Rakocevic, USC dominate Arizona for 80-57 victory

Wildcats suffer their worst loss to the Trojans since 100-76 setback in 1973

Rakocevic, USC dominate Arizona for 80-57 victory
Southern California's Nick Rakocevic dunks during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nick Rakocevic scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season, and USC defeated Arizona 80-57 on Thursday night.

Bennie Boatwright also had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds as the Trojans snapped a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats. USC (11-8, 4-2 Pac-12) led for all but 36 seconds early in the game.

Kevin Porter Jr., who missed the past two games due to a suspension, scored 14 points and Jonah Mathews added 12 as the Trojans posted their second straight win by 13 or more points. They defeated crosstown rival UCLA last Saturday.

Arizona (14-6, 5-2) shot 27.8 percent from the field (20 of 72), marking the first time in Sean Miller's 10 seasons the Wildcats have shot less than 30 percent. The Wildcats were 14 of 47 against Arizona State (29.8 percent) in a Jan. 21, 2009 loss.

Brandon Randolph and Ira Lee led the Wildcats with 12 points apiece.

A 3-pointer by Justin Coleman gave Arizona a 5-4 lead when USC went on a 20-5 run over a span of more than eight minutes. The Trojans were 8 of 16 from the field — including three 3-pointers — as Rakocevic and Mathews led the way with six points apiece. The Wildcats were 2 of 10 from the field and committed three turnovers.

USC's lead grew to 36-19 at halftime as it scored seven of the final nine points, including Derryck Thonton's 3-pointer at the buzzer.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona: The Wildcats made 13 3-pointers in last Saturday's win over Oregon State but were 5 of 25 from beyond the arc against the Trojans.

USC: Coach Andy Enfield keeps saying his team plays a lot better when it passes the ball. The Trojans had an assist on eight of their first 10 baskets and finished with 19 assists on 31 field goals.

UP NEXT

Arizona; Travels to UCLA on Saturday.

USC: Hosts Arizona State on Saturday.

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