Wed, 08 Apr 2020

Southern Cal avenges earlier loss to Washington

Field Level Media
14 Feb 2020, 14:25 GMT+10

USC, playing without leading scorer and rebounder Onyeka Okongwu, used a stifling defensive effort to knock off Washington 62-56 Thursday in Los Angeles.

USC (18-7, 7-5 Pac-12 Conference) lost its first encounter with Washington (12-13, 2-10) on Jan. 5 by 32 points, but the Trojans extended the Huskies' recent slide in the rematch. The loss marked seven in a row for Washington, last season's conference regular-season champion but now relegated to last place.

USC, meanwhile, rebounded from going winless on last week's Arizona road trip. In the process, the Trojans avoided a potential NCAA Tournament resume-damaging loss despite the absence of their statistical leader.

Okongwu sustained a head injury in Saturday's loss at Arizona State. In his absence, frontcourt mate Nick Rakocevic carried the load with team-highs of 19 points and nine rebounds.

Jonah Mathews provided scoring from the perimeter, hitting 4 of 10 from beyond the arc en route to 16 points. Mathews sank a pair from outside in the final five minutes, as USC pulled away from the Huskies.

Defensively, USC held Washington without a point for almost seven minutes in the second half. The Huskies shot just 35 percent from the floor and committed 11 turnovers. USC had six turnovers.

The Trojans suffered through their own shooting woes, going 6-of-24 from 3-point range and 24-of-67 (35.8 percent) from the floor in total. USC might also have built itself a larger cushion late, but missed five of its 13 free-throw attempts.

But USC's team defense ultimately made the difference. Mathews and Rakocevic both made two steals, and Rakocevic blocked a shot. USC also enjoyed a 47-40 edge on the glass, the result of grabbing 16 offensive rebounds to just nine for the Huskies.

Jaden McDaniels led all players with 12 rebounds and scored a team-high 19 points for Washington, and Isaiah Stewart scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. No other Husky pulled down more than four.

For USC, Isaiah Mobley had seven rebounds -- four on offense -- Elijah Weaver grabbed six, and Daniel Utomi added five.

--Field Level Media

Sign up for Tucson News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!