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20070119 USC Tops Arizona, 80-73
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/19/2007
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<p>LOS ANGELES (AP) -Nick Young and the Southern California Trojans have been giving grief to the Pac-10's top teams while turning themselves into surprising conference contenders.</p><p>Young had 30 points and eight rebounds and Southern California beat No. 11 Arizona 80-73 on Thursday night, handing the Wildcats their second consecutive loss and third in four games.</p><p>``We're the underdog team and we're learning how to play together,'' Young said. ``We're just trying to get respect out there.''</p><p>Arizona lost to Washington State last week to snap a 12-game winning streak, and lost to then-No. 15 Oregon on Sunday.</p><p>The Trojans (14-5, 4-2 Pac-10) came back from a one-point, last-second loss on Saturday to then-No. 4 UCLA to beat their fourth ranked opponent of the season.</p><p>``We knew we had to get this one,'' Young said. ``We were all nervous from the UCLA game and we knew we had to bounce back. That's what good teams do is bounce back off bad losses.''</p><p>USC has made a specialty of knocking off ranked teams, giving No. 16 Oregon its first loss of the season on Jan. 4, and beating No. 14 Washington on Dec. 28 and No. 8 Wichita State on Dec. 23. Young was the Trojans' leading scorer in all three of those games.</p><p>Those victories weren't as resounding as Thursday's win, with the Trojans taking the lead with a strong run to end the first half and giving up the lead just once in the second half.</p><p>USC has beaten Arizona (13-4, 4-3) in seven of 11 meetings in Los Angeles, six of those at their former home at the Sports Arena. Thursday was Arizona's first appearance at USC's new Galen Center.</p><p>Young went 13-for-19 from the field, throwing fakes, tossing up fallaways and yanking down rebounds at key moments throughout the game.</p><p>And he played with a swagger that defined a team that clearly believes it can beat anyone in the country.</p><p>``It takes mental and physical fitness to play this game and he's got that,'' Arizona coach <a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39523" /><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39523">Lute Olson</a></a /> said of Young.</p><p>``I just thought he played terrific,'' USC coach Tim Floyd said. ``When you're a program trying to build credibility, anytime you can beat Arizona it's big.''</p><p>Lodrick Stewart had 18 points and Gabe Pruitt scored 16 for the Trojans.</p><p><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39542" /><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39542">Mustafa Shakur</a></a /> and <a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=186162" /><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=186162">Marcus Williams</a></a /> led Arizona with 19 points apiece. Both had eight rebounds. <a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39534" /><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=39534">Ivan Radenovic</a></a /> added 15 points and 10 rebounds.</p><p>Trailing by two, USC went on a 15-3 run early in the second half to take a lead it wouldn't give up. Young scored six points during the run, including a dunk that made it 54-44 with 10:50 remaining.</p><p>Arizona crept back, pulling within two after a three-point play from Radenovic, but a 3-pointer from Keith Wilkinson and Young's jumper gave USC a 71-64 lead with 3:20 to go.</p><p>Young then got a goaltending call on a bad miss to put the Trojans up 73-67, and made two free throws in the final minute to put USC up 75-69.</p><p>``They've got a lot of guys that could go to the NBA,'' Young said, ``so we're just happy we contained them down the stretch,''</p><p>USC's Taj Gibson missed three of four free throws in the final minute that kept the crowd nervous, but Gabe Pruitt made a pair with 16 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Trojans.</p><p>The Trojans held an Arizona team averaging 51.2 percent from the field to just 38.3 percent. USC shot 53.3 percent. The Trojans came in leading the Pac-10 in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 35.2 percent. They have held 15 of 19 opponents under 40 percent.</p><p>The suddenly sputtering Wildcats now have to face No. 3 UCLA across town on Saturday.</p><p>``We're certainly capable of beating UCLA,'' Olson said. ``I know that we're capable but we just have to find some way to turn our heads back up.''</p><p><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=542241" /><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=542241">Chase Budinger</a></a />'s 3-pointer and two free throws from <a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=68648" /><a class="ARTICLELINK" href="../ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=68648">Jawann McClellan</a></a /> gave Arizona a 14-6 lead to open the game. Budinger finished with 14 points.</p><p>USC responded with a 12-4 run that featured two 3-pointers from Stewart and a jumper and a dunk from Gibson to tie it at 18. Stewart went 3-for-5 from behind the arc and scored 11 points in the first half.</p><p>The Trojans took their first lead 29-28 on Pruitt's 3 with 3:15 to play in the half, and Young hit a fallaway tip-in at the buzzer to put the Trojans up 33-29 at halftime.</p></block />
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