Feb. 18, 2010
SEATTLE (AP)--Dwight Lewis scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half, Mike Gerrity added six key points in the closing minutes and Southern California held off a furious rally by Washington in the final 10 minutes for a 67-64 win on Thursday night.
The Trojans (16-9, 8-5 Pac-10) handed Washington just its second home loss of the season and more importantly likely ended the Huskies (17-9, 7-7) hopes of repeating as Pac-10 regular season champs.
Down by 16 with nine minutes left, Washington suddenly awakened, closing within 61-60 on Venoy Overton's driving basket with 1:25 left.
But Gerrity answered with a layup of his own, then clinched the victory with a fallaway 12-footer with 15 seconds left. Gerrity finished with 12 points, all in the second half.
Quincy Pondexter led Washington with 18 points, but the Huskies NCAA tournament aspirations took a serious hit with the loss.
The Trojans don't have any postseason hopes after self-imposed penalties for violations will keep them out of all tournaments. Their most impressive road victory of the season came on the day USC officials were meeting with the NCAA infractions committee in Arizona.
Multiple times this season, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has called USC the Huskies most difficult matchup. It was evident last month in Los Angeles when the Trojans handed Washington it's most lopsided loss of the season, an 87-61 throttling.
Many thought it was simply an emotional letdown by Washington two days after the Huskies were stunned at the buzzer against UCLA. The Huskies said the embarrassment versus USC would keep them from looking ahead to the national exposure they are set to receive Saturday when UCLA comes to town.
But the Huskies had no answers for Lewis much of the night. The Trojans spread the floor on offense, chewing up the shot clock and limiting the number of possessions. When a big shot was needed, Lewis stepped up hitting 9 of 16 shots. His jumper with 9:05 left, as the shot clock expired, gave USC a 54-38 lead.
That seemed to be enough of a cushion until Washington came alive.
Nikola Vucevic quieted and stunned everyone with a 3-pointer after a USC timeout to push the lead back to eight but Justin Holiday hit two free throws, then jumped in front of a pass for Lewis and sprinted to a layup and cut the lead to 59-55 - the closest since USC led 20-17 midway through the first half. Bryan-Amaning added one free throw with 3:26 left and the lead was 59-56.
Gerrity added two free throws for USC but so did Pondexter. Gerrity then airballed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, but Venoy Overton's driving layup bounced off the back rim and into Vucevic's hands.
Overton made amends moments later with a driving layup to cut the lead to one with 1:25 left but Gerrity did the same to push the lead back to three. After an Overton free throw, Gerrity hit his fallaway in the lane to seal the victory.
Vucevic finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans, who used a 25-12 spurt during the final 13 minutes of the first half to take control.