3-Points: Arizona 73, USC 53

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The Trojans played their best game of the Pac-12 season, but No. 1 Arizona was too good.

Click here for the recap and box score.

Put a Scare Into Them

The Trojans were blown out by UCLA and Arizona State to start the Pac-12 schedule, so the prognosis was not good coming in against the No. 1 team in the country.  However, USC hung around for most of the game and played inspired basketball particularly in the first half.  "I thought we played very hard tonight," said head coach Andy Enfield.  "I am really proud of our team's effort.  I thought Arizona wore us down a little bit in the second half.  They come in waves, and they are athletic."  The Wildcats were slowed by the Trojans' zone early as Enfield wanted to force Arizona to "beat us from the outside and protect the lane", but eventually, T.J. McConnell and Nick Johnson combined to make eight threes.  Nevertheless, the night provided optimism for future success.  "If we can give this type of energy and effort, I think we'll be fine," Enfield said.

Enter Luis

Enfield made a couple of changes to his rotation tonight, including inserting Strahinja "Luis" Gavrilovic who delivered a career-high 10 points and 4 rebounds.  "Off the bench, he's probably the hardest playing guy on our team," said Enfield about Luis.  "If he keeps giving us energy and that leadership, he will play a lot more minutes."  Gavrilovic forced his way into the lineup by practicing extremely hard.  "I just used my chance," he said about getting 19 minutes tonight.  "I tried to play very aggressive, just gave my best, and tried to help this team win." 

Feeling the Pressure

The Trojans were down just three at halftime having turned the ball over only six times, which broke a recent negative trend.  In the second half, the Wildcats locked down and forced 12 USC turnovers holding the Trojans to only 22 points.  "I thought we turned the ball over too many times," said Enfield.  "Our guards have to do a much better job of executing and making the right play at the right time. Eighteen turnovers are too much." As a bright spot, freshman Julian Jacobs, who has been turnover prone, dished out four assists to only two turnovers playing a lot more as the point guard.  "Julian keeps getting better," said Enfield.  "I thought he played a much better floor game tonight."

And 1...

Big Game Atmosphere

The student section was full, and the crowd was lively tonight providing the best atmosphere of the season.  The star-studded audience included USC great Matt Leinart and Nick Young as well as Arizona alums Luke Walton and Jordan Hill.  "It's a lot of fun to play in this type of atmosphere," said Enfield.  "Hopefully, as we keep getting better and better, we'll have more crowds like this.  I am thankful for the fans that came out to support us."

Here are tonight's SnappyTV highlights...

1 Comment

Too much of a company man for my taste. Guess you have to be to run this website. The game is 40 minutes old , and bottom line lost by 20 playing at home. The team is not the same since J.T. Terrell returned to the lineup. Talent lacking is obvious, but good coaches know how to compensate to be more competitive. Surprised at the good attendance that Trojan fans would come to watch this team lose badly for the third straight game. Some people are gluten's for punishment.

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