ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 05: Nick Johnson #13 of the Arizona Wildcats goes up for a shot against the UCLA Bruins at the Honda Center on January 5, 2012 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Arizona Wildcats Pick Up Big Road Victory Over USC

Jesse Perry had 20 points, while Solomon Hill recorded a double-double.

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Arizona Wildcats Pick Up Pac-12 Road Victory Over USC Behind Strong Defensive Effort

The Arizona Wildcats still remain a work in progress on the offensive end of the court. And for as much as the team struggles to score the ball at times, there has been one constant throughout most of the year: stellar defense. Despite a rough shooting afternoon at the Galen Center, the Wildcats dug in defensively and came away with a 57-46 victory over the USC Trojans.

Jesse Perry had one of the best games of his career as he went for an efficient 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting. The senior big man also played well on the defensive end of the court, especially after he was exposed against UCLA. Solomon Hill recorded the fifth double-double of his season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Fogg struggled with his shot most of the day, but came away with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.

Freshman point guard Josiah Turners continues to improve and earned yet another start for himself on Sunday. He ended with just two points, five rebounds and three assists, but his decision making and team-first attitude is something refreshing to see. Nick Johnson struggled for the second straight game and ended with just four points after attempting nine shots.

USC came up with a few mini-runs in the second half, but the Wildcats always had an answer for them. Maurice Jones, who played 39 minutes, led the way with 14 points and racked up three steals. Big man Dewayne Dedmon had a big second half as he ended with 11 points and eight rebounds. The Trojans shot just 29.3% from the field and hit just one of their 15 attempts from behind the arc.

This was a must-win game for Arizona and the team stepped up. The intensity level was raised from the opening tipoff and Sean Miller has to be proud of his young team after the road victory. The UA will return home and will next play Oregon State on Thursday night. The Beavers just lost in quadruple overtime to Stanford.

Head on over to AZ Desert Swarm for more coverage of the Wildcats.


Arizona Wildcats Play Stellar Defensive Half Against USC Trojans

Sean Miller challenged his players after a sloppy loss to UCLA and the Arizona Wildcats responded in a big way. In what is a must-win game for the UA, the 'Cats lead the USC Trojans 32-16. Even with the solid lead, Arizona should have been up even more; silly turnovers and a sloppy final minute allowed USC to stay in the game at least somewhat.

The Wildcats shot just 1-for-9 from behind the arc, although they hit 11 of their 19 other attempts from the field. They also converted seven of their nine free throw chances. Jesse Perry started off well and leads all scorers with eight points. Solomon Hill had to deal with foul trouble, but the junior forward has been a force when on the court with seven points and three rebounds. Josiah Turner continued to play well, and while his numbers may not reflect it, he has done a nice job on both ends of the court.

USC shot just 20.7% from the field in the first half and did not make a 3-pointer (0-for-10). Maurice Jones leads the way with six points, while Byron Wesley added four points and four rebounds. Alexis Moore shot 1-for-8 from the field, although he has the only two assists for the Trojans.

Arizona should blow this game wide open early in the second half. Anything less than a double-digit victory would probably be viewed as a moral loss for most.


Arizona vs. USC Basketball Start Time, TV Coverage, Radio And More

The Arizona Wildcats desperately need to pick up a road win in Pac-12 play and they have a great chance to do so against an offensively challenged USC Trojans team on Sunday afternoon. The Trojans feature a record of 0-3 in conference play and just lost to Arizona State without three of their better players. Kevin O'Neil has had to deal with a multitude of injuries this season and the Wildcats need to take full advantage of a favorable matchup.

The Trojans are led by Maurice Jones, who averages 14.3 points and nearly four rebounds a game. Junior forward Aaron Fuller has done a solid job in the front court, averaging 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds. The team is 5-11 on the year.

As for the game on Sunday, tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. from the Galen Center, which is 3:30 in Arizona. The game will be nationally televised by FOX Sports Net. 1290 AM The Source will carry the game live on local radio, with Brian Jeffries on the call.

For more on the Wildcats, head on over to Arizona Desert Swarm.


Arizona Wildcats Fall To UCLA Bruins Behind Bad Defense, Bad Officiating

Full discloser: seldom do I blame an officiating crew for a loss. The Wildcats did a lot to beat themselves on Thursday night and UCLA executed well at times. Sometimes, though, enough is enough, and this same type of pathetic Pac-12 officiating has gone on for far too long.

Three plays essentially recapped the entire night for the officiating crew.

Play One: Jesse Perry drives through the lane. Replays would show three UCLA defenders made contact with him, including one who hit the back of his head as he attempted his shot. No foul was called and the Bruins recovered the ball.

