What Andy Enfield said following USC men’s basketball’s 87-81 loss to No. 8 Arizona

Boogie Ellis scored a career high 35 points on 11 of 20 shooting

LOS ANGELES — The Trojans have no answer for the Wildcats. 

For the second time this season, No. 8 Arizona won easily over USC on Thursday night, 87-81 at the Galen Center. The Wildcats led by double digits for the majority of the second half. 

Azuolas Tubelis paced Arizona with 25 points and ten rebounds on 11 of 17 shooting. When the two teams met in Tucson back in January, Arizona beat USC 81-66. The Trojans are 8-2 when the team has its full roster available. Both defeats have come against the Wildcats.

Boogie Ellis and Reese Dixon-Waters carried USC on offense. Ellis scored a career high 35 points on 11 of 20 shooting. Dixon-Waters added 17 points off the bench.   

The Trojans, a team on the NCAA Tournament bubble, didn’t help their Big Dance credentials setting up a high stakes game against Arizona State on Saturday in their regular season Pac-12 finale. ASU lost to No. 4 UCLA 79-61 on Thursday night, which locked USC into a third place regular season finish in the conference. Arizona State is tied for fourth place with Oregon. 

Here’s what USC head coach Andy Enfield had to say following the Trojans’ victory.

On his team’s overall performance:

“That’s a tough night for us. We got into foul trouble early in the game, had three starters out, two with foul trouble [Kobe Johnson and Ellis] and Drew was hurt. It was challenging without three of our top guys in the first half. We got behind and Arizona made a lot of timely shots tonight. Give them credit. They played well.”

On Drew Peterson’s health:

“His back has been tight for a few days and you could really tell. He just couldn’t move. He couldn’t even get by people, their big guys on close outs. He was hurting, but he gave it his all. He’s a competitor. We tried to play him as much as we could in the second half…He’s just not himself. It’s hard without him…We don’t know [how long he’ll be dealing with the back]. We hope for the best.”

On defending Azuolas Tubelis:

“It was hard because Tre White is only 6-5, 6-6. Tre had a little trouble with him because he’s so big and strong and he’s so skilled. We were supposed to try and double team him in the post but he was able to get in the mid range and then drive to the basket and spin. He’s very skilled. He shot over us a couple times. When you ask did we do a good job, probably not because he had 25 points and ten rebounds. If we play this team again we’re going to have to figure something out. We can’t have him get 25 again on us.”

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