Arizona was able to defeat USC in dominating fashion on Saturday. Read on for news and notes on how the Wildcats got it done.
Two days after receiving a wake up call from a double-digit loss at home to UCLA, Arizona
wasted no time getting down to business Saturday. The Wildcats jumped out to a big lead over USC
early in the contest and proceeded to build upon it throughout the game as it progressed. By the end of the contest, UA prevailed in dominant fashion, defeating the Trojans 74-50.
UA played lock down defense and prevented USC from cutting into the big lead. Late in the second half, the Trojans simply looked dejected on both ends of the floor. Arizona's starting five frustrated USC and it didn't take long for the Wildcats to put the game out of reach.
Four out of five UA starters reached double figures, led by Nick Johnson's 14 points. The balanced scoring kept the Trojans' defense off track and allowed Arizona to continuously extend the lead throughout the contest.
Johnson's 14 points came on an impressive 6-for-8 shooting from the floor. The sophomore guard did his damage from inside the arc and was successful when going to the basket. He also did some damage on the defensive end of the floor, collecting a pair of steals and blocking two shots.
It was a typical night for senior forward Solomon Hill. He finished the game with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting and filled his stat line out with five rebounds and four assists. Hill continues to play at a very consistent level and his all-around outputs simply seem habitual, which is a good sign going forward for Arizona
Freshman forward Brandon Ashley put together an impressive game in the paint. In 25 minutes of action, Ashley scored 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. He also knocked down all four of his free throw attempts, which is a good sign for a player of his prowess around the basket.
Another freshman that was able to break out of his shell a little on Saturday was Kaleb Tarczewski. There have been moments during the season where the center has struggled to produce, but his performance against USC was an encouraging sign. He finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and picked up a steal in just 22 minutes of playing time.
Tarczewski was more assertive when he was in possession of the ball and he drew numerous fouls in the process. More games like this from the freshman center and the Wildcats are going to be much more difficult to beat.
Poor shooting and an ineffective offensive approach hindered USC's chances in this affair. The Trojans shot a meager 28.1 percent from the floor (25 percent from beyond the arc) and tallied just six assists as a team. To make matters worse for the Trojans, they turned the ball over 16 times, further demonstrating how much they struggled on offense.
The Wildcats' strong defense was felt by every player on the USC roster. The only two players to shoot 50 percent or better from the floor were a pair of bench-warmers who saw four minutes of action late in the game when it was out of reach. Each took one shot and connected on it. No one that saw the floor for the Trojans reached double figures in scoring or made more than three field goals.