USC 77, Arizona 70
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Gabe Pruitt scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half and had seven steals, Nick Young added 21 points and nine rebounds, and Southern California beat mistake-prone Arizona 77-70 Thursday night to snap a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats.
Lodrick Stewart scored 17 points for the Trojans (6-4, 15-6), who took advantage of 22 turnovers to win for the fourth time in five games.
Freshman Marcus Williams led Arizona (6-4, 13-8) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Mustafa Shakur added 14 points, four rebounds and five assists and Ivan Radenovic had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats, who lost despite outrebounding the Trojans 45-30.
Arizona’s Hassan Adams, who entered averaging a conference-leading 19.5 points, was held to a season-low nine, shooting 4-of-11. Kirk Walters had seven points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 3:35 remaining.’
The loss was the fifth in nine games for the Wildcats, whose streak of 18 straight seasons with 20 or more victories might be in jeopardy. They’ve got eight games remaining before the Pac-10 tournament, assuring them of at least nine more games this season.
Freshman Ryan Francis, who had eight points, made two straight baskets early in the second half to snap a 42-all tie and put USC ahead for good.
But the Trojans had several anxious moments before the end.
Pruitt made a basket with 4:25 left to make it 59-54, but Shakur responded 13 seconds later to draw the Wildcats within three points.
Stewart made two straight baskets following Arizona turnovers to extend USC’s lead to 63-56 with three minutes to play. Shakur made a 3-pointer to cut USC’s lead to four, but that’s as close as the Wildcats would get.
A follow shot by Keith Wilkinson, a 3-pointer by Stewart and two free throws by Pruitt gave USC a 42-35 lead. But the Wildcats responded with seven straight points of their own—five by Williams—to tie it. Francis then put USC ahead for good.
The Wildcats made their first three shots—two short jumpers by Radinovic and a 3-pointer by Williams—for a 7-0 lead. Then they got sloppy, with Pruitt scoring twice following turnovers and Stewart made a 3-pointer, enabling the Trojans to tie it.
Young scored five points and set up Pruitt for a dunk during a 7-0 run that gave the Trojans an 18-14 lead.
Neither team led by more than four points during the rest of the first half, which ended in a 30-all tie.
Starting USC center Abdoulaye Ndiaye fouled out with 7:12 remaining after having played only eight minutes and being held scoreless with four of USC’s 12 turnovers.
Arizona was coming off 86-69 loss at North Carolina, its most lopsided setback of the season. The Wildcats beat the Trojans 74-63 in Tucson last month.