USC upsets No. 11 Arizona, Oregon & UCLA lead Pac-12
LOS ANGELES (AP) By moving the ball and creating quality shots, Southern California cruised to one of its best wins in years.
Eric Wise scored 22 points to lead five Trojans players in double figures, propelling USC to an 89-78 victory over No. 11 Arizona on Wednesday night.
Southern California (13-15, 8-7 Pac-12) shot 33 for 54 from the field, led by Wise's 9 for 12. Byron Wesley added 18 points, J.T. Terrell had 14 and Jio Fontan scored 12 with nine assists. Aaron Fuller also had 12 points.
It was USC's first win over a ranked team since it beat then-No. 10 Arizona two years ago.
"It's a tremendous victory for the team and for the program," interim coach Bob Cantu said. "We played for 40 minutes, we got stops when we needed and we shot the ball really, really well. We shot 61 percent, which was big-time against a tremendous team. I believe Arizona's a team that can be in the Final Four, without any question. Tonight was our night."
Solomon Hill led Arizona (23-5, 11-5) with 21 points and Kevin Parrom had 16. It was the Wildcats' first loss to USC in five meetings.
"Our offense, although not perfect, we got to the foul line 30 times," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "I think we had 13 turnovers, and although you would like to have less than that, it wasn't really a problem.
"We had some 3s that didn't go in, but when you look at this game, it was about our inability to stop USC. And you have to give USC a lot of credit; they made timely shots and big plays."
USC led throughout the game, going up by as many as 10 points in the first half and increasing its lead to 13 in the second half. Arizona held an 18-16 lead midway through the first half, but the Trojans went on a 5-0 run to take the lead and never trailed again.
Wise was in the middle of things throughout, getting the Trojans off to a good start early and maintaining an aggressive mindset on offense.
"I wanted to come out and do good personally, because the last four or five games I felt I haven't really helped my team," Wise said. "I wanted to come out strong, come out aggressive.
"I had a lot of fun today, finally got my shots to start falling."
USC started the second half quickly, building on its 42-36 halftime lead. A 9-2 run after halftime culminated with a block by Dewayne Dedmon that led to a fast-break layup by Fontan, giving the Trojans their biggest lead of the night at 51-38.
"We said at halftime we've got to get a stop and a score right off the bat," Cantu said. "We really tried to focus that when we run a set, not to become stagnant, to continue to move, and I thought we did that.
"Guys moved the ball tremendously. Every time they were coming back on us, we were able to respond with a basket."
The Wildcats pulled to 51-44 on a bucket by Parrom, but USC did everything it could to maintain some breathing room. The large contingent of Arizona fans in USC's home gym were riled up after a 3-pointer from the right baseline by Jordin Mayes narrowed USC's lead to 60-56 with 12:23 left.
USC, though, continued to hit big shots. Terrell's 3-pointer put the Trojans up 69-58. After a bucket by Arizona, Fontan was good on a turnaround jumper in the lane with 8:11 remaining, and USC led 71-60.
Arizona pulled to 77-71 with 3:15 remaining, but USC held on for one of its biggest wins of the season.
"It's up there," Cantu said. "They're a tremendous team. It was just our night. We were making shots, we got stops I'm just happy we were able to pull it out."
USC got off to a fast start behind Wise, who scored seven points in the opening 3 minutes to help the Trojans take a 9-5 lead. But the Wildcats, the best 3-point shooting team in the Pac-12 at 36.2 percent, got a couple of 3s from Parrom and then one from Hill to take their first lead at 11-10 with 16:04 left in the first half.
The Trojans, though, wouldn't go quietly. When Wesley was good on a 3-pointer from the left wing with 2:59 remaining, USC had its biggest lead of the half at 40-30. It was one of four 3-pointers in the first half by the Trojans, who shot 58 percent (18 for 31) in the opening 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, Arizona went cold after its fast start, shooting just 40 percent (12 for 30) in the half.
