Arizona 83, Southern Cal 76

BY foxsports • February 13, 2009

Nic Wise sank a 3-pointer with 43.8 seconds, then made two free throws with 17.3 seconds remaining Thursday night and Arizona pulled away to win its sixth in a row, 83-76 over USC. Wise scored 27 points, two shy of his career high. Chase Budinger added 25 for the Wildcats (17-8, 7-5 Pac-10), who blew an 18-point first-half lead but regrouped to finish the game with an 11-2 run. Dwight Lewis made a career-high six 3-pointers but missed two crucial ones in the final two minutes. He scored 21. DeMar DeRozan and Daniel Hackett added 20 apiece for the Trojans (15-8, 6-5). USC led 74-70 after Hackett's 14-footer with 3:35 remaining. But Budinger sank two free throws, then Wise stole the ball from Hackett for a breakaway layup that tied it at 74-74 with 3:20 to go. Budinger's two free throws with 2:10 to play put Arizona ahead 76-74. Hackett scored on a driving layup and was fouled by Wise with 1:07 to play. But he missed the free throw and it was tied at 76-76. Wise started to go up for a 3-pointer, then had to pull back to evade a defender. Then he put it up and scored to put the Wildcats ahead for good in front of a big, noisy crowd at McKale Center. Kyle Fogg added 13 points for the winners. Wise was 4-of-5 on 3s, Budinger 3-of-4 and Zane Johnson 2-of-4. Lewis finish 6-of-9 on 3-pointers. The Wildcats shot 59 percent and USC 56 percent. USC scored the last eight points of the first half and the first eight of the second to go up 46-41 on consecutive 3-pointers by Lewis. The run to start the second half reached 15-4 when Leonard Washington scored inside to put the Trojans ahead 53-45 with 15:07 to play. Arizona regrouped with a 16-3 outburst, Budinger finding Jordan Hill for a fastbreak dunk. Hill was fouled and the three-point play put the Wildcats ahead 66-61 8:51 from the finish. USC responded, scoring the next nine and the Trojans led 70-66 on Lewis' 14-footer with 4::55 to go. The Wildcats made their first eight shots of the game, four of them 3-pointers, to go up 24-8. They sank eight of their first nine 3s, 11-of-13 shots overall, to make it 33-15 on Wise's 3-pointer with 9 1/2 minutes to play in the first half. USC outscored Arizona 23-11 the rest of the half, finishing with an 11-2 run that cut the Wildcats' lead to 41-38 at the break.

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