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.
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