Stewart, Young lead Trojans to victory over Wildcats

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Lodrick Stewart was a babe in diapers and Nick Young hadn't been born the last time Southern California won at McKale Center.

That was 21 long years ago.

On Thursday night, Stewart and Young were the catalysts, scoring 26 points apiece, as the Trojans (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) beat Arizona 80-75

"It means a lot to break that streak," Young said.

The Trojans (19-7, 9-4 Pac-10), who swept the season series with Arizona (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP), outscored the Wildcats 8-2 over the final three minutes to win in Tucson for the first time since Jan. 17, 1985.

"This was a big win," Stewart said. "This one will put a smile on my face for a while."

Coach Tim Floyd kept Stewart out of the starting lineup.

"He was sick and not able to practice all week," Floyd said. "We knew he would play limited minutes and we wanted him in there in key periods in the game. He was terrific."

Gabe Pruitt added 17 points for USC.

"Nick and Gabe were outstanding," Floyd said. "It is the best all three of them have played."

It has been an emotional time for Stewart, who returned to Mississippi for his great-grandfather's funeral. His mother, meanwhile, has been hospitalized with a nervous breakdown. His father, though, was in the crowd for Thursday's game.

"I knew my dad was going to be here," Stewart said. "I put on a show for him."

Chase Budinger scored 18 and Mustafa Shakur 16 for the Wildcats (17-8, 8-6).

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Arizona. The Wildcats are home against UCLA (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) on Saturday.

Arizona shot 54 percent but committed 16 turnovers to USC's nine.

"The difference in the game was turnovers," Wildcats coach Lute Olson said. "Most of them were forced by good defense, but some of those were our fault. We couldn't get a handle on the ball. There isn't much I can say other than you can't commit 16 turnovers and beat USC."

In a game that was close throughout, Budinger made two free throws with 3:24 to go to put the Wildcats ahead 73-72.

Stewart, who made 11-of-15 shots, sank a 15-footer to put USC ahead for good 74-73 with three minutes left.

Arizona's Marcus Williams lost the ball, the last of his seven turnovers, then fouled Young while the USC junior made a 15-footer. Williams fouled out, and Young's three-point play gave the Trojans a 77-73 lead with 2:26 to go.

After another Arizona turnover, Pruitt's steal on Shakur's bad pass, Pruitt made two free throws and USC led 79-73 1:08 from the finish.

Shakur's driving layup cut it to 79-75 with a minute left but got no closer.

Southern California extended its winning streak over Arizona to three games, its longest against the Wildcats since 1983.

The Trojans, down 38-35 at the half, tied it at 51 on Stewart's two free throws with 13:34 to play. Budinger's fast-break, two-handed dunk capped an 11-4 spurt that put the Wildcats up 62-57 with 11:34 left.

USC scored the next eight, though, to go ahead 65-64 on Stewart's 3-pointer with 8:19 to go.

Neither team led by more than four points after that -- until the Trojans' final surge.

Taj Gibson was just 1-for-6 shooting for the visitors and fouled out with 4:01 left.