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No. 2 Arizona Throttles No. 16 USC to Win Pac-12 Title

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bennedict Mathurin scored 19 points and Kerr Kriisa added 18 to help No. 2 Arizona wrap up its first Pac-12 Conference regular-season title in four seasons with a 91-71 rout of No. 16 Southern California on Tuesday night.

Justin Kier scored 12 points as the Wildcats (26-3, 16-2) rebounded from an out-of-character double digit loss at Colorado over the weekend.

Max Agbonkpolo scored 14 points, while Drew Petersen and Chevez Goodwin had 10 points each as the second-place Trojans (25-5, 14-5) saw their six-game winning streak come to an end. USC lost its first game since Feb. 5 when they failed to hold on to a second-half lead at Arizona in a 72-63 defeat.

Arizona v USC
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The Trojans fell into a second-place tie in the conference standings with UCLA. The winner of Saturday's game between Los Angeles rivals will finish alone in second place.

Playing in a game that was rescheduled from Jan. 2 because of USC's COVID-19 concerns, Arizona had no issue with its third game in six days. The Wildcats led 17-8 at the first timeout just over five minutes into the game, went up by 20 for the first time with just under three minutes remaining in the first half and shot 55% (22 of 40) before halftime.

In winning their first regular-season conference title since the 2017-18 season, the Wildcats improved on their best overall record since they were 28-2 in 2013-14. Arizona also shot 48.1% from the field or better in all 10 of its Pac-12 road games.

Mathurin went 7 of 13 from the field for Arizona, while adding six assists and five rebounds. Dalen Terry and Oumar Ballo had 11 points each for the Wildcats.

Isaiah Mobley scored nine points for USC with a game-high 11 rebounds as the Trojans shot just 39.7% from the field and 22.2% (4 of 18) from 3-point range.

The Trojans' bid for a Pac-12 title fell short, although plenty of high-profile chances remain. USC gets cross-town rival UCLA next, putting a five-game winning streak against the Bruins on the line. The Trojans also head to the Pac-12 Conference Tournament next week at Las Vegas with a first-round bye in hand, then have the NCAA Tournament next with a chance to better last year's Elite Eight run.

The Trojans will play at No. 17 UCLA on Saturday to wrap up their regular-season schedule.

(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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