Huskies maintain grip on first place
SEATTLE – Tony Wroten had 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds as Washington kept a hold on first place in the Pac-12 with a 69-41 win over Southern California on Saturday night.
Terrence Ross added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Huskies (16-7, 9-2 Pac-12), who won their fifth straight.
Wroten played despite a deep thigh bruise that sent him to the bench for the final 7 minutes of Thursday’s game against UCLA. On Saturday, Wroten played 17 minutes in the first half, then warmed himself back up at halftime by riding a stationary bike in the tunnel next to the Washington bench while his teammates took shots.
His second half was mostly filled with feeding his teammates, including a pair of pretty lobs to Ross.
Garrett Jackson led the Trojans (6-18, 1-10) with 15 points. USC missed its first 14 3-point attempts, shot only 29 percent and went scoreless for more than 6 minutes of the second half as Washington ran away.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar had warned that USC enjoyed making games grinding affairs, and for the first 30 minutes it was exactly that. But as the undermanned Trojans continued to miss shots, the more athletic Huskies finally started to pull away over the final 10 minutes.
The win sets up a huge road trip for the Huskies that begins Thursday night at Oregon. Washington closes the season with five of its final seven Pac-12 games on the road, but is off to its best conference start since beginning 10-2 in 2005. The Huskies will have a chance to match that mark against the Ducks.
Washington finally put away its eighth win in the last nine games with a 12-0 spurt late in the second half that gave it a 23-point lead on Wroten’s lob to Ross and a breakaway dunk by seldom-used freshman Martin Breunig with 5:33 left.
Romar emptied Washington’s bench in the closing minutes