LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Desmon Farmer is not in coach Henry Bibby's doghouse anymore.
Farmer poured in 23 of his career-high 40 points in the first half to match the fifth-highest total in school history and lead Southern California to a 99-90 Pac-10 Conference upset of eighth-ranked Arizona.
Farmer is a senior swingman who has had his ups and downs under Bibby's demanding style, most notably when he was benched in the second half of last season's loss to Oregon in the championship game of the Pac-10 tournament. The 6-5 guard is back in his coach's good graces, averaging 17.7 points entering the contest.
"I was just waiting for my time, I was waiting till I got open," said Farmer, who made 11-of-19 shots. "I said I wasn't going to force it tonight and that's what I did."
The 40-point explosion was the first by a Trojan since Harold Miner scored 43 on November 25, 1991 at Nebraska. John Block holds the school record with 45 points on February 11, 1966 against Washington.
"It was a great offensive performance by Desmon," Bibby said. "We know he can do that. We know when he gets hot, he can shoot."
Southern California (8-6, 3-2 Pac-10) rode the hot hand of the southpaw to grab a 48-43 halftime edge. Farmer drained five 3-pointers and was 7-of-13 from the floor in the first half.
Arizona (10-3, 2-2) never recovered, although it pulled within 62-60 on a jumper by Salim Stoudamire with just over 11 minutes to go. That only set the stage for another spurt by the Trojans, who got a follow shot from Farmer to cap a 9-2 run for a 71-62 advantage with 9:03 to go.
The Wildcats lost their second straight and had a 10-game conference road winning streak snapped. The 99 points was a season high allowed by Arizona, surpassing the 91 by Liberty on December 28, 2003.
"They outhustled us, they outscrapped us for loose balls, they outscrapped us on the boards and Farmer was just flat out unbelievable," Arizona coach Lute Olson said.
Farmer finished 7-of-11 from the arc and 11-of 12 from the line as he took advantage of the up-and-down style of the game for open looks. The Wildcats' poor transition defense was exposed time and time again with Farmer spotting up.
Errick Craven added 16 points and four steals and freshman Rodrick Stewart also came up with four steals as USC finished with 14. The Trojans average nearly 10 a game.
"They had lots of steals," Olson said. "That really jumps at you. It seemed like they all ended up in layups on the other end."
Arizona struggled to keep up with USC's fast pace and resorted to hoisting up 3-pointers rather than get the ball to a foul-plagued Channing Frye, who fouled out with 17 points in 26 minutes. The Wildcats finished 8-of-30 from the arc.
USC shot 64 percent (16-of-25) in the first half and kept Arizona in the game thanks to its 20 turnovers and questionable shot selection. But the Wildcats were unable to rally, despite placing six seven players in double figures.