Even without head coach Kevin O’Neill, suspended for the remainder of the Pac-10 Tournament following an altercation with an Arizona fan, the USC Trojans put up a fight, nearly taking down the top-seeded Wildcats, 67-62. Derrick Williams was his usual outstanding self for the Wildcats, but USC countered with Marcus Simmons and a surprise outburst on the offensive end.
The Trojans hung around for much of the game, but Arizona kept them at bay for much of the night. With under a minute to go, USC closed the gap to three after a Jio Fontan three-pointer, but that was as close as the Trojans would get. Derrick Williams hit four-straight free throws to seal the game, sending the Wildcats into the Pac-10 Championship.
Williams had a double-double, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Simmons matched Williams scoring output for USC, putting up 20 points of his own. Nikola Vucevic finally woke up after a rough first game, scoring 16 points for the Trojans in the loss.
The Wildcats await the winner of tonight’s second semifinal between Washington and Oregon. The full bracket and schedule for the rest of the tournament is below.
Semi-Finals: Friday, March 11
Arizona def. USC, 67-62
Oregon vs. Washington, 11:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net
Championship Game: Saturday, March 12
Arizona vs. Washington/Oregon, 6:00 p.m., CBS
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