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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 12 Arizona MBB gets back into the win column against USC in 82-67 victory

Olivia Malone
Arizona’s Oumar Ballo (11) snags a rebound in UA’s game against USC on Wednesday, Jan. 17. The Wildcat’s 82-67 point win secured their season record of 13-4.

The No. 12 University Arizona men’s basketball team secured an 82-67 victory against USC on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m. in McKale Center. This win, although does not erase, will help the Wildcats to move on from the upsetting defeat they faced Washington State University on Saturday, Jan. 13, where Arizona fell 73-70. In the ongoing rivalry, Arizona maintains the series lead against USC at 75-45.

First Half

The Wildcats initiated the game with a strong 7-0 run, as USC failed to score in the early possessions until Bronny James broke the drought with a jumper. Caleb Love’s three-pointer pushed Arizona ahead by 10 points in the opening minutes, with a score of 14-4. Harrison Hornery’s three-pointer chipped away at the 19-12 score. Despite a slowdown in shot-making, James scored on back-to-back possessions, closing in on the 22-16 lead. Midway through the first quarter, Arizona missed 10 straight shots until Keshad Johnson broke the dry spell with a crucial 3-pointer, extending the lead to 26-19. USC capitalized on Arizona’s missed shots, with DJ Rodman scoring off a layup and putting the Trojans back in the game at 31-28. Jaden Bradley’s successful and-1 excited the crowd in McKale

James responded on the other end with a 3-pointer, narrowing the score to 35-31. Kylan Boswell’s layup off a fast break pushed Arizona back into a double-digit lead to close the first quarter. The Wildcats went into halftime leading by 10 points at 45-35. Johnson led Arizona with 10 points and six rebounds, while James led USC with nine points, and Rodman followed with eight points and five rebounds.

Second Half

The second half opened with Oumar Ballo scoring for Arizona with a jumper. Kobe Johnson’s 3-pointer brought USC back within single digits at 52-43. After a missed possession by USC, Love took full advantage by shooting another 3-pointer, extending the lead. Shortly after, Boswell made a layup off a steal, pushing the score to 61-46. Rodman ended a two-minute scoring drought for both teams, and USC went on a 7-0 run. 

Oziyah Sellers made back-to-back 3-pointers, bringing USC within 10 points of the score with just under three minutes to play. Pelle Larsson responded with his own shot from beyond the arc, securing the win for Arizona. USC failed to trim the lead, and the game concluded with a final score of 82-67. Love finished and led with 20 points and five assists, while Rodman led USC with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Head coach Tommy Lloyd was asked about the energy in both halves of the game:

“Yea, you know, you play against that much zone, sometimes it changes the rhythm of the game, at halftime you know, we’re up ten, I didn’t necessarily feel great […]. In the second half we kind of got stagnant for whatever reason and you know, USC deserves some credit but we got to keep getting better.”

Looking ahead

The Wildcats will be back in McKale as they prepare to face UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. 

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