No. 2 Wildcats Shut Down Trojans
By JOHN NADEL
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Freshman Hassan Adams scored 21 points, and No. 2 Arizonaplayed superb defense down the stretch Thursday night in rallying for an 81-72victory over Southern California.
Arizona (12-1, 5-0 Pac-10) is now in position to go for its first sweep ofUSC and UCLA in Los Angeles since the 1992-93 season on Saturday against theBruins at Pauley Pavilion.
USC (6-6, 2-2) was coming off a 99-61 loss to Pennsylvania of the IvyLeague, but they gave the Wildcats all they could handle.
The Wildcats have won 18 of their last 22 against USC, but had lost four ofthe last six at the Los Angeles Sports Arena including an 80-72 decision threeyears ago when they came in ranked second.
For a while, it looked like they might lose this game, too.
Channing Frye scored 14 points, Luke Walton and Salim Stoudamire had 13 eachand Andre Iguodala added 11 for the Wildcats, who won despite the fact thatJason Gardner, their leading scorer, was held to five points.
Walton and Gardner each had 10 rebounds.
Desmon Farmer led the Trojans with 23 points - all but three in the firsthalf - and seven rebounds. Errick Craven added 21 points and Rory O'Neil scored10 for USC.
Arizona outscored USC 25-8 to finish the game. The Trojans made only twofield goals after O'Neil's basket with 11:26 remaining.
The Trojans got two baskets each from Craven and O'Neil in outscoring theWildcats 8-3 to start the second half for a 56-47 lead.
It was 64-56 when the Wildcats suddenly took command.
A 3-pointer by Stoudamire got Arizona started. After O'Neil scored for USC,the Wildcats ran off 13 straight points to go ahead for good.
Iguodala's three-point play with 9:08 left put Arizona on top for the firsttime, and Stoudamire's two free throws with 7:38 remaining completed the spurt,making it 72-66.
Farmer made a 3-pointer with 6:05 left for his only points of the secondhalf to end USC's scoring drought of nearly 5ï¿½ minutes.
A basket by Craven with 2:44 cut Arizona's lead to 74-72, but USC wouldn'tscore again. Walton made a free throw, fed Frye for a layup and scored fromclose range to put the game out of reach.
Gardner made two free throws to complete the scoring.
Farmer scored the game's first five points, and USC led 9-0 before RickAnderson scored for Arizona.
Another basket by Farmer capped a 6-0 run and gave the Trojans a 15-4 leadwith a little over five minutes gone.
That seemed to awaken the Wildcats, who scored eight straight points to drawwithin three.
Arizona got as close as one twice before Craven scored seven points duringan 11-4 run that put the Trojans on top 31-23.
Gardner got his first points with 3:57 left before halftime, making a3-pointer to move Arizona within seven points.
The Wildcats got baskets by Anderson and Stoudamire to finish the first halfto cut USC's lead to 48-44.
The Trojans played without Brandon Brooks, their leader in assists. Brooksbroke his left leg in practice earlier in the week and underwent surgeryThursday. He is out for the season.