Play Two: Immediately after Perry was trampled in the lane and no foul was called, the Bruins hurried the ball down the court. Nick Johnson stood still outside of the semi-circle underneath the basket and had a shoulder thrown right into his chest by an oncoming Bruin, sending Johnson flying to the floor. A blocking foul was called on Johnson.

To make the situation even worse, Anthony Stover, who was the one to make the deliberate contact, tossed the ball in Johnson's direction, which is a technical foul, according to the NCAA Division I rule book. Nothing was called. The referees did not even go to the monitor to review the situation.

Play Three: As Arizona cut the lead to two in the final minutes of the game, David Wear gathered the ball on the block. The 6'10 big man was doubled in the post by Solomon Hill and Kyle Fogg. Wear, in an attempt to get out of the double team, swung his elbow and made direct contact with Fogg's face, knocking him to the ground. Wear proceeded to make a half-effort at a layup before beginning to jog down the court. It was an obvious foul to everyone, including the player who committed the foul. Instead, no offensive foul was called and Hill was called for reaching in.

The officiating was completely and absolutely pathetic on Thursday night at the Honda Center. Again, seldom do I put a loss on an officiating crew, but when they give a team absolutely no chance to win a game, it's time to say something. And these were just three of the many questionable decisions made by the officials. Arizona did themselves no favors turning the ball over 15 times and shooting 3-for-16 from behind the arc, but they were robbed of a chance to win by three men with stripes on their shirt.

Bad calls happen. They always have and they always will. But this has gone on for years in the conference and the very worst was on display in Los Angeles.

As for the game itself, UCLA used an early 10-0 run in the first half to propel themselves to a lead they would not give back. Travis Wear led the way with 20 points, while his brother, David Wear, added 14 of his own. Lazeric Jones had a poor shooting night, but ended with 13 points on 16 shot attempts.

The Bruins won 65-58 and improved their record to 8-7 (1-2) while the Wildcats fell to 10-5 (1-1).

Solomon Hill, who ended with 15 points and 11 rebounds, had a big second half as he attempted to will the Wildcats to victory. Jesse Perry scored 13 and Josiah Turner added nine points and four assists as he made his first start in more than a month. Nick Johnson played the worst game of his young career, finishing with two points after numerous poor decisions on the court.

Arizona will face the USC Trojans on Sunday afternoon.

Arizona Desert Swarm gives their take on the game:

Recap: Better shot selection means a 65-58 win for UCLA Bruins against Arizona Wildcats -
Match-up problems posed by the Bruins was the action, and poor shot selection for Arizona was the reaction.

For the latest AZ sports, follow us on Twitter @SBNArizona and "Like" us on Facebook.


Arizona Wildcats Struggle Defensively In First Half Against UCLA Bruins

The Arizona Wildcats have struggled with teams that feature talented post players this season. With Josh Smith out with a concussion and Reeves Nelson no longer on the team, one would think Arizona would be able to take advantage of the Bruins. That was far from the case in the first half, and big performances out of David Wear and Travis Wear have UCLA up 37-30 at the half.

Arizona struggled shooting the ball to begin the game but was able to get it going in the final minutes of the half. Jesse Perry leads the UA with eight points, while Josiah Turner has done a solid job with seven points, three rebounds and two assists as he started his first game in over a month. Brendon Lavender sparked the Wildcats off the bench, hitting two 3-pointers.

As afore mentioned, Travis Wear and David Wear have given Arizona fits in the paint. The twin brothers combined for 18 points and four rebounds, although both had to sit the final minutes with two fouls each. Jerime Anderson has seven points, while Tyler Lamb and Lazeric Jones chipped in for six a piece.

The second half is about to begin in Los Angeles.


Arizona vs. UCLA Start Time, TV Coverage, Radio And More

The Arizona Wildcats need to perform well in Pac-12 play if they hope to reach the NCAA Tournament this season and that begins on Thursday night as they face the struggling UCLA Bruins at the Honda Center in Anaheim. While recent years have seen these two programs near the top of the national rankings, both sides are hungry to get back on track after rough stretches in non-conference play.

Start Time: Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. out of Los Angeles, which is 9 p.m. locally in Tucson.

TV Coverage: Fox Sports Net will air the game nationally. Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson will serve as the announcers.

Radio: Those listening in the Tucson area can find the game on 1290 AM The Source. Sirius channel 94 and Sirius XM channel 191 will have the game as well, with Chris Roberts and Don MacLean calling the action.

Last Season: The two teams split the season series last year, with the Wildcats and Bruins both picking up a win at home.

Streaks: Arizona has won three straight games, while the Bruins have lost two in a row.

Team Sites: AZ Desert Swarm; Bruins Nation


Arizona vs. UCLA Preview: Wildcats Battle Bruins In Early Pac-12 "Showdown"

Arizona squares off with their Pac-12 rivals at 9 p.m. this evening.

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