Men’s basketball loses at Washington

first_imgIn the opening minutes of the second half, USC’s offense improved, emphasized by a quick 4 points from redshirt senior guard Shaqquan Aaron. The Trojans also pressed the Huskies defensively and forced misses from distance. As the clock approached the 15-minute mark, USC was only down by 4 points with a score of 41-37. The Trojans will look to break even on their Washington road trip when they face off against Washington State on Saturday at 4 p.m. USC will attempt to capitalize on this opportunity against a weaker opponent, as the Cougars hold a poor 1-7 conference record. USC men’s basketball was unable to overcome a poor first half on Wednesday, falling to the Washington Huskies by a score of 75-62 on the road. Washington’s ability to defend and rebound gave the Huskies the edge in the game, and they were able to maintain their perfect Pac-12 record of 8-0. The Trojans fell to a 5-3 conference record. Washington started to turn the ball over following the early lead, allowing the Trojans to cut their deficit. Senior forward Bennie Boatwright led the charge with 4 straight points off of a jumper and two free throws. Ten minutes into the half, USC was down 17-15. The Trojans failed to score consistently for the entirety of the half, shooting 33 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from the 3-point line. Boatwright and Rakocevic carried the majority of the offensive load, combining for 18 of the team’s 25 first half points. USC’s poor shooting and abundance of turnovers gave Washington a significant advantage, despite having eight turnovers of its own. It was a dismal overall performance from the Trojan offense, which managed just 62 points on 40.7 percent shooting from the field. Besides the 22 and 16 points from Boatwright and Rakocevic, respectively, no player scored in double-digits. The Trojans shot just 31.3 percent from three and had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio at 13-to-18. The Trojans were unable to keep up with the physicality of the Huskies and were forced to foul them repeatedly in the final five minutes of the game to attempt a desperate comeback. 9 of Washington’s final 11 points came from the free throw line. These points only widened Washington’s commanding lead into the end of the game and eliminated any possibility for a comeback. USC continued to keep pace with Washington’s offense, but the Trojans’ inability to rebound consistently kept them from breaking into their deficit. Washington senior forward Noah Dickerson overpowered USC from the inside, finishing the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds. In addition, he gathered a dominant six offensive rebounds. Washington countered the Trojans’ run with a strong presence on the offensive glass and were able to break down USC’s defense in transition. Freshman guard Kevin Porter attempted to shift the momentum back to USC with a dynamic alley-oop and deep three, but the Trojans were still down 54-46 halfway through the second half. Freshman guard Kevin Porter shot just 2-for-6 from the field against the Huskies, but he wasn’t the only one struggling; as a team, the Trojans shot 40.7 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from three for the game. (Josh Dunst/Daily Trojan) USC shot poorly as the game progressed into the latter portion of the half. The Trojans especially struggled from beyond the arc, missing their first six 3-point attempts. The Huskies used the missed shots to attack USC in transition, either drawing fouls or finishing from short range. Washington would then go on a 14-3 run with three minutes left in the half, leading by a score of 31-18. Washington succeeded offensively. The Huskies didn’t shoot particularly well from the field, but they bullied their way to 17 offensive rebounds, creating numerous extra scoring chances. Washington dominated the total rebounding numbers 40 to 28. The Huskies immediately showcased lockdown defense, preventing USC from putting together any significant offensive run. Junior forward Nick Rakocevic was the only Trojan to score in the first six minutes, totaling 7 points. However, Washington continued to dominate on both ends of the court in the early minutes, taking a 15-7 lead.last_img

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