'Cats Come Alive In Second Half To Rout USC
Feb 15, 2003
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. - Channing Frye's basketball role model is Tim Duncan. On Saturday, the 6-foot-10 Arizona sophomore did a pretty fair impersonation.
Frye scored a career-high 25 points, matched his season's best with 14 rebounds and blocked three shots in the No. 1-ranked Wildcats' 86-59 rout of USC.
Arizona overwhelmed the Trojans with a 32-4 second-half outburst.
'I was watching Tim Duncan last night. He just went out there and played. He did his thing,' Frye said. 'I try to pattern my game off of him. I'm a little more emotional, but I try to go out there and play and get to my spots.'
'When our defense kicks in, it's over. That's what we are going to be working on up through March. We have offensive skills, but we have to dig down to get the defensive mold down to win the championship. We definitely feel like we are No. 1.'
-- Arizona's Rick Anderson
The Wildcats (20-2, 12-1 Pac-10) reached 20 victories for the 16th year in a row, the longest active streak in the country, and swept all four games from USC and UCLA for the first time since 1992-93.
Frye shot 11-for-13 from the field, with several monster dunks.
'I thought he came out and got the crowd going and his teammates going,' associate head coach John Rosborough said. 'Maybe that's what you need when a game starts at 11 o'clock in the morning.'
Frye, from St. Mary's High in Phoenix, was the least-heralded of last season's highly-ranked recruiting class.
'I saw Channing in high school and thought he was just a weak big kid,' USC coach Henry Bibby said. 'But he has improved so much in the last year. He dominates play in the middle and is very physical.'
Coach Lute Olson wasn't around to talk about his 25th 20-win season in 30 years as a college coach. He left right after the final buzzer to catch a plane for a recruiting trip.
Jason Gardner scored 16 for Arizona, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range and became just the second Pac-10 player to reach 300 3-pointers in his college career.
Salim Stoudamire, who took just one shot in the first half, scored all 10 of his points in the decisive run, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Luke Walton, also scoreless up to that point and plagued by foul trouble, sank a pair of 3s during the surge.
The 32-4 pasting was Arizona's biggest of what has become a trademark series of overwhelming runs for the Wildcats. They had a 21-0 surge in a 106-70 rout of UCLA on Thursday night.
USC, meanwhile, went 1-for-20 from the field over a 12:44 span as the Wildcats pulled away.
'When our defense kicks in, it's over,' Arizona's Rick Anderson said. 'That's what we are going to be working on up through March. We have offensive skills, but we have to dig down to get the defensive mold down to win the championship. We definitely feel like we are No. 1.'
The Trojans, who shot 23 percent from the field in the second half (9-for-39) and season-low 31 percent for the game, lost their games at Arizona State and Arizona by a combined 57 points.
The Wildcats outscored USC 36-11 over the final 14ï¿½ minutes.
'We couldn't score. That was it,' the Trojans' Errick Craven said.
Desmon Farmer scored 11 for USC. Gregg Guenther had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
For the first 28 minutes, the Trojans (10-11, 5-7) stayed with Arizona, thanks largely to their pestering defense and sloppy ball-handling by the Wildcats, who committed a season-worst 22 turnovers, 15 in the first half.
Down 45-35 at the break, USC outscored Arizona 14-5 to start the second half and cut the lead to 50-48 on Derrick Craven's 18-footer with 14:44 to play. As the big crowd grew nervous, Stoudamire sank a 3-pointer from deep in the corner and the Wildcats were off an running. By the time the run ended with two free throws by Chris Rodgers, Arizona led 82-52.
Gardner's four 3s gave him 301 for his four-year college career, the first Arizona player to pass 300. The only other Pac-10 player to reach that mark was Stevin 'Headache' Smith, who had 323 for Arizona State in 1991-94.
Frye had 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots in the first half.
USC cut it to 10 at the halftime buzzer when the Trojans knocked the ball away from Gardner and Jerry Dupree sank one from half-court.
Walton, still far from his top form after early season ankle problems, had seven assists but committed seven turnovers with his dad Bill watching in the stands.
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