USC
ARIZ

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Trier scores 25, No. 4 Arizona beats USC 90-77

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Wildcats' season is in the home stretch. Allonzo Trier's is just getting started.

In his 10th game back from suspension, Trier scored a season-high 25 points, including four 3-pointers, and No. 4 Arizona beat USC 90-77 on Thursday night to stay alone atop the Pac-12 and set up a Saturday showdown against No. 5 UCLA.

Trier missed the first 19 games of the season for testing positive for a banned substance. He's been trying to catch up since.

''Every game allows me to get more comfortable,'' he said. ''This late in the season you start hitting your peak and playing your best basketball and I'm kind of still really early compared to everybody else.''

His shooting eye sure seems to be back.

In his first 10 games back, Trier made 10 of 33 from 3-point range. He was 4 for 6 Thursday night and is 8 for 11 in his last two games.

''Allonzo is a really, really improved 3-point shooter,'' Arizona coach Sean Miller said. ''It's just his path this year, missing 19 games and coming back. It's taking him a little bit of time to really show how much better of a 3-point shooter he is, but he did a really good job out there.''

Rawle Alkins added 12 points and Lauri Markkanen had 11 for the Wildcats (26-3, 15-1) in Arizona's 21st consecutive home win.

Bennie Boatwright scored 23 points and Chimezie Metu had 15 for the Trojans (22-7, 8-7), who lost their third in a row - to the top three teams in the conference (Arizona, Oregon and UCLA).

The Wildcats closed the first half with a 12-2 run and were up by as many as 16 points in the second half.

Arizona made 11 3-pointers in 20 attempts, its most 3s in a Pac-12 game this season.

After shooting under 30 percent for the first 10 minutes of the game, the Wildcats got the offense rolling and finished at 53 percent from the field against the Trojans' zone defense.

It's a defense that gave Arizona problems earlier this season.

''We were that team that everybody threw the zone up,'' Miller said, ''and I hope that teams do that now because we are able to get quality 3s. We have really five or six players who are capable of shooting a good percent from 3.''

Parker Jackson-Cartwright made 3 of 4 3s against the Trojans, Alkins 2 of 2 and Kobi Simmons 2 of 4.

USC shot 51 percent but 3-pointers and turnovers were the difference. Arizona had 23 points off the Trojans' 14 turnovers to USC's nine points off eight turnovers.

''We played well enough offensively,'' Trojans coach Andy Enfield said, ''but we could not stop them in the second half. They had it rolling on offense.''

The Wildcats, down by as many as nine points early, finished the first half on the 12-2 run, all of the points coming on 3-pointers - two by Simmons and two by Trier.

After the Trojans cut the lead to 51-41, Arizona outscored USC 20-6 over a 4-minute span to go up 71-55 on Dusan Ristic's inside basket with 9:36 to play. Another 7-1 spurt, punctuated by Jackson-Cartwright's 3, gave Arizona a 78-62 lead with 5:03 left.

Trier said it will take a better effort to beat UCLA.

''We have to play better defense in order to compete with them,'' he said. ''They're the best offensive team in the country and we have to match that with our defense. It will be a challenge. It's something I'm looking forward to and it should be a great game.''

BIG PICTURE

Arizona took care of the required business without looking ahead to the Bruins. Now comes a UCLA team that Arizona beat in Los Angeles earlier this season.

USC is fading in the Pac-12 standings but still harbors strong NCAA Tournament hopes.

HOME COOKING

The Wildcats will try to finish the season 15-0 at home in their showdown with UCLA on Saturday night.

Overall, they have won 21 in a row at McKale Center dating to last season's home loss to Oregon. That was the only loss at home for Arizona in 71 games.

With another sellout crowd, attendance at McKale topped 9 million since the building was built in 1973.

UP NEXT

USC: The Trojans have two days off before playing at Arizona State on Sunday night.

Arizona: The Wildcats host No. 5 UCLA in a major Pac-12 showdown on Saturday night.

