USC came to Seattle on Wednesday as the other hottest team at the conference. The biggest flaw in their resume is the lack of a real road victory. They will have to wait a bit longer to fill the void after Huskies leads the wire to the lead on the road to a 75-62 victory over one of his best Pac-12 challengers. USC dropped early and reached 15 points less than the average season. UW overcame Midnight Night Recording and High Noah Dickerson's heavy traffic with the timely performance of Jaylan Nowa.
Matisse Thybulle had fingerprints throughout the game, especially at the defensive end. He disrupted many USC offensive things and often started a fast break. The box result shows incredible 7 stolen balls and 2 blocks with 17 points. USC players would probably confirm that he was upsetting even more things than that. His effort at the defensive end helped compensate for the cold shooting most nights.
It was clear from the outset that UW recognized the threat of the great man of USK Nicko Rakočević. Huskies decided to release Dickerson on almost every possession at the start of the game to take advantage of his ability to commit the offense. Instead, the post-up was paid off with kick-outs to open threes by Nowell and David Crisp. Ironically, Rakočević picked up an early offense in such an appearance when he threw Thybulle on the three. The hot start put Dawgs on a 15-4 lead.
Dominik Green replaced Hameira Wright in the under-16 timeout, and the Trojans started looking for more space than the smaller setting. Luckily for Huskies, a wild ride by Naz Carter led to Rakočević's second offense. After Rakočević came out of the game, USC leaned on Bennie Boatwright, which helped reduce the lead at 15-13. As USC coach Andy Enfield entered his bench in the first half, USC presented the preparatory trio of Seattle Kevin Porter Jr., Jaane Brook and Shaqquan Aaron as they split the court.
Both teams suffered cold strides over the next few minutes as Thybulle did not steal the ball and robbed him to blow up the roof of Hec Ed. Eight of them with six minutes in half, Enfield gambled and raised Rakočević back in two offenses. His presence did not much help: Thybulle quickly fell to his man and shook again, and Dickerson dropped a larger Rakočević on the edge of the defensive. Carter then finished a row of eight consecutive failed three by Dawgs to force the Trojan at 31-18.
USC continued to fight while Thybulle rejected Kumina Porter, and Dickerson drew Porter's second mistake on the other. Boatwright finally made the USC's first trick in the game shortly before the break and added middleweight jockeys to bring their team to eleven o'clock.
Trojans started the lid from the other end. Enfield left Rakočević in the match despite the third offense for two minutes in half. Both were delivered and received beautiful passes, and the game in three points pulled out the USC within three. Dickerson continued to engage, recovering and effectively ending, helping UW to push the lead-acid bag into double digits.
Kevin Porter showed signs of life in the second half. He cut the back door for a light dunk. Shortly thereafter, he struck three of the right wing to prevent UW from increasing the lead. Porter's other side was also exposed when he obviously complained to his teammates during the live-ball when he did not get the pass that he wanted. The points were heavy, but Boatwright's length and sweet shooting kept the game close.
The Huskies made a couple of big three with less than eight minutes to play. A lovely pass from Nowell's Dominican Green landed just wide of the post. At the next level, Wright's offensive jump led to Nowell being able to hit Huskies for 11. Dickerson was wearing the team for the next few minutes with strong jumps and cunning moves.
With about two minutes, Crisp put a bow to the bizarre game. He drove to the basket and absorbed the misdemeanor while trying to get wildly stacked. Rakočević unnecessarily swept the tab of a shot he did not have the chance to enter, giving UW two points for a goal and a free throw. The points put Dawgs up to 15 with two minutes. Thybulle interrupted him by choosing Porter's pocket on the next property.
Washington has won a great victory. Not only does each win in this hot line improve their odds on tournaments, but win over the USC puts three games without a troika in the lineup. LA schools are two of the most talented at the conference so getting the start of the week's winner holds a positive momentum for the upcoming UCLA visit to Seattle.
- Color commentator Steve Lavin has always called On Now the best guard in the country. It was difficult to charge a fee, and Nowell spent most of the first 30 minutes making it easier for others to do so. Late in the game, Nowell got stronger and finished with solid 12 points to eight kicks, seven rebounds, five assists and four thefts.
- The late peak and night of abnormal Wednesday did not turn Dawg Pack away. They have been loud since the beginning and seemed to help establish a momentum early.
- For all that great work Thybulle worked in defense, Dickerson was equally offensive. It has produced an ultra-efficient 21 point on 10 shots with a full range of flips, revolutions, pumps and blades. He also overcame a hand in size to guide all 13 rebounds.
- While Kevin Porter showed and why he considered him a top cadre and potential headache, Jaane Brooks did not show much. Brooks did not score a point and disappeared into the attack.
- Boatwright was the best player in the USC playground. He finished with 24 points and six rebounds, although he did little to help his teammates.
- Naz Carter has recently kicked out on a basket and taking high stakes. He became a little too aggressive in this and finished with just five points on seven strikes.
- Each team found a way to put some points on the board in the second half but no attack seemed fluid in the first. Together they killed 4/19 (21%) on the three before the break with 17 trades.