Wildcats Dominate USC, 105-61

Feb. 17, 2001

By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Arizona coach Lute Olson was very pleased, with goodreason.

The eighth-ranked Wildcats, shooting extremely well and playing toughdefense, beat Southern California 105-61 Saturday.

Gilbert Arenas led the way by scoring 27 points and missing just one shot.

The Wildcats (18-7, 10-3 Pac-10) handed the Trojans (17-7,7-5) their worsthome loss ever and one of the most lopsided defeats in their history.

'We looked great out there. It goes to show you what happens when you shootthe ball well,' Olson said after the Wildcats shot 54 percent from the floorand went 14-of-19 from 3-point range.

'We were patient and waited for the shot. When we do that, we play well. Itwas a case of we couldn't miss a shot and they couldn't buy a shot.'

The Trojans were just 6-of-34 from the floor in the first half and finishedthe game at 30 percent.

USC coach Henry Bibby wanted to hide.

'There was no place I could go. I wish I could have climbed under thetable,' he said. 'We'll just take the loss and be happy it wasn't by 60.

'We weren't ready to play, and they made their shots.'

Arenas was 8-of-9 from the floor, made all five shots from 3-point range andwas a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. The 6-foot-3 sophomore also hadfive assists and three rebounds.

'There's a whole lot of motivation when I come to LA,' said Arenas, anative of North Hollywood. 'Your friends who usually get to see you on TV getto come and see you live. It's great.'

His backcourt mate, Jason Gardner was 6-of-7 from 3-point range and had 18points. Michael Wright added 23 points.

The Trojans also lost to Arizona by 44, a 92-48 rout, at Tucson in 1988, andthey lost by 43 at Stanford last season.

The worst losses in USC history were 77-14 to Los Angeles Athletic Club in1914, 68-13 to Whittier in 1916, and 54-8 to Los Angeles YMCA in 1917.

USC's most one-sided home loss previously was a 99-62 defeat by UCLA in1966.

Brian Scalabrine led the Trojans (17-7, 7-5) with 20 points against Arizona,but was just 4-of-15 from the floor. He was the only USC player in doublefigures.

The Wildcats, whose 105 points were the most ever scored against USC on itscourt, took control early and completely overpowered the frigid-shootingTrojans.

USC went through two stretches totaling more than 10 minutes without abasket in the first half on their way to 17.6 percent shooting that left theTrojans trailing 46-23 at halftime.

The Wildcats also outrebounded USC 26-17 in the first half and finished witha 48-31 edge.

The Trojans went the first 3:45 of the game without a basket and fell behind8-1. Then Jarvis Turner's layup 38 seconds before halftime was their onlybasket in the final 7 1/2 minutes of the half.

Arenas has led the Wildcats in scoring in seven of their last 12 games,including a career-high 30 points in a 79-77 overtime loss at UCLA on Thursday.

Last season, the Wildcats were 16-0 in the Pac-10 and ranked No. 2nationally coming into the Los Angeles Sports Arena, but USC beat them 80-72,Arizona's third loss in its last four games on the Trojans' court.

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