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Stewart, Young score 26 each as USC tops Arizona

Feb 16, 2007 - 8:17 AM TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- Southern California's gameplan for the first meeting against Arizona worked so well, they decided to use it again.

Lodrick Stewart, Nick Young and Gabriel Pruitt combined for 69 points as the 23rd-ranked Trojans won for the first time at McKale Center since January 17, 1985 with an 80-75 triumph over the No. 24 Wildcats in a Pac-10 Conference battle.

"We haven't won here in 22 years. It was a great win for us," said Stewart, who did not start because he was sick all week.

The trio combined for 64 points in an 80-73 triumph against Arizona on January 18 and came up big down the stretch in this contest. After USC's Dwight Lewis converted a fast-break layup with 4:21 remaining to tie the game at 71-71, the trio scored the final nine points for the Trojans.

After Pruitt spilt a pair of free throws, Stewart knocked down a fallaway jumper from the right elbow and Young followed with a faceup jumper over Wildcats leading scorer Marcus Williams, who fouled out on the play. Young converted the free throw for a 77-73 lead.

Pruitt then made a steal with 68 seconds left, got fouled and knocked down two free throws to help the Trojans pull away.

"We had them down and they came right back and hit shots in our face," Arizona freshman Chase Budinger said. "When we have the momentum we have to keep it."

Arizona held a 37-29 edge on the backboards, but it committed 16 turnovers - seven by Williams - and forced just nine.

"USC did a great job pressuring the ball. Obviously, the difference in the game was the turnovers," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "Some of those turnovers were because of their defense, but some were just obviously our fault. There were times when it seemed that we could not get a handle on it.

"That is not like Marcus to have seven turnovers. He usually does a good job of taking care of the ball. But when things like that happen to you, you really have to give credit on the defensive end."

Stewart and Young tallied 26 points and Pruitt added 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Stewart shot 11-of-15 from the floor and Young converted 9-of-13 as USC shot 51 percent (31-of-61).

"When they needed to step up, they stepped up," Olson said. "They took us off of the dribble. One of our main points of emphasis all the time is to keep the ball out of the middle. We gave up eight middle drives in the first half and eight middle drives in the second half. You just cannot do that because if they get to the middle, they have too many options."

Budinger scored 19 points and Mustafa Shakur added 16 for Arizona (17-8, 8-6), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Young, who scored 22 of his 30 points in the first game in the second half, tallied 15 in the first half as the Trojans trailed, 38-35 at the break. Pruitt scored 13 after the break, including a 3-pointer with 8 1/2 minutes left to give USC its first lead of the second half, 65-64 edge.

Jawaan McClellan's 3-pointer with 5:52 left provided Arizona a 71-67 edge but Young responded with a dunk.

    --- --- -----
    USC (23) 35 45 80
    ARIZONA (24) 38 37 75 FINAL

    Feb 16 12:28 AM
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    RUWTbot Added 22 roots

    USC vs. ArizonaFeb 16 12:19 AM
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    USC vs. ArizonaFeb 16 12:12 AM

    USC (23) 35

    Feb 15 11:19 PM