No. 23 Trojans can’t keep up with Wildcats

Despite receiving a No. 23 ranking in the AP Poll this past week, the Trojans fell to the No. 17 Arizona Wildcats Sunday night, losing the game 86-78 on the road.

With their eight-point loss to the Wildcats, the Trojans are now 3-5 on the road, 7-5 in Pac-12 play, 2-2 against teams inside the AP Top 25 and 18-7 overall.

The Trojans, likely to be removed from the AP Top 25, have dropped consecutive road series against Pac-12 teams, losing two of three against UCLA, Oregon and Oregon State in January and now two games against Arizona State and Arizona by an average margin of 7.5.

Sunday night’s loss represents the fifth time USC has lost by at least seven points, with their only close loss coming at the hands of the Washington Huskies.

In their previous meeting this season at the Galen Center, the Men of Troy took down the then No. 7 Wildcats in quadruple overtime 103-101 in nail-biting fashion. This time around, however, the Trojans were not as lucky.

The game started out with an 6-0 run by the Wildcats, capped off by a Ryan Anderson layup to put Arizona ahead early.

Eventually the Trojans would even the score at six, but would fail to maintain their close distance to the Wildcats in the first half as Arizona took a commanding 46-30 lead into halftime thanks to four completed three-pointers.

In the Trojans last contest against the cross-state rival Arizona State Sun Devils, turnovers ended up downing the Trojans in Tempe. Against the Wildcats, however, poor shooting and lack of defensive pressure cost the Trojans a potential victory.