No. 8 Arizona stops USC, seals second place in Pac-12
Azuolas Tubelis scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 8 Arizona clinched second place in the Pac-12 and ended Southern California's 14-game home winning streak with an 87-81 victory on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Tubelis made 11 of 17 shots en route to his 12th double-double of the season as Arizona (25-5, 14-5 Pac-12) bounced back from a home loss to Arizona State. The Wildcats still have not lost consecutive games under second-year coach Tommy Lloyd.
Courtney Ramey added 16 points for the Wildcats, who shot 54.2 percent from the field.
Boogie Ellis, a senior, poured in a career-high 35 for USC (21-9, 13-6), including a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to cut the deficit to 83-78. Arizona's Pelle Larsson helped shut the door by sinking two free throws with 24 seconds remaining.
The Trojans will finish third in the conference, but they squandered an opportunity to boost their positioning for the NCAA Tournament. Reese Dixon-Waters contributed 17 points for USC.
The first 10 minutes of the second half was a tug-of-war as Arizona's lead fluctuated between seven and 13 points. The Wildcats eventually pushed their advantage to 71-55 with 6:59 to go, but USC stayed in touch with an 8-3 run to make it 74-63 at the 5:33 mark.
Kerr Kriisa and Ramey hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to put Arizona up 82-68 with 2:12 left, helping provide enough cushion to withstand the ensuing 10-1 run by the Trojans before Larsson's free throws.
The game was tied at 12 after seven minutes, but the combination of Arizona's hot shooting and USC foul trouble helped the Wildcats establish an advantage that would last the rest of the game.
Arizona took a 10-point lead for the first time when Tubelis finished an alley-oop dunk off a pass near halfcourt by Larsson at the 6:08 mark, and the Wildcats went into the break up 43-31.
USC's Kobe Johnson sat for the final 9:23 of the first half after picking up his third foul, and Ellis committed his third foul with 2:25 to go until the break. Ellis made it until the final 19 seconds of the game before fouling out.
--Field Level Media
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