Huskies Keep Their Flickering NCAA Tournament Hopes Alive
Feb. 26, 1998
SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) - Deon Luton scored 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and 7-footer Todd MacCulloch had 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Washington Huskies kept alive their flickering NCAA Tournament hopes with a 91-66 victory over Southern California on Thursday night.
Donald Watts and Thalo Green, who made his first start, each added 11 points for the Huskies (16-9, 9-7 Pac-10). Patrick Femerling, Washington's other 7-footer, had eight points and 10 rebounds for Washington.
For the Trojans (7-18, 3-12), Gary Johnson scored 17 points and Gary Williams tallied 14. USC lost its sixth straight game.
Washington, which is seeking its first NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years, beat the Trojans for the second time this season. The Huskies must defeat No. 18 UCLA and Washington State in their final two regular-season games to have a realistic chance of getting into the tournament and it might not happen even then. Washington plays UCLA here Sunday.
The Huskies led 45-29 at halftime - their biggest first-half lead of the season - after Chris Walcott's layup on an offensive rebound with 1.2 seconds left.
Washington started fast, jumping out to a 16-5 lead in the first 4:07 with Luton contributing a 3-point shot and a two-handed dunk on a fastbreak.
A 3-pointer by Luton and a 12-footer by Donald Watts put the Huskies in front 30-18 with 6:50 left in the opening half.
In the second half, Washington outscored the Trojans 11-2 in the first 5:15 to go ahead 56-31 and break open the game.
Johnson scored consecutive 3-pointers in 17 seconds to cut Washington's lead to 70-54 with 5:59 to play, but Femerling had a dunk, Green sank a 3-pointer, Luton hit a 3-pointer and MacCulloch added a layup.
Washington beat USC for the sixth time in seven games and swept the season series for the second time in three years. The Huskies reached 16 victories for the third season in a row.