Second half surge propels the Cats

It was a game of redemption for Mustafa Shakur. Just two days after being held scoreless against UCLA, the junior point guard scored 17 points to lead the Wildcats to a 74-63 win over USC.

Neither team gained the upper hand until early in the second half. Arizona opened the second half with a 15-6 run and then held off several small USC runs to gain the win.

Two Abdoulaye Ndiaye free throws with 6:14 cut the Wildcat lead to eight, but the Wildcats proceeded to score the next eight points and never led by less than double figures again.

Shakur hit 7-8 shots, scoring 17 points, while dishing out four assists and grabbing five rebounds. Shakur was particularly effective behind the arc, making both attempts.

"It was good to see that his confidence was not shot from that one game," Lute Olson said on the post game radio broadcast.

For the second straight game the Wildcats shot better than 50% from the field, but also hit 50% of their three-point shots. All told Arizona shot 52.8%, while making 7-14 three pointers.

Four other Wildcats were in double figures. Hassan Adams scored 16, while Chris Rodgers scored 11, making three from behind the arc. Ivan Radenovic and Marcus Williams each added 10.

Radenovic grabbed nine rebounds for the Wildcats and was very effective in defending underneath the basket, a problem for the team on Thursday night.

The Trojans shot a paltry 38.2% from the field, and were just 9-24 from behind the arc. After allowing UCLA to shoot over 60%, it was impressive to see the Trojans struggle to get open looks.

"We played really, really well on the defensive end," Olson said. "Our communication is getting better.

"We made it difficult for them to hit shots."

Gabe Pruitt scored 19 to lead the Trojans, while Lodrick Stewart added 16.

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