans 70-49 in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Wildcats (25-7) play the winner of the Oregon-UCLA game on Friday night. Arizona is two victories from becoming the first three-peat Pac-12 champion since the Wildcats won four straight in 1988-90 and 2002. There were no conference tournaments between 1991-2001.

Ninth-seeded USC ended its season at 15-18. The Trojans’ four-game winning streak also came to a halt.

Jaden Bradley scored 12 points for Arizona. Pac-12 player of the year Caleb Love, who scored two points in the previous meeting with USC, finished with 11, Oumar Ballo posted his 17th double-double this season with 10 points and 13 rebounds and Pelle Larson had 10 points.

Kobe Johnson led USC with 14 points, Isaiah Collier scored 13 and the Trojans shot just 35.7%.

Arizona dominated in nearly every way, beating USC in rebounds (44-30), second-chance points (19-4), bench points (32-3) and transition points (16-2).

The Wildcats remained perfect under coach Tommy Lloyd in the Pac-12 Tournament at 7-0. They also are 10-1 under his watch in Las Vegas, the lone setback a 96-95 double-overtime loss to then-No. 14 Florida Atlantic in December.

USC beat Arizona 78-65 to close the regular season, but Lloyd kept his Arizona record intact of never having lost back-to-back games.

Arizona broke open a close game late in the first half by going on a 12-2 run to take a 28-16 lead. The Trojans didn’t score over the final 5:49.

USC finally broke the drought 11 seconds into the second half, but that did little to slow Arizona, which led by as many as 24 points.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Arizona athletics press release

March 14, 2024





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