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Key Players
J. McLaughlin
K. Allen
30.2 Min. Per Game 30.2
9.5 Pts. Per Game 9.5
3.2 Ast. Per Game 3.2
4.0 Reb. Per Game 4.0
45.4 Field Goal % 43.9
41.9 Three Point % 41.7
80.6 Free Throw % 73.8
+ 2 Kurt Karis made layup, assist by Shaqquan Aaron 1.0
+ 3 Parker Jackson-Cartwright made 3-pt. jump shot 6.0
+ 2 Kurt Karis made layup, assist by Shaqquan Aaron 1.0
  Defensive rebound by Rawle Alkins 34.0
  Shaqquan Aaron missed 3-pt. jump shot 36.0
  Offensive rebound by Chimezie Metu 40.0
  Bennie Boatwright missed 3-pt. jump shot 42.0
+ 1 Allonzo Trier made 2nd of 2 free throws 51.0
+ 1 Allonzo Trier made 1st of 2 free throws 51.0
  Personal foul on Jordan McLaughlin 51.0
  Offensive rebound by Parker Jackson-Cartwright 1:00
Team Stats
Points 77 90
Field Goals 27-51 (52.9%) 32-63 (50.8%)
3-Pointers 5-15 (33.3%) 11-20 (55.0%)
Free Throws 18-22 (81.8%) 15-17 (88.2%)
Total Rebounds 29 30
Offensive 6 10
Defensive 21 18
Team 2 2
Assists 16 16
Steals 3 7
Blocks 1 4
Turnovers 14 8
Fouls 17 16
Technicals 1 0
23 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST
25 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo USC 21-6 393877
home team logo 4 Arizona 25-3 444690
Team Stats
away team logo USC 21-6 77.7 PPG 36.9 RPG 15.8 APG
home team logo 4 Arizona 25-3 80.5 PPG 38.5 RPG 15.2 APG
Key Players
25
B. Boatwright F 13.6 PPG 6.4 RPG 2.0 APG 41.5 FG%
35
A. Trier G 18.1 PPG 3.0 RPG 3.2 APG 50.0 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Boatwright F 23 PTS 4 REB 2 AST
A. Trier G 25 PTS 4 REB 1 AST
52.9 FG% 50.8
33.3 3PT FG% 55.0
81.8 FT% 88.2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
B. Boatwright 31 23 4 2 0 0 4 2 6/11 3/7 8/8 1 3
C. Metu 33 15 12 2 0 1 3 2 6/11 0/0 3/4 2 10
J. McLaughlin 34 13 0 3 1 0 3 1 5/7 1/1 2/2 0 0
D. Melton 28 10 5 4 0 0 3 1 5/9 0/3 0/1 1 4
E. Stewart 35 5 1 3 1 0 0 3 2/5 0/1 1/2 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
B. Boatwright 31 23 4 2 0 0 4 2 6/11 3/7 8/8 1 3
C. Metu 33 15 12 2 0 1 3 2 6/11 0/0 3/4 2 10
J. McLaughlin 34 13 0 3 1 0 3 1 5/7 1/1 2/2 0 0
D. Melton 28 10 5 4 0 0 3 1 5/9 0/3 0/1 1 4
E. Stewart 35 5 1 3 1 0 0 3 2/5 0/1 1/2 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Aaron 18 5 1 2 1 0 0 3 2/4 1/2 0/1 0 1
N. Rakocevic 11 4 3 0 0 0 1 1 0/1 0/0 4/4 1 2
K. Karis 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
J. Mathews 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 0
C. Buggs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Dhillon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Henderson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Fleming - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 77 27 16 3 1 14 17 27/51 5/15 18/22 6 21
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Trier 34 25 4 1 0 1 1 4 7/11 4/6 7/8 0 4
L. Markkanen 35 11 7 2 0 0 0 2 4/10 0/1 3/3 2 5
P. Jackson-Cartwright 30 10 3 5 2 1 1 2 3/5 3/4 1/2 2 1
K. Allen 32 8 5 2 3 1 1 2 4/10 0/3 0/0 1 4
C. Comanche 21 6 1 1 0 0 1 3 1/5 0/0 4/4 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Trier 34 25 4 1 0 1 1 4 7/11 4/6 7/8 0 4
L. Markkanen 35 11 7 2 0 0 0 2 4/10 0/1 3/3 2 5
P. Jackson-Cartwright 30 10 3 5 2 1 1 2 3/5 3/4 1/2 2 1
K. Allen 32 8 5 2 3 1 1 2 4/10 0/3 0/0 1 4
C. Comanche 21 6 1 1 0 0 1 3 1/5 0/0 4/4 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
R. Alkins 17 12 4 4 1 1 3 1 5/5 2/2 0/0 2 2
D. Ristic 18 10 3 1 1 0 1 2 5/8 0/0 0/0 2 1
K. Simmons 13 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 3/9 2/4 0/0 1 0
R. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Cruz - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. DesJardins - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Pinder - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Trillo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 90 28 16 7 4 8 16 32/63 11/20 15/17 10 18