A lineup change seemed to spark No. 11 Arizona, which got a double-double from Azuolas Tubelis as the Wildcats rolled past Southern California 81-66 on Thursday night in Tucson, Ariz.
Coach Tommy Lloyd took wing Pelle Larsson out of the starting lineup for the first time all season in favor of Cedric Henderson Jr., who hit back-to-back 3-pointers after USC (13-6, 5-3 Pac-12) scored the first six points of the second half to pull within 41-32.
The Wildcats (16-3, 5-3) rode that momentum and went on to lead by as many as 21, looking sharp coming off an 87-68 loss at Oregon on Saturday.
Tubelis scored 15 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds in his seventh double-double of the season — and his fourth in the past five games.
Drew Peterson scored 15 points to lead the Trojans, who shot just 36.9 percent from the field. Boogie Ellis scored 11 for USC while going 2 of 11 from the field.
Larsson is no stranger to being effective off the bench — he was the Pac-12’s Sixth Man of the Year last season — and he looked comfortable while scoring 15 points. Henderson produced 11 points and seven rebounds, his first double-digit scoring game in a month, in a balanced Arizona attack.
Courtney Ramey was 5 of 10 from behind the arc while pouring in a team-high 16 points. Oumar Ballo contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Kerr Kriisa assisted on eight baskets.
The only negative for Arizona was 18 turnovers, including 11 in the first half. USC made only 4 of 17 3-point attempts.
The Wildcats never trailed and surged to a 9-2 start that set the tone and prompted USC coach Andy Enfield to call a timeout.
Arizona made 5 of 11 3-pointers in the first half while building the lead to 16 points with 2:13 left before taking a 41-26 edge into the break after Ramey made a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
–Field Level Media