USC (11-19) at Washington (16-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 8, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000) -- Seattle, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: USC 8-8, Washington 13-4. Away Record: USC 2-9, Washington 3-8. Neutral Record: USC 1-2, Washington 0-2. Conference Record: USC 2-15, Washington 8-9. Series Record: Washington leads, 69-67.
GAME NOTES: Andy Enfield will make his 100th career appearance as a head coach on Saturday, as his USC Trojans conclude the regular season with a Pac-12 Conference tilt against the Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Arena.
USC snapped a 10-game losing streak on Thursday that started on Jan. 22 with an 79-68 road victory over the Washington State Cougars. Enfield's first season at the helm of the program since arriving from Florida Gulf Coast started with a promising 9-4 non-conference record, but has ultimately been disappointing. The Trojans are tied for last place in the Pac-12 standings with Washington State at 2-15, and they have been outscored by an average of 13.2 ppg by their conference rivals. A victory by USC or a loss by the Cougars will secure the 11th seed in the Pac-12 Tournament for the Trojans.
The Huskies are coming off a 91-82 home loss to UCLA, which was just their second setback to a Pac-12 foe at Alaska Airlines Arena. Coach Lorenzo Romar's squad took a four-point lead into the break before the Bruins surged back with a 60.7 percent shooting effort in the second period. Washington will either be an eight or nine seed in the conference tourney.
The Trojans have rarely found success at the defensive end this season, as they rank last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (80.2 ppg.), and just one slot higher in field goal percentage defense (.459). After going into halftime facing a 36-35 deficit, USC clamped down on the Cougars to limit them to 29 percent efficiency from the field, including a 4-of-18 showing from 3-point range. Junior guard Byron Wesley scored 20 of his 31 points in the second half and pulled down 10 rebounds. Julian Jacobs chipped in with seven points, nine assists and seven boards for the Trojans, who outscored WSU, 40-20, in the paint and outrebounded the Cougars, 40-34. On the season, Wesley (17 ppg, 6.6 rpg) has been the centerpiece offensively, with J.T. Terrell (10.1 ppg) and Pe'Shon Howard (10.8 ppg, 3.0 apg) also contributing double-digit scoring averages.
The Huskies had a decent offensive performance versus the Bruins. They made good on 55.4 percent of their shots from the floor, including 9-of-19 from behind the 3-point line, but also committed 13 turnovers. Senior guard C.J. Wilcox led the way for Washington with 20 points. Freshman point guard Nigel Williams-Goss and sophomore Andrew Andrews each had 17, with Williams-Goss handing out eight assists as well. Senior forward Perris Blackwell logged a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort. Wilcox, who will be playing the final home game of his career, is the fifth-leading scorer in the Pac-12 at 18.2 ppg. Williams-Goss paces all rookies in the conference with 13.4 ppg and 4.1 apg.
This is the first meeting between these two programs this season. Washington is 69-67 versus the Trojans in the history of the rivalry. USC will have a tough time containing Wilcox and the red-hot Andrews, who has averaged 16.8 ppg over the last five games. Although USC possesses an all-conference caliber talent in Wesley, his supporting cast has not been reliable.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington 82, USC 68
03/08 11:30:23 ET