October 07, 2014

Arizona isn't saying whether it has bitter memories of losing to Southern California in the longest game in college basketball this season.

The 17th-ranked Wildcats can avenge last month's quadruple-overtime loss to the No. 23 Trojans by winning at home for the seventh straight time in this series Sunday night.

USC (18-6, 7-4 Pac-12) served notice that it is a contender for the conference crown by outlasting Arizona 103-101 at home Jan. 9. It remains the nation's only game this season to go four overtimes and the only one in Wildcats history.

Elijah Stewart led the Trojans with 27 points, including two free throws with 22 seconds left for the final margin in a high-octane contest between two of the conference's top-scoring teams. The Trojans average 83.3 points and the Wildcats 81.2.

"I can't tell you how talented USC is," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "When we played them the first time in L.A., it felt like a video game. It felt like the first 20 minutes we could not stop them."

That contest ended in controversial fashion when Stewart scored the winning points after a foul by Justin Simon that the Wildcats (20-5, 8-4) felt wasn't an infraction. They don't believe that the draining defeat gives them any extra motivation.

"We know they're a great team, they've got a lot of skilled players, they've got a lot of athletic guys," Arizona center Kaleb Tarczewski said. "Offensively they're unbelievable. It's going to be a tough game. It's not about revenge, it's just about us playing our game, being at our best on Sunday."

The Trojans' backcourt of Jordan McLaughlin and Julian Jacobs combined for 35 points, with Jacobs notching a career-high seven steals.

Allonzo Trier led Arizona with 25 points but broke his hand and missed the next four weeks. The Wildcats have won both games since he returned and four in a row overall.

Ryan Anderson had his streak of five straight double-doubles snapped at USC with a season-low five points and eight rebounds. He's enjoying another run of five straight after having 11 points and 13 boards in Friday's 81-75 win over UCLA in which Arizona battled back from a 10-point halftime deficit.

Trier led the way with 18 points and Parker Jackson-Cartwright, a Los Angeles native who was recruited by USC, scored a career-high 16.

"I thought this was a game that reflects the resiliency of this team and the toughness because there were a number of times we could have given in and we didn't," Miller said.

Jackson-Cartwright started in place of freshman Kadeem Allen, who scored four points in 21 minutes while playing with a lingering virus. Miller said Allen threw up three times Friday.

"We didn't really have Kadeem," Miller said. "He did the best he could."

Arizona moved ahead of USC in the Pac-12 standings after the Trojans' three-game win streak ended with Friday's 74-67 defeat at Arizona State despite Nikola Jovanovic's 25 points and 15 boards. The Trojans shot 51.9 percent but set season lows in 3-pointers made (two) and attempted (11).

''We just didn't play well,'' coach Andy Enfield said. ''We played hard at times. We just didn't play well enough. A 31-game schedule, you are going to have bumps in the road.''

Stewart made 1 of 7 shots for two points, missing all four from beyond the arc, and Bennie Boatwright fouled out in 14 scoreless minutes. They are among six Trojans averaging at least 10 points.

USC hasn't won at the McKale Center since 2008 and has lost its last three visits by a combined 70 points.

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