Washington (13-10) at USC (10-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 10, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Galen Center (10,258) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: FSN. Home Record: Washington 8-5, USC 7-5. Away Record: Washington 4-4, USC 2-6. Neutral Record: Washington 1-1, USC 1-2. Conference Record: Washington 5-5, USC 5-5. Series Record: Tied, 68-68.
GAMES NOTES: Looking for a third straight win for the first time this season the USC Trojans will play host to the Washington Huskies in a Pac-12 Conference tussle at the Galen Center.
Washington has been headed in the opposite direction in terms of wins and losses with defeats in five of its last six contests. Each of those losses was decided by single digits, including a tough 59-57 setback against UCLA last time out. The Huskies are now 13-10 overall on the campaign and an even 5-5 in conference play which has them tied with USC, California and Colorado for sixth in the league standings.
As for USC, a 72-68 win over Washington State on Thursday gave it back-to-back wins for just the third time this season. The Trojans are 10-13 overall and among several teams knotted up in the middle of the crowded Pac-12 standings. The Trojans haven't had a huge advantage on their home floor with a record of just 7-5 at the Galen Center
Last year Washington eased its way to a season sweep of USC as the Huskies won both meetings by an average of 25 points. The all-time series has been more even with the teams knotted at 68-68.
Larry Drew II drilled a jumper as time expired to edge out Washington on Thursday. C.J. Wilcox had tied the game at 57-57 just 10 seconds earlier with a clutch layup, but the Huskies overtime hopes were dashed. The Huskies held the Bruins to 33.3 percent shooting but turned the ball over 19 times.
Wilcox (18.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg) is definitely who the Huskies want with the ball in his hands in crucial spots. The 6-foot-5 guard is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring and has been in double figures in all 10 games against conference foes. Abdul Gaddy (11.2 ppg, 4.0 apg) is more vital for his ability to pass the ball, but has stepped up and been a decent scorer, while Scott Suggs (11.8 ppg) gives the Huskies a deep threat. Aziz N'Diaye (10.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg) is nearly averaging a double-double for the season and is an imposing force in the paint.
It was the play of its backcourt that carried USC over Washington State. Starting guards Byron Wesley, J.T. Terrell and Jio Fontan accounted for 42 points in the contest with each scoring in double figures. Fontan also handed out 11 assists and hit all eight of his shots from the free-throw line.
Normally Eric Wise (12.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is the top scoring threat for the Trojans. However recently the 6-foot-6 guard has struggled, failing to reach double figures in two of the last three games. Wesley (10.6 ppg), Terrell (10.3 ppg) and Fontan (9.5 ppg, 5.0 apg) have really shared the ball well in the backcourt for the Trojans, particularly Fontan, who is handing out the third most assists per game in the Pac-12. Scoring options are limited from there though with only two other players putting in more than 4.5 points per game.
USC has really been able to compete since league play began. The battle in the backcourt will be interesting to watch and whichever unit is able to control the tempo will have the advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: USC 68, Washington 66
02/10 10:30:43 ET