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USC defeats No. 7 Arizona 103-101 in 4OT

Arizona+forward+Ryan+Anderson+%2812%29+loses+control+over+the+ball+during+the+first+half+of+USCs+45-37+lead+over+Arizona+at+the+Galen+Center+in+Los+Angeles%2C+Calif.+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+9%2C+2016.
Rebecca Noble
Arizona forward Ryan Anderson (12) loses control over the ball during the first half of USC’s 45-37 lead over Arizona at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016.

LOS ANGELES — There wasn’t enough drama in Westwood on Thursday night. So it made sense for a Hollywood sequel on Saturday at the Galen Center.

And like the prequel, the result was the same.

No. 7 Arizona and USC played to a historic four overtimes in Los Angeles, where the Trojans came out on top 103-101.

The game, the longest game in Arizona history, saw 10 total players reach double digit scoring. USC’s Elijah Stewart led all scorers with 27 and Julian Jacobs added 18 as the Trojans (14-3, 3-1) completed their sweep on the Arizona schools.

The Wildcats (13-3, 1-2) were swept by the LA schools for the first time since 2013. This defeat comes on the heels of Thursday night’s buzzer beater loss to UCLA.

“We lost two hard fought battles,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. “Fans, the media, you can get caught up in 1-2. I’m too smart for that. It’s an 18-game [conference] season.

Allonzo Trier led the Wildcats in scoring with 25 points. Gabe York had 21 and Kaleb Tarczewski had 16 points and added 12 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup.

Arizona trailed by as many as 12 during regulation but as was the case Thursday but made a late comeback to keep in the game.

Trailing 71-59 with about 5:30 left in the game, Arizona closed out the half by scoring 12 points in a row, including two Tarczewski tip-ins to tie the game at 71. A Nikola Jovanovic layup gave the Trojans another lead, but Kadeem Allen scored on a layup of his own with 30 seconds remaining to tie the game.

From there, the chaos ensued.

The teams went back-and-forth each overtime, with Arizona grabbing the largest lead of any of the overtimes at 93-89 in the third. USC came back and scored six straight and took the lead, but a Gabe York layup with 16 seconds remaining sent the game into the fourth overtime.

Another Tarczewski tip-in sent the game into the second overtime, and two Gabe York free throws with 20 seconds remaining sent it into the third.

The third overtime went similar to the previous two, as Arizona eventually forced a missed jumper from Jordan McClaughlin as time expired.

The last time Arizona played a triple-overtime game was 2011 when it defeated the Cal Bears 107-105.

In the fourth and final overtime session, Arizona and USC stood tied until the final minute, when with 22 seconds to go Trojans’ Stewart drew contact from Justin Simon on a turnaround jumper and headed to the charity stripe. Stewart made both free throws to put USC ahead 103-101.

Simon appeared to make just slight contact with Stewart’s arm on the shot attempt, but it was enough to draw the ref’s whistle.

“When it ends on a foul, the person who gets called for the foul wishes it was different,” Miller said. ”The one who gets fouled says of course it was a foul. But that was one of hundreds of plays that made that game a great game.”

On the game’s final possession, York dribbled the ball up court before a USC defender tipped the ball in the backcourt, forcing York to retrieve it. With about six seconds to go, York passed the ball to Allen, who missed a flailing three point attempt as time expired.

Arizona shot 41-81 (49%) from the field, including 10-23 (43%) from three.

The Trojans shot 34-79 (43%) and 9-24 (38%) from three. The Wildcats led USC in rebounding (49-40). USC shot 26-33 (79%) from the free throw line with Arizona only shooting 11-16 (69%).

After grabbing a 45-37 halftime lead, USC picked up where they left off in the second, knocking down 50 percent from the field and three as they extended their lead to 10 in the first five minutes of the second half. Arizona was forced to play comeback all half as they also did against UCLA.

Arizona held an early 24-16 lead on the Trojans in the first half, but began to let the lead slip thanks to some hot shooting from USC. In the first half, the Trojans shot 64 percent from the field including 50 percent from three.

“When you lose a couple and you have some real evidence to back up how it feels when you don’t communicate or play with great effort or are out of position, then I think in many ways this trip will have great meaning to our future,” Miller said.

The Wildcats will have a few days off to head home for their next conference game against Washington on Thursday.


Follow Kyle Hansen on Twitter.


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