Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and his teammates came up with two huge blocked shots in the closing minutes to help Southern California upset No. 10 Arizona, 65-57, on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Jio Fontan added 21 points, and Alex Stepheson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans (16-12 overall, 8-7 Pacific-10 Conference), who extended their winning streak to a season-best three games.
Jesse Perry scored 12 points, and Kevin Parrom added 10 for the Wildcats (23-5, 12-3), whose eight-game winning streak ended on an off-night for offensive star Derrick Williams, who scored a season-low eight points.
The Wildcats head into a showdown at second-place UCLA on Saturday.
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Williams’ points were well below his average of 19.7, second-best in the conference, and it was the first time he was held to single-digits this season. He grabbed 11 rebounds while playing with a wrap protecting his bandaged right pinky finger.
The Wildcats were held below their Pac-10-leading averages in field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage and points scored on the road.
Neither team led by more than four points until the waning minutes. Vucevic hit a pair of free throws to tie it at 56-all with 2:37 remaining.
After Stepheson blocked Lamont Jones on a drive, Stepheson got fouled and made both free throws to put USC ahead 58-56.
Jones got denied again on Arizona’s next possession, with Marcus Simmons coming up with a big block. Vucevic was fouled again and made both, extended USC’s lead to 60-56 as the crowd chanted, “Go SC!” with 58 seconds to go.
Fouled by Simmons, Kyle Fogg made the second of two free throws to leave Arizona trailing by three with 40 seconds remaining. Parrom and Williams missed on the same possession, forcing the Wildcats to foul the rest of the way.
The Wildcats fell to 1-4 at Galen Center. The Trojans, whose field-goal percentage defense of .411 is second-best in the league, held Arizona to 36 percent.
At Oregon State 87, Stanford 80: The Beavers outscored the Cardinal 13-5 in the last 2:18 to claim the win at Gill Coliseum.
Jared Cunningham had 17 of his team-high 21 points in the second half for Oregon State (10-16, 5-10), which had lost four straight and 10 of its previous 12.
Calvin Haynes added 14 points and Roberto Nelson 12 points for the Beavers, who shot 32 of 52 from the field after hitting just 36.6 percent of their shots in the previous eight games.
Jeremy Green had 24 points for Stanford (13-14, 6-10), which has now lost four straight.
California 81, at Oregon 71: Jorge Gutierrez scored 23 points and Allen Crabbe added 19 as the Golden Beaers rallied in the second half to beat the Ducks.
Brandon Smith had 18 points for Cal (15-13, 8-8), which trailed by 11 at halftime before coming back to beat Oregon (14-13, 7-8) for the seventh straight time.
Tyrone Nared scored 16 points for Oregon. Joevan Catron added 14 points, Garrett Sim 12 and E.J. Singler 11.
At No. 2 Stanford 73, Oregon State 37: Sarah Boothe scored 16 points, Kayla Pedersen had 13, and the Cardinal (25-2, 16-0) clinched a share of its 11th straight Pac-10 title by pummeling the Beavers (9-17, 2-13).
Stanford can clinch the outright conference title by beating Oregon on Saturday at Maples Pavilion, where the Cardinal has a 59-game winning streak.
No. 11 UCLA 74, at Arizona 70: Doreena Campbell and Markel Walker scored 16 points apiece and the Bruins beat the Wildcats to clinch the second seed for the Pac-10 tournament. Arizona (16-10, 7-8) shot 53 percent from the field but lost its eighth consecutive game against UCLA (23-3, 13-2), which tied a school record with its 11th road victory of the season.
At Arizona State 69, USC 55: Dymond Simon scored 22 points to push the Sun Devils past the Trojans and into sole possession of third place in the Pac-10. Simon’s free throws with 7:14 left capped a 10-2 run that gave ASU (17-8, 9-6) a 48-41 lead. Southern California (16-10, 8-7) never got closer than four the rest of the way.
Game time change: The starting time for Saturday’s game between Washington State (8-19, 6-9) and Washington (10-14, 5-10) in Pullman has been moved to 5:30 p.m. from a 7:30 tip to accommodate a live television broadcast by FSN.