Washington’s woes continue as the Huskies lose their seventh straight game to USC, 62-56 in Los Angeles.
The story was a familiar one for this particular Washington team. After playing a solid first half and taking a 30-25 lead into the break, their offense ultimately went cold and they couldn’t keep pace with USC down the stretch. Neither team shot particularly well on the night, with both teams shooting about 35% from the field and about 25% from behind the arc. As has been the case since PG Quade Green was benched due to academic ineligibility, Washington struggled to create offense outside of open shots and fast breaks.
Freshman Jaden McDaniles led the Huskies in scoring with 19 points, while adding 12 rebounds for his third double-double on the season. Isaiah Stewart also had a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards, along with 4 blocks, while Nahziah Carter added 11 points and 6 assists.
The Huskies caught a break before the game even started, as USC’s leading scorer and rebounder, Onyeka Okongwu, didn’t play due to concussion like symptoms. After falling behind early to the Trojans, the Huskies were able to go on a small 7-0 run to take the lead about midway through the first half. In the final minutes of the half, the combo of Carter, Stewart and McDaniels were able to score and give the Huskies a little breathing room. McDaniels carried the Huskies in the first half, scoring nearly half of Washington’s points with 14.
USC started the second half on a 9-0 run, but again Washington was able to climb back into it and take a 42-39 lead with just over 12 minutes left in the game. Then, USC started to pull away. There were several moments where the Huskies were presented with great opportunities to close the gap, however missed shots and a couple of sloppy turnovers helped USC to keep the Huskies in their rear view mirror. With 40 seconds left and USC leading by 6 points, Washington needed to foul but, oddly, chose not to which proved to be a mistake. USC’s Daniel Utomi made an easy layup after killing about 13 seconds of clock. Carter followed it up with a quick 3-pointer, but it was too little too late for Washington.
The Huskies now find themselves below .500 for the first time this season and are still last in the Pac-12 standings. They’ll play UCLA on Saturday night and hope to get back to the .500 mark and begin the long awaited turnaround to this lengthy slide.