Feb 16, 2002
By JOHN NADEL
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - David Bluthenthal scored 23 of his career-high 31 points in the second half, and Sam Clancy had 28 points and 11 rebounds Saturday as No. 25 Southern California beat No. 9 Arizona 94-89.
Bluthenthal, who recently escaped coach Henry Bibby's doghouse, made back-to-back 3-pointers to give USC an 81-77 lead with 3:17 remaining, and the Trojans were on top the rest of the way.
Bluthenthal had scored a total of 21 points in four games before coming off the bench to score 21 in an 83-61 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night.
The 6-foot-7 senior returned to the starting lineup against Arizona, and came through with a career game, making 12-of-19 shots including 7-of-12 from 3-point range. He also had nine rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
By winning for just the second time in their last 10 games against Arizona, the Trojans (18-7, 10-4 Pac-10) moved ahead of the Wildcats and into a first place tie in the conference.
Arizona (17-8, 10-5) suffered its second straight tough loss in Los Angeles. The Wildcats were beaten 77-76 by No. 20 UCLA on Thursday night.
Clancy's double-double was his 10th straight - longest such streak in the country.
Errick Craven added 14 points and Brandon Granville scored 12 - all in the second half - and had 11 assists for USC.
Jason Gardner led Arizona with 27 points, but was held scoreless for the first 14 minutes and didn't score after making a 3-pointer with 6:17 remaining.
Luke Walton added 19 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists and Rick Anderson and Salim Stoudamire scored 18 for the Wildcats. Anderson's point total matched his career high, and he also had 11 rebounds.
A basket by Channing Frye gave Arizona a 77-75 lead before Bluthenthal made his key 3-pointers.
Stoudamire's 3-pointer with 7.7 seconds cut USC's lead to 91-89 before Granville, who made 7-of-8 foul shots in the final 50 seconds, sank 1-of-2 to give the Trojans a three-point lead.
Gardner was called for traveling with 2.9 seconds to play, and Craven's dunk in the final second completed the scoring.
Bluthenthal made consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 15-6 USC run to begin the second half, putting the Trojans on top 57-51.
Then it was Arizona's turn, as Gardner's eight points sparked a 13-0 spurt in a little over three minutes that gave the Wildcats a 69-62 lead.
Craven's 3-pointer ended a five-minute USC scoring drought and triggered a 9-0 run capped by Bluthenthal's 3-pointer that put the Trojans ahead 71-69 with 6:43 left.
Arizona won a 97-80 decision when the teams met in Tucson last month, rolling to a 34-7 lead in handing the Trojans their most one-sided loss of the season.
There would be no such fast start for the Wildcats in this game, although they did take a 7-2 lead before USC went on an 11-2 run.
Aided by an effective press that forced several turnovers, the Trojans scored 11 straight points in a span of two minutes - the final six by Clancy - for a 26-15 lead.
Neither team made a field goal for nearly 4 minutes before Clancy's baseline jumper made it 30-18.
Stoudamire scored 19 seconds later for Arizona's first field goal in over six minutes, and Gardner made a 3-pointer with 5:26 left in the half for his first points of the game, triggering a 9-0 run by the Wildcats that cut USC's lead to 31-29.
Gardner made three more 3-pointers before halftime - the final one with four seconds remaining to give Arizona a 45-42 lead.