The Washington Huskies came into Los Angeles looking for a bounce back after the beat down by Arizona last Saturday but ran into a well oiled machine in the USC Trojans tonight, losing 79 to 69. The Huskies fall to 13-11 on the season and 8-6 in the conference but stay in 5th place in the conference.
Coming off a thumping from Arizona, who was the 2nd tallest team in the country, Washington would have to find a way to battle against the 4th tallest team in the country in USC. The Trojans start 4 players over 6’9 and bring 3 other players over 6’7 off the bench. The size again would give Washington trouble on both sides of the ball with scoring droughts and not providing much resistance to USC’s front line most of the game.
Early on, Washington was able to match up with USC’s size and got off to an early hot start, as the Huskies were able to get out to an early 12-7 lead. It wasn’t Terrell Brown this time leading the way early on, but it was Emmitt Matthews who scored 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. Matthews had a nice spot up 3 and then leaped high in the air to tap in another basket, showing off his athleticism.
USC’s star player Isaiah Mobley has been out for the last two games due to injury but he was able to make his return, unlike Daejon Davis who was unfortunately ruled out for his 3rd straight game. It took Mobley a while to get going on the offensive end but he was able to find his counterpart in Chevez Goodwin for multiple dunks and layups. Goodwin, who averages 11.8 ppg, found himself with wide open looks in the first half and multiple dunks. Once USC was able to get the ball inside, they were able to carve up the UW 2-3 zone defense.
Riley Sorn was only able to see the floor for a few minutes as Goodwin was able to score easily on the 7’4 Sorn and he was quickly pulled.
The last 9 minutes of the 1st half would take a nosedive for the Dawgs when it was tied at 20-20. USC would finish the half on a 22 to 5 run and held the Huskies scoreless in the last 3 minutes to finish on an 11-0 run to head into the locker room.
The story of the 1st half was points in the paint and turnovers. USC scored 22 points in the paint but it was more about how they scored without much resistance. USC was also able to hit several mid range shots that are usually open against the zone but the Trojans got into a very nice rhythm. These easy looks led to 16 assists on their 17 field goals in the 1st half.
Coming into the game, USC was ranked #336 in Turnover % on Defense and UW was rated #19 so UW had the big advantage going into the game. The 1st half would play out much differently with UW turning it over 10 times and USC only 4 times.
USC would go into the locker room up 40 to 25 and shooting a scorching 53% to Washington’s 35% from the field.
Huskies Make a Small Run but USC was Never in Danger
The 2nd half would begin much the same and looked like Washington was going to be completely run out of the building early on. USC hit two three-pointers out the gate and built up a 20 point lead before a Mike Hopkins Timeout. USC would build their lead to as large as 23 and it was looking really ugly for the Dawgs.
Emmitt Matthews did his best to keep the Huskies competitive in the last 15 minutes, hitting a couple more three pointers and scoring inside but USC just could not be stopped in their half court offense, especially against the zone. USC answered a Washington 6-0 run with their own 6-0 run within seconds to pull back to a 22 point lead after UW cut it briefly to 16.
Washington finally switched out of the zone and seemed to give USC some issues late in the 2nd half. USC was never in danger of losing their big lead but the Huskies did make it interesting for a moment going on a 10-0 run to pull within 12 points at 64 to 52. During that run, the Huskies were able to collect a few steals and speed up USC which led to some transition buckets, including a Langston Wilson slam. USC also got a technical for calling a timeout with no timeouts remaining with 10 minutes left (Chris Webber would be proud).
12 points would be the closest UW would get until the final few seconds of the game but the Huskies were able to outscore USC in the final 10 minutes. It was just too much of a hill to climb and the Dawgs fall 79 to 69. USC finished the game shooting 48% from the field and finished with an eye opening 28 assists on 30 field goals. USC did a really good job of passing through and over the zone that led to easy layups and dunks all game long.
USC leading scorer, Isaiah Mobley, was held under his season average with 12 points but had 8 assists that mostly helped his frontcourt mate Chevez Goodwin finish with 24 points. Most of those assists led to easy dunks and layups for Goodwin or wide open 3’s for USC’s guards. 6’9 guard Drew Peterson chipped in 7 assists himself.
Terrell Brown would lead Washington in scoring with 23 points but was a challenging game mostly for Brown as he was constantly guarded by someone 6’9 or taller. Brown did fill up the box score with 23 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals. Emmitt Matthews had one of his better games with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Maybe a sign for the future but Langston Wilson is starting to contribute more and more. Wilson has hit a three in two straight games and had a couple of highlight dunks tonight. Wilson finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds in only 12 minutes.