The Wildcats may have been on top but were still playing sloppy with three turnovers in not even the first three minutes, including an ugly pass by Mustafa Shakur that easily ended up out of bounds. Enter Stoudamire. Salim got the team back on track hitting a shot from behind the arch and crediting Shakur with the assist.
Shakur then went inside turning it into a 10-4 game. Frye was then able to dunk in an open and clear lane, which completed a 10-0 run for the Cats. USC didn't score for nearly six minutes, but it was more because of sloppy shooting rather than great defense by Arizona.
However, Arizona did get into the game defensively when Chris Rodgers, Daniel Dillon, Kirk Walters, and Jawann McClellan replaced Stoudamire, Shakur, Radenovic, and Hassan Adams at the 11:38 mark. Trojan forward, Jeff McMillan tried to go one on one with Frye only to be rejected. Rodgers then grabbed a steal and got it to Stoudamire for a lay up and one at the free throw line.
Stoudamire continued to be hot as he scored another eight in a row with six from three- point range and two assists from Rodgers. A steal and dunk by McClellan separated the game by 17 points in favor of the Cats. However, the Trojans attempted to fight back going on a 10-2 run led by Young and USC's leading scorer this season Lodrick Stewart. USC freshman, Gaberiel Pruitt went onto hit a buzzer three pointer making the game 39-30.
At the end of the first half Stoudamire had sixteen points. He dominated the Trojans and was once again the man to beat. The Cats were three for eight from behind the arch at the half. All three three-pointers were made by Stoudamire. Radenovic was also playing very well at the break. He was all over the glass with eight rebounds and playing aggressively. Rodgers, who had a career game with 22 points the last time the Cats faced USC, wasn't looking for points but he was looking for the open man. Rodgers was very impressive in getting the ball to Stoudamire in the first half.
The Trojans were barely hanging on at the end of the first and the Cats proved to be just too powerful for them in the second. After a USC turnover Adams planted and took a jumper and got Arizona off to a good start. Frye then went inside and put the Cats up 43-30. Radenovic missed a free throw blowing his chance for a double-double.
Stoudamire then continued his scoring fiasco hitting back to back three's. Adams followed up by driving inside making the score 53-38. Frye was once again left wide open and took full advantage with a big slam. Not to be outdone, Adams hit a monster dunk putting the Wildcats up by 19 points.
The Cats were excelling in the paint scoring 12 points in the paint within the first seven minutes. Frye was able to knock down six points in a row and continue Arizona's run putting them up by 20 points. Stoudamire then grabbed a rebound and hustled down court for a nice dunk. It was a Wildcat slam fest.
Frye was able to get the ball to McClellan giving the Cats their biggest lead of the game at 24 points. Stoudamire was then sent to the line and easily hit both, giving him 26 points alone at the 5:52 mark. USC tried to mount a comeback by grabbing turnovers and getting good looks at the basket, but it wouldn't be enough. Jose Verdejo hit a three and put the Cats back up by 21 points. Arizona grabbed the win 88-76.
Stoudamire may easily be the best shooter in the league and he proved just why again against USC. He ended the game with an amazing 26 points. He was nine for 14 as far as field goals are concerned and hit five of seven three's. If Stoudamire and the rest of the Cats can play like they did against the Trojans they will have the green light come March. The most important man to Arizona's success is Stoudamire. He is being more consistent then ever and that could be the biggest factor in the Pac-10 tournament next month.