Behind a 23-point effort from USC’s Bennie Boatwright, the Trojans shot 68% in the second half to come from behind and steal a win from the UW at Hec Ed. De’Anthony Melton added 16 points of his own for the Trojans, who overcame a 10-point halftime deficit on their way to an 82-74 victory. This was USC’s 10th come from behind win by at least 9-points this season.
The game was hotly contested throughout, with three ties, seven lead changes and Washington had the largest lead of the game with 10-points. A season long problem for this team, turnovers, really hurt the Dawgs. USC repeatedly made easy layups off of UW’s 17 turnovers. Despite this, the Huskies ended the first half on a 15-point run, including the final 6-points off two 3’s from Markelle Fultz, to go into the half with a 37-27 lead.
The Huskies came out flat to start the second half, as USC started a perfect 7-7 from the floor to cut into the UW’s lead. The Dawgs were then able to respond with their own 8-0 run with 13:26 to go. The final 10 minutes of the game were rough for the Huskies, as they made 2 of 11 shots during a 5 1⁄2 minute stretch to fall behind 72-68. A Matisse Thybulle deep ball with 1:48 to go brought the score to 72-71 USC, but the Huskies never regained the lead. They managed to stay in it and keep it interesting until the final 20 or so seconds of the game, but ultimately took the L at home.
Fultz led Washington in scoring with 20 points on the night, to go along with 5 boards, 6 dimes, 2 blocks and 4 costly turnovers. All of the UW starters contributed, as Noah Dickerson scored 17 (with 9 boards), David Crisp scored 16 (with 5 boards, 5 dimes and 5 turnovers), Thybulle scored 12 (with a nice line of his own) and Sam Timmins had another productive game with 8 points (along with 8 boards, an assist and a block). The downside? The Husky bench managed to score one single point. Also, the entire team was outscored 20-9 at the free throw line, continuing a bad 3-game stretch from the stripe.
The Huskies have now lost 4-straight games and stand at 9-13 on the season and 2-8 in conference. They desperately needed a win but really blew this one.
Up next: No. 11 UCLA comes to town this Saturday, after beating the Cougs 95-79 earlier tonight in Pullman.