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Seven Wildcats finished in double figures, but they never looked comfortable on offense. They shot just 41.3% and got 30 of their 90 points off of free throws.
The real difficulty was on the defensive side of the ball. The Cats had no answer for Desmon Farmer who was hot from the outside in the first half and seemed to do everything right in the second half. Farmer scored 23 in the first half and scored all 17 of his second half points in the final 10:58.
Farmer had no trouble being a zone buster. He scored 23 first half points against the Cats' 1-3-1 zone. The Cats abandoned the defense in the second half and Farmer had trouble scoring until the late going. Farmer got hot late and scored 12 consecutive points for the Trojans as they not only fended off a Wildcat run, but stretched their lead to 10.
It was the fifth highest scoring output in USC history and the most since Harold Minor scored 43 in 1991.
While Arizona certainly did not shoot as bad as they did against the Cardinal, they never really got on track. The Trojans' aggressive defense gave Wildcat shooters firs and forced them to make a number of bad decisions.
Things got worse for the Wildcats when both Channing Frye and Hassan Adams picked up their fourth personal fouls early in the second half. The Wildcats had even more difficulty scoring without much of an inside presence.
Frye managed 17 points but was never a force as he sat most of the second half with foul trouble. Mustafa Shakur and Salim Stoudamire added 14. Arizona played a terrible game on the defensive side of the ball as well. In the zone they gave up numerous good looks from the wing. When they went to man defense they were susceptible to both players posting up and te Trojan guards slashing to the hole. Erick Craven scored 13, most of which came as he slashed to the basket or got out on the fast break.
The Trojans four inside players combined to score Both teams started off fast. Arizona it 3-of-3 and USC made 3-4 to open the game and at the first television time out the game was knotted at nine. The Trojans rattled off seven straight after that, pulling out to a 16-9. Farmer hit his second three-pointer and a steal on the Cats' next bucket led to an easy transition lay-up by Erick Craven. Jeff McMillan finished the burst with a follow.
The Cats got within a bucket before the Trojans' three-point shooting allowed them to get an 11-point cushion. The Trojans found a hole in the Wildcats' 1-3-1 zone. Derrick Craven and Farmer hit back to back to back threes as part of an 9-0 outburst. Craven sandwiched two from the left wing around Craven's from the right side and USC led 29-18.
Arizona responded. The Cats ran out to an 11-2 run, thanks in large part to the play of Radenovic. The big man drained a three from the corner and then got three the old fashioned way with a lay-in and the free throw. Three free throws and a fast break lay-in from Shakur saw the Cats within two, 31-29.
While many teams wilt after a Wildcat run, the Trojans did just the opposite. USC responded and more hot shooting from Farmer was the key. The Cats had no answer for the swing man and he contributed eight points down the stretch and the Trojans led by as many 11, before taking a five-point lead into the locker room.
The Cats abandoned the zone to start the second half with mixed results. USC could not get the looks out on the perimeter, but the inside game opened up. The Trojans fed Jeff McMillan inside and he feasted on the much smaller Adams inside. He scored back-to-back buckets and helped draw two quick fouls on Channing Frye.
Arizona hung tough and appeared to get a break when McMillan picked up third foul of the half and his fourth overall. The foul trouble did not help the Wildcats. Instead USC went on a 9-2 lead, aided by Wildcat fouls and turnovers. Derrick Craven got back-to-back fast break lay-ins off of UA miscues and USC built a 71-62 lead.
Arizona scuffled down the stretch and shot themselves in the foot repeatedly. Turnovers, fouls and poor shot selection doomed the Wildcats. Every time they had a chance to make it a two-possession game they's stumble.