Arizona was able to pull away from USC for a big 87-57 win on Thursday night. Read on to find out more about the game, including the player of the game, key moments, and more.
USC was able to hang with Arizona for about ten minutes, but the Wildcats took over from there en route to an 87-57 win. Here’s a closer look at what happened:
Arizona Player of the Game:
Kaleb Tarczewski – The big man followed up a solid weekend on the road with a nice game against the Trojans. Tarczewski helped himself to 13 early points in the game, pushing the Wildcats ahead before halftime. He just missed a double-double, tallying 15 points and nine rebounds. Tarczewski also added a block, an assist and solid defense on Nikola Jovanovic.
With 14:04 left in the first half, Arizona got it’s first real cushion of the night. T.J. McConnell drove the lane on a fast break and found himself in trouble. He kicked the ball out to a wide-open Elliott Pitts for a three ball and the Wildcats went up 16-11.
USC fought back, cutting the lead to two, but Arizona was able to use a buckets by Kaleb Tarczewski and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and a three pointer from Stanley Johnson to grab a 29-20 advantage, the largest lead up to that point.
Just a few moments later, the Wildcats took off. McConnell stepped into the passing lane for a steal and found Tarczewski for a monster dunk in traffic and Hollis-Jefferson got an and-one to ignite the crowd just before the under-eight media timeout, giving the Wildcats a 36-22 lead.
Just a minute into the second half, Stanley Johnson stole a pass and turned it into a one-handed tomahawk slam. It put the Wildcats up 20 and they never looked back.
Stat of the Night:
57 - Arizona’s defense stepped up in the second half, holding USC to just 24-percent from the field. The Trojans only scored ten points off of field goals after halftime shooting 6 of 25 from the field. USC did hit both of its three-pointers in the second half, but both came when the game was well out of hand.
Arizona started slow, but what is new? USC came out and was ready to play, but the Trojans just couldn’t keep the energy going for very long and the Wildcats took over. When you think about how poorly the Wildcats played in the first half (9 turnovers) and the fact that they were still ahead by 18, it should tell you all you need to know about this game: USC isn’t a very good team and Arizona is.
It was nice for Parker Jackson-Cartwright to get back out there after missing the last four games, but it was clear that he is going to need a bit to get re-established as the solid option at the back-up point guard position that he was before the concussion. He picked up three quick fouls in the first half, but played a better in the second.
Jackson-Cartwright hit a three and got the foul with the basket on a floater in the lane in the second half. The guard also got a steal that turned into a layup as he adjusted to the speed of the game.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"I think all of our players understand that when you hang from the rafters forever, you did some wonderful things." Miller said of Jason Terry. "In Jason's case, he did it in high school before he got here, he obviously did it here, and if you take some time to watch and think about what he has done as an NBA player, he has had an incredible career.
"One of the great shooters to ever play in that league. Being able to say that, it's nice to have him retired now, in terms of his jersey."
”They played zone, so it was tough to get the ball to our guards,” T.J. McConnell said. “(Tarczewski) was slipping and finding the open spots and we were doing a good job of hitting him. I wouldn't say we were trying to go for him, but we are always looking for him.