ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Top-seeded Arizona Wildcats cruise past USC in Pac-12 Tournament

Mar 14, 2024, 2:13 PM

Arizona's Caleb Love attacks the basket over USC's Bronny James...

Caleb Love #2 of the Arizona Wildcats goes to the net against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 Conference basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 14, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

It wasn’t the usual suspects for the Arizona Wildcats, but the Pac-12’s top seed in its conference tournament opener got more than enough from the starters and bench in a 70-49 win against the USC Trojans.

The Wildcats will face the winner of Oregon and UCLA at 5 p.m. MST Friday for the Pac-12 Tournament’s semifinal round.

Freshman guard K.J. Lewis scored 15 points off the bench, adding six rebounds, while backup point guard Jaden Bradley added 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting.

The Wildcats’ bench outscored the Trojans’ 32-3, with a lone bucket by Bronny James making up the total for USC.

Arizona’s defense held USC to 36% and a 6-of-21 performance from deep. The Trojans committed 17 turnovers and only got to the foul stripe six times.

Kobe Johnson led the Trojans with 14 points and eight rebounds, but USC’s best NBA prospect, Isaiah Collier, scored 13 points to go with six turnovers. Fellow starting guard Boogie Ellis went 2-for-11 from the field.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats broke three in a mucked-up game, ending at 46% shooting.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Caleb Love scored 11 points and added three assists on 4-of-13 shooting. Center Oumar Ballo added 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for Arizona.

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