HALFTIME: Arizona Leads USC 34-31
LOS ANGELES — After a slow start in front of an Arizona-friendly crowd on Sunday evening at the Galen Center, the No. 1 Wildcats surged back in the final minutes of the first half to lead USC 34-31 at halftime.
The Wildcats were 13-for-30 (43.3 percent) from the field and 4-for-10 (40 percent) from behind the arc.
Junior guard T.J. McConnell was the first Wildcat to break into double digits, only one of two to do so in the first half. He had 11 points, pulled down three boards and had three assists.
Junior guard Nick Johnson added three points, an assist and a team-leading three steals.
Sophomore forward Brandon Ashley compiled six points over the first about five and a half minutes of play, and ended the half with a team-leading 12 points to accompany two rebounds.
Freshmen forwards Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson combined for seven of the Wildcats’ 17 rebounds, three assists and a block.
Midway through the first half, USC tied Arizona at 16 and then again at 18 before taking a 21-18 advantage with just under eight minutes remaining.
With 4:55 left, USC had a 27-23 advantage, was out-rebounding Arizona 11-10, and out-blocking the Wildcats 1-0. The Trojans continued to battle until Arizona took over and pulled away with an 11-0 run.
There were five ties in the first period, and Arizona led by as much as seven points.
—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17