Arizona glides past USC, 87-57

Arizona glides past USC, 87-57
Arizona forward Kaleb Tarczewski slams home a dunk against USC. Tarczewski finished with 15 points to lead the No. 7 Wildcats. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

TUCSON — Arizona retired the jersey of former player Jason Terry at halftime.

The program's current players spent the rest of the night mimicking Terry's famous jet glide celebration — and there was a lot of celebrating.


The No. 7 Wildcats avoided looking ahead to a big showdown this weekend by jumping on USC early in an 87-57 rout Thursday night.

On a night of celebrations, Arizona (23-3, 11-2 Pac-12) took care of business quickly, overwhelming the Trojans with a slew of dunks and easy baskets at the rim. The Wildcats, most of them wearing long socks as Terry did from 1995-99, led by 18 at halftime and cruised through the second half for their 35th consecutive home win.

"It was just a team idea," Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell said of honoring Terry. "Doing the socks and the celebration after you make a three, just giving back to him for everything he did for this school."

Kaleb Tarczewski set the tone early, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the first half while grabbing nine rebounds.

Freshman Stanley Johnson had another solid all-around game, finishing with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played his usual high-energy game, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds.

McConnell was efficient in running the offense, scoring 10 points and dishing out seven assists.

Not a bad way to head into Saturday's game against UCLA.

"Not perfect basketball, but there were moments when we were really playing well," Arizona Coach Sean Miller said.

USC (10-16, 2-12) held its own through the opening 10 minutes. Once the Wildcats hit the throttle, the Trojans stood no chance.

USC shot 31%, including five of 22 from three-point range, and had a hard time keeping the Wildcats off the glass. Arizona outrebounded the Trojans 50-34, including 22 on the offensive end.

Malik Martin had 15 points and Julian Jacobs added 13 for USC. Freshman point guard Jordan McLaughlin did not play after injuring his surgically repaired left shoulder last week.

"Arizona played well tonight and I thought we played well in portions of the game, but obviously not the entire game," USC Coach Andy Enfield said. "Arizona has big players and if we want to compete at a high level, we need to be a bit stronger."

Arizona's main objective against the young Trojans was to avoid a letdown before the Bruins head into McKale Center. The Wildcats have already had three unexpected losses to unranked opponents: Nevada Las Vegas, Oregon State and rival Arizona State.

USC entered Thursday's game with two Pac-12 wins, the latest over Oregon State on Saturday to end a nine-game losing streak. The Trojans have had trouble finishing games, losing by single digits in five of their past seven.


No need to worry about closing this one out.

USC did manage to keep it close early by knocking down shots, tying the game at 18-all after making seven of their first 14 shots.

Then the blowout began. Overpowering the Trojans inside and getting out on the break after turnovers, Arizona reeled off an 18-4 run to take a 36-22 lead.