Information for this report provided by the Arizona media relations department.
The Arizona Wildcats (14-5, 4-4 Pac-12) got down in the first half, but used a big third quarter to take the lead and would never give it back as they knocked off the USC Trojans (11-7, 1-6 Pac-12) by a score of 71-68 on Friday night in McKale Center.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Arizona, all coming against teams ranked in the Top 10 — Stanford, Oregon State and Oregon.
Aari McDonald scored 20 points for the third straight game and also dished out eight assists while handling the point guard duties for 39 minutes. McDonald now has scored at least 20 points in 17 games this season.
Dominique McBryde had her first double-double as a Wildcat as she scored 12 points to go along with 10 rebounds, with her last rebound coming in the final seconds of the game to clinch the victory.
Cate Reese had another great night scoring as she poured in 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. The reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week is averaging 17 points per game over her last three games.
Tee Tee Starks had her best game as a Wildcat, scoring a career-high 13 points and was a perfect 4 of 4 from 3-point range, which is also a career-high. She got her first start of the season filling in for Lucia Alonso.
Arizona won the battle on the boards for the first time since facing Arizona State earlier this season as they outrebounded USC 37-27. Three Wildcats finished the game with at least five rebounds.
After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, the Cats tightened the screws and gave the ball away just four times in the second half.
The first quarter was evenly matched as the two teams each put 16 points on the board. USC then got off to a hot start at the beginning of the second quarter and rattled off a 10-2 run. Arizona would fight back, making five of their final six shots of the second quarter and went to the locker room down 33-28.
The Wildcats dominated the third quarter, outscoring USC 25-12 and outshot the Trojans 62 percent to 29 percent to give them a 53-45 lead heading into the fourth. Arizona extended their lead to 13 with just over seven minutes to go, but USC would make a run that cut the lead to two in the final minute.
With 22 seconds remaining, Starks hit a free throw to give Arizona a three-point lead and would block USC’s ensuing three-point attempt to seal the game.
Next up for Arizona is UCLA on Sunday at 2 p.m. MST in McKale.