USC Falls To No. 17 Arizona, 77-68
Jan. 14, 2005
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Chris Rodgers scored a career-high 22 points, sevenduring a decisive second-half surge, and 17th-ranked Arizona kept SouthernCalifornia winless in the Pac-10 with a 77-68 victory Thursday night.
Salim Stoudamire had 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range for theWildcats (13-3 overall, 3-1 Pac-10), who rebounded from a 87-76 loss atCalifornia. Hassan Adams added 15 points, and Channing Frye had 12.
Nick Young led USC (0-5, 7-9) with 18 points. Gabe Pruitt added 12, and JeffMcMillan had 11.
The Trojans found out earlier in the day that they had a coach for nextseason. Tim Floyd is to be introduced at a news conference in Los Angeles onFriday.
Henry Bibby was fired Dec. 6, four games into the season, and replaced byassistant Jim Saia on an interim basis. Rick Majerus took the job for fivedays, then changed his mind and resigned for health reasons.
Arizona led most of the game but never by more than 12 points.
The Wildcats went nearly 5 minutes without a point early in the second half,while USC scored six to cut the lead to 52-49 after Rory O'Neil's inside basketwith 11:49 to go. Rodgers ended the drought with a layup, then Stoudemireslammed one home one-handed on a fast break and sank a 3-pointer in a 7-0Arizona spurt that boosted the lead to 59-49 with 9:01 left.
USC cut it to 64-60 on consecutive inside baskets, the second one a stuff,by McMillan. Arizona responded with an 8-0 run, the last seven by Rodgers, totake its biggest lead of the night, 72-60, with 3:25 remaining.
The Trojans took a 33-31 lead on Pruitt's four-point play with 3:24 to go.Pruitt sank the 3-pointer, and was fouled by Frye, then made the free throw.
Rodgers' 3-pointer put Arizona back up for good, 34-33, and he made anotherwith 38 seconds to go to put the Wildcats ahead 42-38 at the half.
Arizona made it a 9-0 run by scoring the first six of the second half,taking a 48-38 on Adams' baseline jumper with 18:09 remaining.
Sophomore Kirk Walters entered the game in the first half, his firstappearance of the season. Coach Lute Olson had intended to sit Walters out as aredshirt this season.
USC shot 57 percent in the first half, compared with 44 percent for Arizona.The Wildcats, though, were 6-for-13 on 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes,including 4-for-6 by Stoudamire.
Young scored 14 in the first half on 7-for-10 shooting.