Huskies advance in Pac-12 Tournament with 78 to 75 win over Trojans

Per University of  Washington Athletic  Department.

Huskies Advance to Pac-12 Semis with 78-75 Win over USC

LAS VEGAS (AP) Jaylen Nowell scored 24 points, David Crisp added 18 and Washington held off a late charge to beat Southern California 78-75 in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

The top-seeded Huskies (25-7) led by 10 before the Trojans made a run, pulling with 72-71 on Jonah Mathews’ 3-pointer with 1:10 left.

Dominic Green answered with a 3-pointer and Matisse Thybulle turned his fifth steal into a breakaway dunk that put Washington up six.

The eighth-seeded Trojans (16-17) still kept fighting, pulling within 77-75 on Nick Rakocevic’s putback. Nowell hit 1 of 2 free throws to give USC hope, but Rakocevic threw the ball away as the Trojans tried to set up a tying shot.

“USC just kept coming back. You have to give them a lot of credit. They kept fighting back, fighting back,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “Our guys showed a lot of resiliency.”

Washington hit 13 of 28 from the 3-point arc and moves on to face the winner between Colorado and Oregon State in Friday’s semifinals

Rakocevic, Mathews and Kevin Porter Jr. each had 17 points.

Washington won the lone meeting with USC this season by 13 after getting 14 steals – seven by Thybulle.

The Huskies were sharp in the rematch, using their defense to get baskets in transition and hitting 9 of 18 from the 3-point line to lead 43-38 at halftime.

The Trojans played well, too, hitting 15 of 28 shots from the floor to keep Washington within reach.

Both team downshifted into chaos to start the second half, trading turnovers and clanked shots.

Washington started to settle down a bit and stretched its lead to 64-54 midway through the second half.

USC answered behind its defense, holding the Huskies scoreless for more than three minutes to pull within three with two minutes left.

“We realized that our defense was the thing that was keeping us in the game,” Nowell said. “They hit a couple of big shots, but we just made sure that we kept everything going as far as the defensive end and let the offense flow.”

 

BIG PICTURE

Washington followed the blueprint that led to the Pac-12 regular-season championship, shooting well and clamping down on defense when the Huskies needed it.

UP NEXT

Washington faces the Colorado-Oregon State winner on Friday.

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