After opening the conference season 4-0, the Huskies are lost. Washington Sunday dropped its sixth game in its past seven, a 71-60 defeat to USC in the Galen Center, falling behind by 19 in the first half before coming as close as six points in the final minutes.
An abysmal crowd of 4,200, shrunk partly because the Trojans’ 11-13, 6-5 mediocrity, and partly because the Grammy Awards were underway down the street, had something to celebrate.
Washington (13-11, 5-6) was down 18-6 five minutes into the game. The first-half deficit ballooned to 19 with just over five minutes remaining before the Huskies whittled the gap to 11 at the half.
Behind the 16 second-half points Scott Suggs, held scoreless in the first half, Washington pulled within five with three minutes left. The Trojans’ Eric Wise (12 points) responded with a three-point play the hard way to end Washington’s 7-2 run.
Abdul Gaddy (12 points, 6-11 shooting) continued to be a scoring option for the Huskies but his four turnovers to only four assists limited the point guard’s effectiveness. Aziz N’Diaye (10 points, 12 rebounds) finished with his fourth consecutive double-double, but was 2-9 from the free throw line. The Huskies were 4-14 as a team.
Suggs’ jumper with two minutes left drew the Huskies within six. Wise then missed a jump shot, giving the Huskies the ball with a minute and a half left. But Washington turned the ball over its next three possessions.
After averaging 11.8 points per contest in his last four games en route to earning significantly more playing time, Shawn Kemp Jr. (sux points) was not an offensive weapon and struggled defensively, fouling out with three minutes remaining.
The loss came on the heels of a 59-57 loss to UCLA Thursday night, making for the fourth time in the past seven years the Huskies have been swept by the Los Angeles schools.