The USC Trojans ended their regular season on a high note, defeating the Washington Huskies 62-60 in Seattle. The Trojans were able to dominate the middle, as they got a pair of double-doubles from their two starting forwards. Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 10 rebounds, his conference-leading 20th double-double on the season and eighth in a row. Alex Stepheson had 11 points and 14 rebounds as well in the win. Jio Fontan scored 20 points in the win, including 10-for-12 on free throws, and was instrumental in combating the Huskies' defensive pressure in the second half.
USC took a 36-26 lead into halftime, and built the lead to as many as 45-31 early in the second half. Washington deployed a full court press that really bothered the Trojans, and Washington cut the lead to as few as two points. However, the Trojans defense kept the Huskies at bay, as Washington went over eight minutes without a field goal, and the side effect of Washington's defensive pressure was a series of long offensive possessions by the Trojans that seemingly had a football-like effect of simply running time off the clock.
USC held Washington to just 39.6% shooting, and USC outrebounded the Huskies 38-28. Isaiah Thomas scored 16 points to lead Washington. The Trojans, who clinched the fourth seed with tonight's win, will face Cal in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals at noon on Thursday at Staples Center.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.