The Washington Huskies(16-7,9-2) continue their recent winning ways running their winning streak to five games in a row after destroying the USC Trojans(6-18,1-10) 69-41. The Huskies have won eight of their last nine games as their defense has vastly improve during that stretch. The Huskies saw 11 guys score a bucket for them tonight and they outrebounded the Trojans 49-16 as the Trojans who have just six players on scholarship once again were simply outmatched. The Huskies needed a win like this as their last three wins prior to this one were won by single digits including two at the buzzer. The Huskies were led by freshman Tony Wroten who played injured but scored 13 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds all while committing just one turnover. The Huskies dominated the glass led by Terrence Ross who scored 10 points while pulling down 14 rebounds which ties a career high. His 14 rebounds were only two rebounds shy of the entire Trojans team who only had 16. This was a total team win as all 10 active scholarship players(plus Austin Seferian-Jenkins who is on a football scholarship) scored for the Huskies as Lorenzo Romar was able to play his young bench. For Romar this was a big win as the Trojans had won the last two in Seattle including three out of four in Seattle as well. The Huskies with that win are still in sole possession of first place which after getting destroyed by South Dakota State at home earlier in the year didn't at all seem possible.
As for the Huskies they shot 28-58(48.3%) from the field but just 2-14(14.3%) from three point range and 11-18(61.1%) from free throws. The Huskies outrebounded the Trojans 49-16 and had 14 offensive rebounds. They were led by Wroten who scored 13 points on five for nine shooting while making three of four free throws. Wroten also added eight assists, six rebounds with only one turnover. Terrence Ross scored 10 points on three for nine shooting making all four free throws. He also added 14 rebounds, two steals and a block shot. Aziz N'Diaye scored nine points with five rebounds including a block shot. Darnell Gant scored eight points with seven rebounds including two three pointers. Abdul Gaddy scored six points but had six assists with three rebounds. Shawn Kemp Jr. scored six points off the bench for the Huskies. Austin Seferian-Jenkins scored five points with three rebounds as the Huskies improve to 5-0 in games he has played in. C.J. Wilcox scored just four points but added two block shots. Martin Bruenig also scored four points with a block shot as well. The Huskies reserves outscored the Trojans reserves 29-0 as they won by 28 points overall.
The Huskies basketball program is heading in the right direction defeating the Trojans by the amount that they did. They are winning the close games and now blowing out the bad opponents. Not since the 2003-04 season have I seen a Romar team evolve like this during the season. The Huskies have so many ways of beating you while earlier in the year it was only one way. Today the Huskies didn't shoot well at all yet still won by 28 points. They will face a big challenge going on the road to the Oregon schools which Romar in his career has had great success with but last year saw his team get swept which derailed their season. This current Huskies team has the talent and are finally seeing their depth improve as more players are starting to step up which can only help them get better as a team down the stretch.
The Huskies did what every team does who wants to win a conference regular season championship. They found a way to blow out an opponent when they didn't shoot particularly well. The Huskies played championship defense making the Trojans go one and done several times while extending their own possessions with second chance opportunities with 14 offensive rebounds. This was a total team effort as 11 guys scored and 11 guys pulled down a rebound. The Huskies were able to rest some key guys while some youngsters got a chance to score. The Huskies saw their freshman score 32 points led by Wroten scoring a team high 13 points. This team is in sole possession of first place which is the latest in the season they have been in first place since winning the conference back in 2008-09. This program has won a regular season championship then back to back conference tournament championships the last three seasons. With the way this group is playing right now look for another conference championship banner to be hanging up in the rafters soon.