Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Fall At USC, 80-72
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 23, 2000
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - USC got career games from David Bluthenthal and Brian Scalabrine as they defeat the Wildcats 80-72 on Saturday night in a showdown of undefeated Pac-10 teams.

The Wildcats (16-3, 5-1 Pac-10) had their seven-game winning streak snapped and surrendered first place in the conference to the Trojans (12-5).

``Scalabrine has tremendous confidence,'' Arizona coach Lute Olson said. ``He's a good passer, handles the ball well, he really showed it tonight. He was the most difficult player on the floor to guard.''

The Wildcats briefly got back into it with a 13-6 run, including six by Jason Gardner, to trail 69-67 with 1:38 left.

``They're a dangerous team because they're very talented,'' said Loren Woods, who had 21 points for the Wildcats. ``They played shorthanded, but they overcame it. They controlled the game from the outset and kept the tempo slowed down.''

USC scored the rest of its points at the free-throw line, hitting 11 of 12 attempts over the final 1:25 when the Wildcats had little choice but to foul.

``They came out and played hard. They came up with the big shots,'' Gardner said. ``They hit big free throws. We couldn't get over the hump.''

Gardner, half of Arizona's freshmen backcourt, led the Wildcats with a career-high 25 points.

A three-point play by Woods got the Wildcats within two with 12:15 remaining. Granville, playing with three fouls, keyed an 11-5 run with five points to restore USC's advantage to 63-55 with 6:47 left.

``They had so many wide-open shots. They're a tough team to defend,'' Woods said.

The Trojans led by one at halftime before Gardner scored Arizona's first five points of the second half to tie the game at 41.