As USC won 13 of 14 games in the new year, surging into first place in the Pac-12 and securing its best start in nearly a half century, the Trojans staked their claim on their physical presence. No one had outrebounded them since December. Few had outmuscled them all season. Their defense was among the nation’s best.
But on Saturday afternoon, someone finally beat them at their own game. No. 17 USC was outworked in the paint and outplayed on the perimeter and outhustled at both ends, as its seven-game win streak was snapped by Arizona 81-72 at Galen Center.