USC was led at the break by Wise, who had 11 points, and Wesley, who had 10. Omar Oraby, USC's 7-foot-2 backup center, was a presence in the paint with seven first-half rebounds and three blocked shots.
Hill's 12 points led the Wildcats, who scored the final four points of the first half to cut USC's lead to 42-36.
LOS ANGELES (AP) Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad arrived at UCLA as three of the nation's most highly touted freshmen. Deep into a season full of fits and starts, the trio produced their best collective outing in a victory that gave the Bruins a share of the Pac-12 lead.
Adams scored 22 points, Anderson had a career-high 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Muhammad added 21 points in a 79-74 overtime win against Arizona State on Wednesday night.
"The media got it right," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "They are the No. 1 recruiting class in the country."
Muhammad added, "He's absolutely right. We're just here to do our job."
Adams scored six points in overtime, hitting a crucial layup when the Bruins were clinging to a one-point lead. Evan Gordon and Jonathan Gilling both missed 3-pointers, and Adams grabbed the defensive rebound on the second miss, got fouled and made both free throws with 26 seconds left.
"These three kids are not playing like freshmen in November," Howland said. "They're improving a lot in all different respects."
Larry Drew II had 13 assists for the Bruins (21-7, 11-4 Pac-12), who got help joining idle Oregon in the top spot when USC upset No. 11 Arizona 89-78.
"Being so deep in the season, we were more ready for this," Anderson said. "Down the stretch, I told the team to stay calm through the storm and we were going to pull it out."
Jahii Carson scored 22 points, Gilling tied his career high with six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, and Carrick Felix had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Sun Devils (20-9, 9-7).
"This is a game that we should have won and we could have won, especially if you want to go to the (NCAA) tournament on a bid," Gilling said.
The Bruins controlled overtime, outscoring ASU 9-4. They have won three straight and five of six.
"It could have gone either way, but we came up short," ASU coach Herb Sendek said. "Down the home stretch Jahii was terrific. He did a great job with our ball screens."
UCLA led 67-62 before Arizona State ran off six straight points, taking a 68-67 lead on Carson's free throw that completed a three-point play after he was fouled by Adams.
Adams answered with a 3-pointer that put the Bruins back in front, 70-68, with 1:24 to play. But Drew turned the ball over and Gilling found Carson on the break for the tying layup with 39 seconds to go.
After a timeout, David Wear missed the go-ahead jumper for UCLA with 6 seconds left. Carson snagged the defensive rebound, dribbled furiously down the court and put up a jumper that hit the rim as regulation expired.
"We knew we were going to get their best," Anderson said. "They're playing for postseason basketball. Our effort was there, rather than the game before, when we lost."
The Sun Devils beat UCLA by 18 points last month in the desert and led much of Wednesday's game, but they couldn't complete their first sweep of UCLA since 2008-09. They have lost two in a row and four of five.
"We really came out with a chip on our shoulder," said Muhammad, who tweaked his left ankle in the first half but said he will be ready for Saturday's game against Arizona.
Jordan Bachynski, who had career highs in points (22) and rebounds (15) in the win over UCLA, finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
"We defended him really well," Anderson said. "We knew what we wanted to take away. We were more well prepared for him this time."
Muhammad scored the game's first five points before Gilling began firing from long range. He made four 3-pointers two off his career high in about 3 1/2 minutes as part of a 23-9 run that gave Arizona State a 23-14 lead, its largest of the first half. The Bruins rallied on Muhammad's 8-0 run, including two 3-pointers, and 3-pointers by Adams and Anderson to take their first lead since the start of the game, 39-37.
But that lasted mere seconds as Carson scored the Sun Devils' final four points to put them back in front 41-39 at the break.
"I thought my shot was really on," said Muhammad, who resumed wearing his contact lenses while recovering from a case of pink eye in his right eye.
UCLA starting forward Travis Wear missed his second straight game with a right foot injury. It's likely he'll return Saturday.
Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves attended the game together.