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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CALIFORNIA CATASTROPHE (w/ video)

    Photo by Mike Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat

    USC 65, Arizona 64

    LOS ANGELES – The unthinkable happened again.

    With merely seconds remaining in a tie game, UA forward Jamelle Horne committed a foul at half court, sending the potential game-winning free throws to the line.

    Once again, a would-be impossible last-second desperation shot turned into a freebie at the charity stripe.

    Horne fouled USC’s Daniel Hackett at midcourt as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Hackett converted the first free throw with 1.3 seconds remaining, putting the Trojans up 65-64.

    Jordan Hill rebounded Hackett’s second shot and launched a full-court prayer as the final horn sounded.

    It happened again.

    “”We weren’t trying to foul at all,”” said UA point guard Nic Wise.

    Added UA interim head coach Russ Pennell: “”When you play basketball, you make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes.””

    When the same situation occurred the first time, in McKale Center against UAB on Nov. 18, the bizarre play drew national attention after Horne reached out to foul at halfcourt.

    Today, Arizona controlled and led nearly the entire game, and against all odds, suffered from the exact collapse.

    Now the Wildcats (11-7, 2-4 Pacific 10 Conference) head home winless from their southern California road trip after the 65-64 loss to USC (12-5, 3-2) on Saturday in the Galen Center.

    The Horne foul ended a nearly three-minute downhill stretch for the Wildcats. After controlling the game for the first 37 minutes, Arizona felt the momentum violently swing after the refs called an intentional foul on Wise with 3:50 remaining.

    The call resulted in a four-point swing after USC’s Dwight Lewis converted the ensuing free throws. The Trojans got the possession back, and Lewis drew another foul, and also made both of those shots, putting USC up 58-56 in their first lead of the second half

    The controversial intentional foul call on Wise was reviewed by the officials.

    When asked if he’ll call the Pac-10 offices regarding the play, Pennell said he didn’t know.

    Check back with the Arizona Daily Wildcat Tuesday for an extended recap from Los Angeles.

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