Notebook: Arizona vs. USC

Arizona lost to USC on Wednesday night. Read on for news and notes on why the Wildcats could not get it done.

Arizona's defense seemingly took the night off on Wednesday night and USC took advantage by upsetting the Wildcats 89-78.

UA looked lost at times on the defensive end of the floor and it allowed Southern Cal to find open looks all over the court. That eventually led to USC knocking down shots whether the Wildcats brought the defensive effort or not and it allowed the Trojans to stunt any run Arizona attempted to make.

The Wildcats' offense didn't perform much better than their defense. While USC shot the ball consistently well throughout the contest, Arizona struggled to get good looks at the basket and had difficulty from three-point range.

UA's overall performance left a lot to be desired on Wednesday and it will take a much better effort on both ends of the floor if it wants to get revenge against UCLA this weekend.

  • Solomon Hill led the way with 21 points and was one of the only Wildcats to play strong defense, as the senior came away with five steals. Hill started slowly and that was when USC was able to extend its lead in the first half.

    Hill eventually stepped up and had a much more productive game the rest of the way. The senior also added six assists and three rebounds, but his play wasn't enough to help lead a comeback.

  • Senior guard Mark Lyons may have finished with 14 points and three steals, but those numbers don't really reflect the performance he put forth on Wednesday.

    Lyons made just one field goal in nine attempts and missed all five of his shots from behind the three-point line. What was even more uncharacteristic for the senior guard was his free throw shooting. He missed four free throws during a key stretch in the first half that allowed USC to hold a big lead.

  • The struggles of Nick Johnson continue. The sophomore guard failed to reach double figures for the seventh time in eight games and went just 2-for-6 from the floor against the Trojans.

    Johnson missed his only two attempts from beyond the arc and turned the ball over three times. Johnson's normally-strong defense also left a lot to be desired on Wednesday as all three USC starting wing players reached double-digits.

  • USC shot 61 percent from the floor and its shooting only became more efficient as the game progressed. At halftime, the Trojans were knocking down 58.1 percent of their shots, but over the final 20 minutes of the affair, USC shot an even more impressive 65.2 percent.

    Allowing an opponent to connect at such a successful rate is never a good formula for victory, especially when that team shoots only 40 percent itself.

  • USC didn't have any issue with moving the ball around or finding open looks at the basket. The Trojans' patience and efficiency on offense allowed them to score 42 of their points in the paint, 10 more than UA put up in the key.

  • Arizona has been most successful when it has been able to run up and down the court as opposed to playing in a half-court offense. USC's defense forced UA into a half-court set more often than it probably would have liked and the Wildcats were only able to produce nine fast-break points on the night.

    Instead of running, Arizona looked lost on offense, which featured sub-par shooting, lack of motion, and very little ball movement. With UA's offense stuck in neutral, USC pounced at the opportunity and took control of the contest early.


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