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USC 69 Arizona 80

I wouldn't say that Daniel Hackett going down to an injury was the reason SC lost last night against Arizona but it certainly didn't help. The most glaring thing about last night's loss was the lack of offensive rebounding and the lack of accurate 3-point shooting. You could see about halfway through the 2nd half that SC was out of gas with shots falling short and not being able secure rebounds.

Even without Hackett, who was coming off a career-high 26-point performance against Oregon, the Trojans were in a position to win when they took a 56-55 lead with 7:23 remaining on a free throw by sophomore forward Taj Gibson.

But several breakdowns cost USC over the final minutes.

The Trojans couldn't grab the rebound on two missed Arizona free throws and then failed to secure the ball after twice stopping the Wildcats on the defensive end.

"We just didn't rebound the ball well and it hurt us," Gibson said.

He couldn't be more right.

The fact is SC still has a problem defending the low post and Arizona has some considerable size and SC just had a real difficult time getting rebounds. Arizona was pretty hot from behind the arc where SC was not. Combine the two and its not hard to see how SC lost this game.

Hackett's injury has been classified as a Hip Pointer yet he may still play on Saturday.

USC sophomore guard Daniel Hackett was diagnosed today with a right hip pointer and could play Saturday against Arizona State, a school spokesman said.

X-rays on the hip were negative and Hackett's status will be a game-time decision.

Hackett landed on the hip while diving out of bounds in the opening minutes Thursday during USC's 80-69 loss to Arizona at the Galen Center and did not return. There initially were fears that Hackett had chipped a bone in the hip or broken a rib.

This can be a tough injury to deal with so if Hackett plays on Saturday I will be surprised. If he does play I will be curious as to how effective he could be. This is a tough loss, they all are, but while SC built some character in their win over Oregon this should remind them that there is a long way yet to go and they need to dig down deep and put this loss behind them.

We'll see how it goes...

Arizona Southern California
29-60 (48.3%) Field goals 28-56 (50.0%)
10-21 (47.6%) 3-Point FGs 4-17 (23.5%)
12-22 (54.5%) Free throws 9-16 (56.3%)
37 (16-21) Rebounds (Off-Def) 30 (10-20)
5 Steals 3
3 Blocks 4
16 Assists 11
8 Turnovers 10
2.0 Assist/turnover 1.1