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Sports >  UW basketball

No. 21 USC holds off Washington 65-61 in Pac-12 quarters

UPDATED: Sat., March 12, 2022

Washington's PJ Fuller, left, and Southern California's Joshua Morgan (24) scramble for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 tournament Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Las Vegas.  (Associated Press)
Washington's PJ Fuller, left, and Southern California's Joshua Morgan (24) scramble for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 tournament Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)
John Marshall Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Boogie Ellis scored 17 points and No. 21 Southern California overcame a rash of turnovers to hold off Washington 65-61 Thursday night in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals.

The third-seeded Trojans (26-6) had trouble stopping Terrell Brown Jr. in the first half and fumbled the ball all night, allowing the sixth-seeded Huskies to hang around.

USC had 23 turnovers that led to 16 Washington points, including a steal and layup by PJ Fuller with 33 seconds left that pulled Washington within one. The Huskies forced another turnover on the next possession — an offensive foul on Drew Peterson — but Isaiah Mobley blocked Brown on a drive to the basket.

Washington got the ball back after an official review on a ball out of bounds and Emmitt Mathews Jr. shot an airball on a drive to the basket.

Reese Dixon-Waters hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left to send USC into the semifinals Friday against No. 13 UCLA.

Brown was limited to two points in the second half after scoring 21 in the first, but Washington (16-15) had 11 steals to keep USC within reach until the end.

The Trojans stumbled into the Pac-12 Tournament, losing to No. 2 Arizona and No. 13 UCLA to close out the regular season. USC got an extra day to prepare, getting a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed while Washington pulled away in the second half for an 82-70 victory over Utah in its opener.

Brown had 22 points against the Utes and got off to a fast start in the quarterfinals with nine points in the opening five minutes. The Pac-12′s leading scorer didn’t let up, hitting 8 of 13 shots to give Washington a 39-36 halftime lead.

USC locked in on Brown in the second half, collapsing in the lane on his drives, sending the occasional trap his way on the perimeter. Brown kept trying to attack and put up several difficult shots that didn’t fall as the Huskies’ offense stagnated.

Washington had a stretch without a field goal, yet never fell behind more than two points as the Trojans struggled with turnovers.

USC kept turning it over, including twice in the final minute, yet made just enough plays to survive.

BIG PICTURE

Washington was disruptive defensively and gave itself a chance. But the Huskies couldn’t find a way to get Brown untracked in the second half and had the long field goal-less streak to end their trip to Las Vegas.

USC was careless with the ball all night, yet found a way to grind out a win. The Trojans will need to be much better Friday night if they’re going to have a shot against rival UCLA.

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