No. 7 Arizona dominates last-place USC, 87-57
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Kaleb Tarczewski scored 15 points, Stanley Johnson added 13 in another strong all-around game and No. 7 Arizona jumped on Southern California early in an 87-57 rout Thursday night.
Arizona (23-3, 11-2 Pac-12) did what it was supposed to at home against the conference's last-place team, overwhelming the Trojans with a slew of dunks and easy baskets at the rim. The Wildcats led by 18 at halftime and didn't let up to win their 35th straight home game.
Johnson had seven rebounds and six assists, and Tarczewski finished with 10 rebounds. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 12 points, and T.J. McConnell had 10 points and seven assists.
USC (10-16, 2-12) held its own through the opening 10 minutes. Once the Wildcats hit the throttle, the Trojans stood no chance.
Malik Martin had 15 points to lead USC, which shot 31 percent and was 5 of 22 from 3-point range.
Arizona's main objective against the young Trojans was to avoid a letdown with a showdown against UCLA coming up on Saturday.
The Wildcats have already had three unexpected losses to unranked opponents: UNLV, Oregon State and rival Arizona State.
USC entered Thursday's game with two Pac-12 wins, the latest over Oregon State on Saturday to snap a nine-game losing streak. The Trojans have had trouble finishing games, losing by single digits in five of their past seven.
No need to worry about closing this one out.
USC did manage to keep it close early by knocking down shots, tying the game at 18-all after hitting seven of their first 14 shots.
Then the blowout began.
Overpowering the Trojans inside and getting out on the break after turnovers, Arizona reeled off an 18-4 run to take a 36-22 lead.
Tarczewski did the most damage, throwing down a one-handed dunk over Nikola Jovanovich and a soaring two-hander in transition to score 13 points by halftime.
The Wildcats were at their sharing best, too, with 13 assists six each by McConnell and Johnson on their 19 first-half field goals to lead 49-31.
USC missed its first five shots of the second half as Arizona opened with a 12-0 run, making sure the Wildcats could cruise the rest of the way.
USC: Freshman point guard Jordan McLaughlin did not play after injuring his surgically repaired left shoulder last week. ... The Trojans made 6 of 25 shots in the second half.
Arizona: The Wildcats retired the jersey of former player Jason Terry at halftime. He played for Arizona from 1995-99. ... Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright had 11 points after missing the previous four games with a concussion.
USC: At Arizona State on Sunday.
Arizona: Hosts UCLA on Saturday.