USC Comeback Falls Short Against No. 14 Arizona, 73-66|
Jan. 19, 2017
LOS ANGELES (AP) Elijah Stewart scored 20 points and Jordan McLaughlin added 14 points and eight assists for USC (16-4, 3-4) as a late comeback fell short against No. 14 Arizona Thursday night, 73-66.
Lauri Markkanen scored 23 points, including a rainbow 3-pointer with 33 seconds left. The Wildcats (17-2, 6-0 Pac-12) won their 12th consecutive game but had to hold on to the end as USC rallied from a 23-point deficit over the final 15 minutes.
Rawle Alkins added 14 points, Kadeem Allen 11, and Dusan Ristic grabbed 12 rebounds for Arizona, which struggled against a zone defense and shot 40 percent overall but made 10 of 26 3-point attempts.
Trailing 56-35 with 9:20 to play, the Trojans clawed back with a 17-4 run capped by Chimezie Metu's three-point play that made it 60-52 with 4:47 to play.
''We've come back several times from deficits,'' USC coach Andy Enfield said. ''We had a chance to win it in the final 2 minutes but things didn't go our way.''
The Trojans pulled within 64-57 when Stewart converted a rebound tip-in into a three-point play. Shaqquan Allen made two free throws twice in the final minutes, pulling USC within 67-64 with 1:03 to play.
Markkanen sank a long 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give Arizona a 70-64 lead with 33 seconds to play. Southern Cal could get no closer than 70-66 after that.
Southern California managed to score just 21 points over the game's first 25 minutes, falling behind 44-21 with 15:23 to play.
Leading 19-15, Arizona appeared to take control with a 23-6 run that carried into the second half, taking its biggest lead of the game at 44-21 on Keanu Pinder's layin with 15:24 to play.
With the victory, the Wildcats avenged last year's 103-101 quadruple-overtime loss to the Trojans at the Galen Center.
Arizona: At UCLA on Saturday
Southern California: Home vs. Arizona State on Sunday.