After a thrilling three-point victory over Washington in Seattle, the Trojans, who trail first place Cal by half a game, head east to Pullman to face a struggling Washington State team that just lost to UCLA by twenty points on Thursday night. Purely, based on recent results, USC appears as the odds on favorite to leave the Evergreen State with another victory in hand even though the Cougars got the best of the Trojans earlier this season in Los Angeles.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS -- Washington State is coming off a 71-51 home loss to UCLA on Feb. 18. Since winning 67-60 vs. USC at the Galen Center on Jan. 21, the Cougars have dropped six of seven games. Washington State is led by Klay Thompson who averages 20.8 points per game, second among conference players. USC leads the all-time series 66-42, but is 1-5 in the last six games at Pullman, winning 46-44 last season.
TROJANS GET BIG ROAD WIN IN SEATTLE -- Dwight Lewis scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half, Mike Gerrity added six key points in the closing minutes and USC held off a furious rally by Washington in the final nine minutes for a 67-64 win on Feb. 18 in Seattle, Wash. Down by 16 with nine minutes left, Washington suddenly got hot, closing to within 61-60 on Venoy Overton's driving basket with 1:25 left. But Gerrity answered with a layup of his own, then clinched the victory with a fallaway 12-footer with 15 seconds left. Gerrity finished with 12 points, all in the second half. It was just the second home loss all season for Washington (16-2).
This marks yet another USC basketball game that won't be on television locally so most of us are going to have to resort to following it on game tracker. Still, this is an important one and the guys need our support.