The Arizona Wildcats made sure the shooting woes came on the other end of the court this time.
After missing 12 of their first 13 shots in a loss to UCLA on Thursday, the Wildcats came back to beat USC 74-50 today at McKale Center when the Trojans shot just 28.1 percent from the field.
It was the lowest shooting percentage a UA opponent has shot this season, with the second-worst being the 31.0 percent that East Tennessee State put up on Dec. 22.
After going 2 of 19 from the field to start the game, USC turned around and was 3 for 20 to start the second half, leading to a 62-32 UA lead with eight minutes left. From there, the Wildcats played subs and walkons from that point.
The win moved the Wildcats to 17-2 overall and 5-2 in the Pac-12, where they are now in and a three-way tie in the loss column for second place with ASU and UCLA, which lost to the Sun Devils earlier today. UCLA is 16-5 and 6-2, while ASU is 16-4, 5-2.
With eight minutes left and the game put out of USC’s reach, UA coach Sean Miller inserted freshman guard Gabe York for the first time since Dec. 23, when the Wildcats beat Miami 69-50 in the Diamond Head Classic. York hit two three-pointers and finished with a season-high seven points.
Miller also played Angelo Chol for eight minutes after sitting Chol out during the Wildcats’ past two games against ASU and UCLA.
Nick Johnson led the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points while Solomon Hill had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Jio Fontan led USC in scoring with nine points.
In the first half, the Wildcats took a 39-20 halftime lead over USC after the Trojans stumbled early, missing 17 of their first 19 field goals and turning the ball over four times in the first three minutes.
Johnson led Arizona in the half with 10 points while Mark Lyons had nine points on three three-pointers after struggling with no assists and five turnovers in UA’s 84-73 loss to UCLA on Thursday.
Arizona shot 48.3 percent from the field in the half while USC finished the half at just 24.1 percent. The Trojans also had 11 turnovers and were outrebounded 22-17 by the Wildcats.
Arizona built a 29-7 lead with eight minutes left before the Trojans’ offense finally picked up. At that point, Miller inserted Chol.
USC had four turnovers, including a steal by Lyons, in the first three minutes while UA built a quick 6-0 lead.