No. 2 Arizona is too much for Trojans

(News4usonline) – The USC Trojans picked the wrong night to have an off game. Going up against No. 2 Arizona at Galen Center, the Trojans faltered right out of the gate and could not catch the Wildcats in a 91-71 loss at home.

Riding a six-game winning streak coming into the game, USC got hit in the mouth in the first half and could not get itself off the floor mat after Arizona jumped out to a 51-27 lead before the two teams went into intermission.

The Trojans’ undoing was going 9 out of 28 from the field (32 percent) in that first half, while the Wildcats were having a ball with their 55 percent shooting from the field. The Trojans tried to make up for their first-half shooting meltdown with 44 points in the second period, outscoring Arizona (40) by four points.

By then, it was a matter of the Trojans attending the party too late.

March 1, 2022. USC forward Max Agbonkpolo (23) goes up for the shot attempt against No. 2 Arizona. Agbonkpolo scored 14 points in the Trojans’ 91-71 defeat to the Wildcats at Galen Center. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/Black News Service

The blowout defeat to Arizona was the second time in less than a month that the Men of Troy lost to the Pac-12 Conference leader. Before USC embarked on their previous win streak, the Trojans fell to the Wildcats in a 72-63 road loss.

In that contest, the Trojans played Arizona tight in the first half, going into halftime down by just one point (29-28).

The Wildcats needed every bit of the 43 points they scored in the second half to pin down USC with a loss. Interestingly enough, the Trojans shot the ball from the field almost as bad as they did in the two teams’ second go-round in Pac-12 Conference play.

March 1, 2022. No. 2 Arizona jumped out to a 51-27 halftime lead against the USC Trojans on their way to recording a 91-71 win at Galen Center. Photo: Mark Hammond/Black News Service

Besides USC’s poor shooting from the field in the last regular season home game for the Trojans, there were a couple of areas of the game where Arizona dominated. First, Arizona outshot USC overall from the field (55 percent to 39 percent). USC turned the ball over 12 times resulting in the Wildcats getting 19 points out of the deal.

Outside of those numbers, the game, on paper, was played almost evenly. Arizona tallied 44 points in the paint. USC muscled in 40 points from down low. The Trojans even outplayed Arizona in second-chance points (23-4), fast-break points (15-13), and bench points (33-28).

The Trojans have one game remaining in the regular season (March 5) before the Pac-12 Tournament (March 9-March 12) and NCAA Tournament gets underway, and that’s against the UCLA Bruins, their longtime city rivals.

Featured Image Caption: Photo credit: Mark Hammond/Black News Service