LAS VEGAS-- After turning the ball over nine times, Arizona men’s basketball trails USC 33-30 in the Pac-12 tournament championship Saturday in the T-mobile arena.
The game started with a Parker Jackson-Cartwright 3-pointer from the top of the key. Arizona and USC stayed neck and neck for most of the first half, with seven lead changes and neither team getting up by more than four.
Turnovers hurt the Wildcats. Arizona gave the ball up five times in the first seven minutes of the game and ended the half with nine total. USC took better care of the ball and ended the half with only four turnovers.
Deandre Ayton led scoring with 13 points and eight rebounds for Arizona while Jonah Mathews led with 11 points for USC. Ayton got his points on 6-of-9 shooting while Mathews got his from 4-of-8 shooting.
Dusan Ristic followed Ayton with eight points and three rebounds for Arizona. Rawle Alkins grabbed five rebounds but struggled to hit a shot in the first half. He went 0-3 and missed his free throws.
Rebounds are what kept the Wildcats in the game. Arizona out rebounded USC 20-11 and 8-3 on the offensive glass.
Overall in the first half, Arizona shot 45 percent from the floor while USC shot 50 percent. Arizona shot 2-for-10 from three while USC shot 1-for-6.
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