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The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 8 Arizona MBB bounce back with win over USC after loss to ASU

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Jackie Cabrera

Arizona men’s basketball team’s head coach Tommy Lloyd talks to Kerr Kriisa during the game against the University of Colorado on Feb. 18 in McKale Center. The Wildcats went on to win the game 78-68.

LOS ANGELES – The Arizona men’s basketball team re-gains momentum after a six-point victory against the University of Southern California 87-81. From the start, Tommy Lloyd prioritized pounding the ball inside to Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis. The execution throughout the first 20 minutes dictated Thursday night’s result at Galen Center.

The duo returned to their strong suit, utilizing their high-low offense in the half-court. Ultimately, both saw numerous point-blank looks at the rim. Through 40 minutes, Arizona had 34 points in the paint.

“A lot of times, we have that big lineup out there, whether it’s matchups or foul issues the last couple of games, we haven’t been able to do it as much,” Lloyd said. “I thought offensively we were clicking on all levels.”

The team converted on 54 percent of their shots from the field. Tubelis led all scorers with 25 points and ten rebounds.

Trojan forward Joshua Morgan was picked apart on the defensive end throughout the evening. As Arizona’s big men controlled the first few minutes, Courtney Ramey could do his damage, stretching the Trojan defense. The senior had ten first-half points and ended the game with 16 points on 6-11 shooting from the field.

Entering tonight, Trojan guard Boogie Ellis had averaged 23 points per game in his last four contests. Ellis gave the Trojans a lift out of the gates. Lloyd needed some reinforcements on the defensive end and turned to freshman Kylan Boswell. Despite Ellis dropping a season-high 35 points, Boswell’s on-ball pressure caused Ellis discomfort. The freshman was aware of his pesky defense.

“That’s been my main focus point, when I get on the court, I want to try and bring some form of energy,” Boswell said. “I take pride in matching up against the opposing best player.”

Boswell was also a focal point on the other side of the ball, ending his night with 14 points on 80 percent shooting from the field.

With tonight’s victory, Arizona has clinched the second seed for the PAC-12 Tournament. On Saturday, Arizona will travel to Pauley Pavilion to face the UCLA Bruins. This game will not impact seeding for next weekend’s games in Las Vegas. However, Saturday will have NCAA Tournament implications. Arizona will look to add another quadrant one win to their resume. After picking one up at the Galen Center Thursday night, the group maintains a 7-2 record in this category. The game against the UCLA Bruins is on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. MST.


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