Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The No. 11 Arizona Wildcats will begin a
swing through Los Angeles with a Pac-12 Conference bout with the USC Trojans
at the Galen Center on Wednesday night.
Arizona has won three straight contests entering this game as it has improved
to 23-4 overall. The Wildcats are 11-4 in league action which has them tied
with No. 24 Oregon for the top spot in the Pac-12 with the end of the regular
season on the horizon.
A pair of setbacks in its last two outings has USC back in reverse after a
four-game winning streak. USC has fallen to 12-15 overall on the season, while
splitting its 14 league bouts. At the Galen Center the Trojans have taken in
eight wins in 14 games.
Four players scored in double figures led by Nick Johnson with 14 points when
Arizona eased past USC, 74-50, in the first game between these teams this
season. The Wildcats have now won four straight games in the all-time series
which they lead, 61-40.
Arizona hosted Washington State last time out and rolled to a 73-56 victory.
The Wildcats shot 55.6 percent from the floor and nailed 11 shots from beyond
the 3-point arc in the victory. Kevin Parrom led the way with 19 points,
knocking down 5-of-6 from long distance.
Efficient shooting has made Arizona one of the better offensive teams in the
Pac-12. Though the Wildcats rank just third in the league in field-goal
percentage they still shoot a solid 45.2 percent from the field, while ranking
second in the Pac-12 in scoring (73.4 ppg). That has allowed for the Wildcats
to earn a sizable scoring margin (+11.1) on the campaign. Mark Lyons (15.2
ppg) is the leading scorer after transferring from Xavier. The 6-foot-1 guard
has scored in double figures in eight straight games. Solomon Hill (13.6 ppg,
5.4 rpg) is an athletic forward in the frontcourt. Johnson (11.7 ppg) adds
some scoring punch from the backcourt.
Against cross-town rival UCLA, the Trojans were really outgunned on their home
floor last time out. USC shot just 35.3 percent from the floor and was
outscored 19-6 from the free-throw line in the setback. J.T. Terrell paced USC
with 17 points.
USC has not had as much success as the Wildcats on the offensive end this
season. The Trojans rank in the bottom three in the conference in points (66
pg), field-goal percentage (.426) and rebounding (35.6 pg). Terrell (11.2 ppg)
is a member of the backcourt trio that leads the way for USC. Byron Wesley
(10.3 ppg) and Jio Fontan (9.6 ppg, 5.1 apg) are also strong performers from
the guard position, although Fontan is the primarily ball-handler and
distributor. Terrell and Fontan have struggled with consistency though as each
shoots below 36 percent from the floor. Eric Wise (11.9 ppg) is the leading
scorer on the roster but has failed to score in double figures in three of the
last five games.
The Sports Network