Arizona 73, USC 53
Updated On: Jan 12 2014 10:19:38 PM CST
LOS ANGELES -- Arizona forward Brandon Ashley and guard T.J. McConnell both set season highs with 19 points apiece, and No. 1 Arizona achieved the best start in school history with a 73-53 victory over USC at the Galen Center on Sunday night.
Arizona (17-0, 4-0 Pac-12) passed the season-opening mark of the 1931-32 team. The Wildcats remain one of only four unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I.
Guard Nick Johnson scored 15 points and forward Aaron Gordon had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, who limited USC to eight field goals and forced 12 turnovers in the second half to break open what was a three-point game.
Guard Byron Wesley had 18 points for the Trojans, breaking his streak of four 20-point games.
McConnell's previous season high was 13 points, but he took advantage of a sagging USC 2-3 zone defense to make five 3-pointers, tying a career high. He was 7-for-12 from the field, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointers.
Ashley, a sophomore who had a 20-point game last season against Long Beach State, shot 7-for-10 from the field.
Forward Strahinja Gavrilovic had 10 points for USC (9-7, 0-3).
McConnell hit a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper to give Arizona a 16-10 lead with 11:23 remaining in the first half before USC went on an 11-2 run to take its first lead.
Guard Julian Jacobs and Gavrilovic hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to tie the game. Wesley converted a three-point play, and USC forward Nikola Jovanovic hit a jumper after a tip-in by Wildcats forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to put the Trojans on top 21-18.
Arizona used an 11-0 run fueled by a basket and two free throws by Ashley for a seven-point lead, but USC scored the final four points of the half to the margin to 34-31.
NOTES: Arizona received a verbal commitment Friday from highly ranked SG Tyler Dorsey, a junior at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco High. Dorsey tweeted his commitment after his Friday game that was attended by Arizona coach Sean Miller. Dorsey is ranked as the seventh-best recruit in the 2015 class. ... Arizona began the night 4-13 in road games against UCLA and USC since 2004-05, the last time it sweep the Los Angeles schools on the road. ... USC played its first game against a No. 1 team since Feb. 19, 2004, when it lost 76-67 to Stanford. ... Arizona is the first Pac-12 team to be ranked No. 1 since UCLA in the ninth week of the 2006-07 season.
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