USC men’s basketball defeated the Washington Huskies 78-73 Wednesday night in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. The Trojans have defeated the Huskies two times now in 4 days. The Trojans picked up their 24th win of the 2016-17 season. The USC Trojans will now move on to play the UCLA Bruins on Thursday night.
The Trojans started the game off in an unbelievably lackadaisical fashion trailing the entire first half. The Huskies would stretch the lead to as many 8 points in the first half. USC basketball coach Andy Enfield rallied his team in the final two minutes of the first half as USC would close the lead down to two points at half time. The Trojans were down 39-37 at the break but were beginning to take control of the game.
Less than 30 seconds into the second half the Trojans tied the game. The Huskies would follow it up with a 3 to retake the lead but with 17:26 left in the game Chimezie Metu dunked the ball to give the Trojans the 43-42 lead and never looked back. The Trojans would lead by as many as 12 in the game.
The Huskies continued to fight and began to slowly claw their way back. Enfield and the Trojans, however, were far more diligent in closing out this game than they were against Arizona State in which they blew a huge lead late in the game that put a major dent in their NCAA Tournament hopes which were hanging by a thread coming into their game against the Huskies.
Washington would creep to within 3 points with 20 seconds left. Shaqquan Aaron would be sent to line with the Trojans leading 76-73. Aaron missed both and gave Washington a final shot to tie the game. The Huskies were unable to hit the shot. Shaqquan Aaron would get the rebound and get fouled. Aaron would hit both free throws giving the Trojans a final score of 78-73.
USC moves on to a rematch with the UCLA Bruins Thursday night at 8:30pm pst on ESPN.