Washington keeps slim NCAA Tourney hopes alive with victory over USC

USA TODAY Sports

Washington kept the game close, then ultimately pulled away against the Trojans.

Quick recap tonight, because I have a life, unlike you guys who just sit at your computers waiting for me to write stuff. Get a life! It is entertaining and not wholly dependent on me writing articles!

USC is a fun team to watch play. They are athletic, can shoot, and look to get the ball up and down the court quickly. There is a reason their points per game went up dramatically with their coaching change. Kevin O'Neill likes a slow-paced, methodical offense. Bob Cantu likes to get shots up before the defense can set itself.

JT Terrell is the perfect embodiment of a Cantu player. He can shoot, he can get to the rim, and he has heats up like a microwave. He hits two shots and is instantly hot. Terrell scored 16 for USC tonight, with half of his points coming from the free throw line. He was able to get to the rim in transition and in the half-court, and was fouled frequently. He also hit a pair of threes, one coming in transition. Terrell cooled down in the second half, scoring only six after a 12-point first half.

The point-making for the Washington Huskies was provided from Scott Suggs, who has been producing recently, turning it on late in his senior season. Suggs continued his hot streak with 18 points tonight, including two threes. He was lethal from inside the arc, hitting all six of his shots from inside. He was impossible to guard in isolation, hitting several mid-range pull-up jumpers to score for the Huskies late in the shot clock.

The USC Trojans held the lead for the majority of the first half, typically with the lead hovering around two to five points, as they were never able to take control of the game. Every time it seemed the Trojan lead might grow, someone on Washington scored to keep momentum from being seized. Whether it was Abdul Gaddy, Suggs or even Aziz N'Diaye, someone was always able to make a bucket for Washington.

Scoring his career high for Washington was Jernard Jarreau. Jarreau has been viewed as a guy with a high ceiling who needs some seasoning. He showed both sides of that today. Jarreau has a good mid-range jumper that he hit early, but couldn't get another to fall. Whenever he was closed out on by the 7-2 Omar Oraby he struggled to knock down the shot, but he was able to get fouled, and was a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe, which accounted for the majority of his points.

Shots didn't fall for either squad, with USC shooting the better percentage at 37.5%, or not very good. Washington tends to get into a lot of ugly games, a way to make up for a lack of shot-making. They force the other team into a grind-it-out game, typically not Romar's style. C.J. Wilcox, Gaddy, Andrew Andrews and N'Diaye all struggled from the floor. Andrews hit a late three to seal the game, and Wilcox had a bit of a rhythm early and hit key free throws late, but for the most part, Washington struggled to hit shots.

For USC, Jio Fontain injured his wrist and played through it, obviously hampered by the injury to his right hand. Byron Wesley and Eric Wise also both struggled to get going, shooting a combined 5-20 for 14 points.

The biggest reason USC kept themselves in the game was the stellar play of center DeWayne Dedmon. Dedmon tied Suggs for a game-high 18 points on 9-11 shooting. His offense was mostly dunks, oftentimes of the putback variety. N'Diaye would over-help on another post or a driving Trojan, and Dedmon would be there to clean up the miss. He didn't miss many spots on the offensive glass when he was on the floor. Dedmon was limited to 23 minutes however thanks to foul trouble, which may have cost USC the game. Oraby is a capable backup, but Dedmon was brutally efficient on the boards, and USC needed the offensive boost that he game them.

Saturday the Huskies finish up their regular season by hosting UCLA. The game is at 11 AM PST on CBS. Be in front of the T.V. or turn into Steve Levy! It is very difficult to come up with a word that rhymes with T.V.

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