Arizona takes a 37-31 halftime lead over USC
After a strong start and improved defense, Arizona men’s basketball leads USC 37-31 at halftime Saturday in the McKale Center.
The Wildcats did not look like the team that started slow and lost to UCLA and Washington in the past two games.
Unlike those games, Arizona got off to a hot start and took a 12-7 lead over USC by the first media timeout. USC came back on a run of its own, but Arizona pulled away after the 10 minute mark with a 9-0 run and held the lead until halftime.
Rawle Alkins led the game with 11 points while Allonzo Trier and Deandre Ayton followed him with eight each.
Trier and Ayton got started early for Arizona. Trier hit the first shot, a 3-pointer from the corner, and then Ayton followed him with a mid-range jumper. Arizona’s bench also offered a lift, outscoring USC’s bench 6-2.
For USC, Nick Rakocevic had eight points, three rebounds while Chimezie Metu and Elijah Stewart followed with seven points each.
Arizona shot 53 percent from the floor and 5-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half while holding USC to 41 percent from the floor and 2-for-9 from deep.
Follow Nate Airulla on Twitter.