USC basketball: Arizona beats Trojans, 57-46
The chant thundered through the Galen Center.
U of A! U of A!
Arizona felt at home on the road against USC on Sunday –- quite cozy, actually, with a pro-Wildcats crowd cheering it on, early and late.
And the Wildcats made the trip worth it for those who traveled from Tucson, routing the Trojans, 57-46.
It’s USC’s fifth consecutive loss and its eighth defeat in nine games.
The Trojans (5-12, 0-4 in Pac-12) remain the only conference team without a league win.
The last time they started conference play with four losses in a row was the 2004-05 season, when the Trojans finished 12-17.
Arizona (11-5, 2-1) bounced back after its loss to UCLA on Thursday.
If you factor in NCAA sanctions, Arizona won its first road game at USC since the 2004-05 season.
The Wildcats did win at USC during the 2007-08 season, when USC Coach Kevin O’Neill at the helm for Arizona, but that win was later vacated because of NCAA penalties.
USC shot terribly, again, and trailed by as much as 20 points in the first half.
USC trailed at halftime, 32-16, and by that point, it was shooting 21% and had as many turnovers (six) as baskets.
Considering USC’s offensive struggles –- it’s the worst shooting and worst scoring team in the Pac-12 -- a loss seemed assured.
USC cut to the deficit to 10 points with 8:52 to play on a Dewayne Dedmon basket. But that’s as close as the Trojans would come.
Sophomore guard Maurice Jones led USC with 14 points, but he struggled with his shot, going 10 of 13 from the field. Dedmon scored 11 and grabbed eight rebounds for USC.
The Trojans shot 29% overall and missed 14 of 15 three-point shots.
Los Angeles native Solomon Hill, a former USC commit, scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Arizona, which was led by Jesse Perry's 20 points.
The Wildcats shot 44% from the field.
The Trojans have a week off before playing host to cross-town rival UCLA (9-7, 2-2) on Jan. 15 at the Galen Center.
During that game, USC will be retiring the No. 23 of former star Harold Miner.
Miner is expected to be in attendance and 2,000 Miner bobbleheads will be given away.
Photo: USC point guard Maurice Jones brings the ball upcourt under pressure from Arizona guard Kyle Fogg on Sunday at the Galen Center. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times