Huskies Outlast USC 65-57

Scott Suggs (USA TODAY SPORTS)

SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies kept the good feelings going heading into the post-season as they pulled out a hard-fought 65-57 win over the USC Trojans Wednesday night at Alaska Airlines Arena to push their current winning streak to three. It's the first time they've done that since starting out conference play 4-0.

"I thought that was a good team win," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said post-game. "That's an explosive offensive basketball team and I thought we did a pretty good job of being physical and defending them. Dewayne Dedmon is a heckuva player…wow. He's really good. Aside from that I thought we did a pretty good job. I thought we were patient offensively. We had five unforced turnovers early, and with the exception of a couple of bad ones later I thought we took much better care with the ball - only 12 turnovers."

With the Trojans continuing their strategy of faceguarding leading scorer C.J. Wilcox, senior guard Scott Suggs stepped up and led the way with 18 points, while freshman forward Jernard Jarreau chipped in a dozen for the Huskies (17-13, 9-8). Wilcox still finished with 11 for Washington.

"I was expecting it, but when Scott gets going it makes it a lot easier for me," Wilcox said of USC's defensive strategy against him. "They have to focus on him a lot more and I can take myself out of the play knowing Scott can create shots and put points on the board."

Suggs has averaged 19 points per game for the Huskies during this latest winning streak.

USC (14-16, 9-8) was led by Dewayne Dedmon's 18 points. J.T. Terrell popped in 16, half coming from the free throw line.

With the game tied at halftime and then at 41 with 11:28 remaining, Washington went on an extended 7-0 run the next four minutes, with Suggs accounting for five of those points.

The other two came via two free throws by Jarreau, who went perfect on eight attempts from the line. "He's been capable of doing that all year and he stepped up at the right time and helped us get the win," Wilcox said of the frosh from New Orleans.

"I've always been a good free throw shooter; I think it was all about concentration, confidence, and just following through," Jarreau said of his night from the stripe.

Jarreau's day from the free throw line was contagious, as the Huskies made their last 16-straight to finish the game. "We started out 0-5…Shawn (Kemp) hit the first one and it barely went in," Romar said. "Then Jernard was at the line and then C.J. went up there and Abdul went up there and we began to knock 'em down.

"Jernard Jarreau came out and played…he did not play like a freshman tonight. Him and Andrew Andrews - Andrew didn't have quite the numbers in term of scoring but he did have eight rebounds - five offensive - they gave us great minutes off the bench tonight."

USC could only get as close as six points with 2:13 remaining on a Dedmon layup, but the Huskies' Andrews responded with five-straight of his own to put the game out of reach.

The Huskies dominated bench scoring 23-4, with Jarreau and Andrews providing 19 of those points. Andrews also had eight big rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Overall the Huskies crushed USC on the boards, out-rebounding them by 19.

"The biggest thing was we got out-rebounded 48-29," said USC Head Coach Bob Cantu. "There were a lot of long rebounds and they did a great job getting the basketball, which gave them extra possession. We held them at 36 percent from the field, but we weren't able to get stops at the right time and they were able to open up the game, which I thought was a big part. I thought we played well, but to win on the road and to win at Washington you have to play a lot better."

"(Rebounding) was the first stat we pointed out to our team at the end of the game," added Romar. "Everybody got involved on the boards. We played with energy, and there's a lot of good things that happen as a byproduct of the foundation of playing with energy. You go out and play with energy and all of a sudden you get the loose balls, you get the rebounds. You're just more dialed in. That may have been the case for us."

"I don't want to run 17's for not rebounding, so I go to the boards," added Andrews on his rebound total. "I set a goal for myself to crash a certain amount of times and I put it on myself to reach that goal every single game. I was just trying to help the team in some way. I wasn't doing too much on offense so I figured my defense could help us as well."

With the win the Huskies have a chance to finish the season off on a high note with a win over UCLA, who lost in Pullman Wednesday night. It's also Senior Day, something that isn't lost on Suggs.

"It hasn't really hit me but it'll be fun," Suggs said of playing his last home game Saturday. "It's been a good five years. I don't know if I'll cry, but we still have basketball to play."

For the other Huskies, they want to make sure they can extend the seniors' final season as long as they can. "We're definitely getting closer to the way we're supposed to play, especially at the right time," Wilcox said. "Our teams usually do…we started a little late but I think we're starting to get the ball rolling a little bit."

"We don't look at streaks; we're just trying to play consistent," added Andrews. "We just take the games as they come and try and play our best and go out there and play hard. We don't pay too much attention to how many games we've won in a row or how many games we've lost in a row. Each game is an individual game to us and we try and play that one as hard as we can."
Statistics:
Points: Suggs 18, Jarreau 12, Wilcox 11, Andrews 7, Gaddy 6, Kemp 5, Simmons 4, N'Diaye 2
Rebounds: N'Diaye 11, Wilcox 8, Andrews 8, Simmons 5, TEAM 5, Gaddy 4, Suggs 3, Jarreau 3, Kemp 1
Assists: Gaddy 3, Suggs 3, Wilcox 2, Kemp 1
Blocks: Jarreau 2, N'Diaye 1
Steals: Gaddy 3, Andrews 1
Lorenzo Romar

C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs, and Andrew Andrews

Jernard Jarreau


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