Arizona Wildcats seek weekend split against USC Trojans
Wildcats look to end LA losing streak
The City of Angels has been unkind to the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team of late. Since the 2006 season, the Wildcats are 2-11 in regular season games in Los Angeles.
After falling to the UCLA Bruins on Thursday, the Wildcats will try to salvage this season’s Southern California trip today when it takes on the USC Trojans at 3:30 p.m.
The Wildcats (10-5, 1-1, Pac-12 Conference) haven’t defeated the Trojans (5-11, 0-3) in the Galen Center since the 2008 when current USC head coach Kevin O’Neill was UA’s interim head coach.
Struggles on the road have been common in Pac-12 play. This season, conference home team has a strong advantage with a 16-5 record. The last time the Wildcats played in the Galen Center, Arizona was ranked No. 10 and fell 65-57, snapping an eight-game winning streak.
The Trojans have lost four consecutive games and have struggled to put up points this season. USC has been held under 50 points six times this season and is averaging just 54.4 points per game. The Trojans have also had issues on the glass, corralling less than 30 rebounds per game. USC is lead by sophomore Maurice Jones with 14.3 points per game and redshirt junior Aaron Fuller who leads the Trojans with 6.4 rebounds per game.
To compensate, USC has relied on stout defense, giving up an average of 55.9 points. The man-to-man style defense could give the Wildcats trouble with keeping a fast-paced tempo, one of the things head coach Sean Miller has stressed as a crucial part of Arizona’s game plan.
In order to get the road split this weekend, Arizona will have to be more consistent on offense. In the loss at UCLA, the Wildcats were 21-of-58 from the field and did not hit a 3-pointer in the second half. The Trojans’ defense, however, allowed ASU to shoot 61 percent in their loss on Thursday, nearly 20 percent higher than USC’s opponents’ average on the year.
Arizona’s 58 points against UCLA marked the third time this season the Wildcats were held to less than 60 points. The Wildcats are 1-3 on the season when they do not surpass the 60-point mark.
The game tips at 3:30 p.m. at the Galen Center and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.