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No. 16 USC Men's Basketball Falls To No. 2 Arizona, 91-71, In Home Finale

Mar 1, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Max Agbonkpolo scored a team-high 14 points, but it wasn't enough as No. 16 USC men's basketball fell to No. 2 Arizona, 91-71, at home on Tuesday night.

Chevez Goodwin and Drew Peterson each scored 10 points in the effort.

USC (25-5, 14-5 Pac-12) had a sellout crowd at the Galen Center for the second time this season and concluded its home schedule with a 13-3 record. USC admitted 2,700 students, the most in Galen Center history.

"The fans were terrific," said USC coach Andy Enfield. "It was an outstanding crowd. They were special this year. Our program is growing and it's impressive how we've been supported. Unfortunately, we didn't reciprocate tonight. Arizona looked like the No. 2 team in the country. They played really well and we didn't."

The win gave clinched the Pac-12 regular season championship for Arizona. USC currently stands in second place in the conference standings with one game remaining.

USC struggled to find an offensive rhythm all night, shooting just 32.1% in the first half and 39.7% overall. Arizona, which won in a wire-to-wire victory, shot 55.6% from the field while also hitting 12 3-pointers on 25 attempts.

"Our best players have to play well in big games," Enfield said. "They didn't do that tonight. They had off nights. Tonight we were not very good. Our offense hurt our defense. They got in transition and it really hurt us. It was frustrating and it was frustrating for our players."

Arizona jumped ahead early in the first half with a 20-5 run. Agbonkpolo's 3-pointer and layup sparked a 7-0 run that briefly cut the Wildcats' lead to single digits, but Arizona finished the half with a 24-9 stretch.

Despite the Wildcats leading by as much as 30 points at the 15:23 mark of the second half, the Trojans stayed resilient for most of the final period. Boogie Ellis led a 15-3 run that ignited the crowd and trimmed Arizona's lead to 16 points.

The Wildcats responded with Christian Koloko's jumper and Dalen Terry's 3-pointer to silence the Trojans in the final three minutes of the game.

Bennedict Mathurin had a game-high 19 points for Arizona.

USC concludes the regular season with a crosstown showdown at No. 17 UCLA on Saturday. The Trojans head to Las Vegas next week for the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament with a first-round bye and will begin their run in Thursday's quarterfinals.