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3-Points: USC 65, Arizona 57

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The Trojans knock off the #10 Wildcats and will carry their first three-game winning streak of the season into Saturday's "Senior Day" against Arizona State (4:30 p.m. at Galen).

  • Derrick Williams and Lamont Jones combined to make 12/12 shots in beating the Trojans in Tuscon earlier this season.  Tonight, they were held to 6/23 as a pair.  Instead, USC's inside-outside tandem Nikola Vucevic and Jio Fontan controlled the game with 46 points as a duo.  "Nik's level is raising up," head coach Kevin O'Neill said.  "It gives us somebody we can always go to."  As for Fontan, he is far more comfortable and aggressive since becoming the starting point guard.  "It's starting to come back together," Fontan said about his game.  "Lately, I've wanted to be more positive with myself...sitting back and thinking how blessed I am to be a Trojan."
  • The Trojans' defense forced Arizona to shoot 36% from the field and an ugly two assists to 11 turnovers.  Of course, Marcus Simmons was at the center of the strategy, including an epic block in the final two minutes.  "He is the best one-on-one defender in the whole country," O'Neill said about Simmons.  "Marcus did a great job of slowing [Jones] down and changing the game for us."
  • The 2010-11 Trojans have earned a reputation as giant killers.  After early season wins against Texas, Tennessee and UCLA, USC notched a top 10 victory against the Pac-10's best tonight.  "We just play the people in the jerseys," said O'Neill, who called it the most complete win of the season.  "We hung in there and played with poise and confidence down the stretch."  For one night at least, "poise and confidence" included impeccable free throw shooting (22/27) to seal the win.
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  • Blake Griffin and his Clippers' teammates Randy Foye and DeAndre Jordan took the game in from courtside.  The slam dunk champion spoke to the team in the post-game celebratory locker room (click for photo).  "I don't know what to say," said Griffin, who then found the words that all student-athletes love.  "You get tomorrow off!"
Here is Nikola Vucevic who dropped 25 points and 12 rebounds in front of his father...




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