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USC basketball game preview: Trojans visit surging Washington

The Trojans will face a difficult task trying to pick up their first road win of the season Wednesday night against the Huskies who enter the game undefeated in Pac-12 play.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Southern California Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a three-win homestand, the USC basketball team heads to Seattle in search of its first road win of the season against a tough Washington team.

The Huskies, who enter 16-4 overall and 7-0 in Pac-12 play, are undoubtedly the conference’s most impressive team so far and are primed for a deep NCAA tournament run.

Under second-year head coach Mike Hopkins, Washington is led by its defense, which allows 64.8 points per game, 32nd lowest average in the nation. On offense, sophomore Jaylen Nowell leads the way with a 17.0 points per game clip, while senior Noah Dickerson follows with a 12.8 average.

Senior Bennie Boatwright gave USC an ever-important victory against Arizona State Saturday with a late go-ahead 3-pointer. There’s no question the Trojans will need Boatwright to carry some of that magic into a key conference showdown against the Huskies, who figure to be a top-contender for the Pac-12 tournament title.

Game Info

Matchup: USC at Washington

Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Time: 8:00 PT, 11:00 EST

Spread: Washington -7

Where to watch: FS1

Team Stats

Key Players to Watch

For the Trojans:

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Southern California Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Bennie Boatwright: The Mission Hills product played arguably his best game of the season so far against the Sun Devils on Saturday, pouring in a game-high 17 points. He went 2 for 3 from beyond the arc and was 5 for 10 from the field. With freshman Kevin Porter Jr. struggling to find his place on the team and rythmn on the court and junior Nick Rakocevic struggling to stay out of foul trouble, Boatwright has been the Trojans’ most-reliable scorer and should be able to do so again against the Huskies.

Shaqquan Aaron: The Los Angeles native played a key role Saturday against the Sun Devils on offense, chipping in 13 points. Aaron’s ability to make 3 of his 6 attempts from the 3-point line stretched out the defense and made it easier for Boatwright and Rakocevic to get their shots. If Aaron can at least get to double-digits, the Trojans have a good chance to keep this game close.

For the Huskies:

Jaylen Nowell: Over his last five games, Nowell is averaging 18.2 points per game and has been a huge reason why Washington is where it’s at in the Pac-12 standings. It will be important for USC to not allow the Seattle native to take open 3-pointers, as he makes about 53-percent of his shots from out there. It will likely be Boatwright or Jonah Matthews who will handle the job of trying to limit Nowell.

David Crisp: The 6-foot-0 senior guard has been one of the Huskies’ more dependable shooters. He scored 14 points his last time out against Oregon State and poured in 18 the previous game against Oregon. The Tacoma, Washington native helps provide Washington with a nice 1-2 punch on offense.

Prediction:

Washington 73, USC 61