If you made a preseason bet that the USC Trojans would be sitting higher in the Pac-12 standings than the Washington Huskies on February 10th, you better get to Vegas quickly and cash in. Riding a huge first half that saw Bob Cantu’s bunch lead by as many as 19, USC soundly defeated last year’s regular season Pac-12 Champions 71-60 to move up in the standings.
Shooting guard JT Terrell led the way for USC with 18 points, as the junior was four of seven from three-point range. Terrell had 10 points in the first half to lead the Trojans, and it may have been the best half that USC has played all season.
USC started the game by scoring the game’s first seven points, and a Byron Wesley three-pointer made it 18-6 with 14:57 left in the first half. The Trojans hit seven of their first nine shots and a Terrell three-pointer pushed the lead to 35-16 with just over fine minutes left in the half.
Washington closed the first half strong, going on a 13-5 run and scoring the final five points to cut the lead to 40-29.
In the second half, Lorenzo Romar’s squad kicked it into gear, as a 12-4 run just their deficit to just six with under 12 minutes to go. From then on, USC was able to keep afloat by means of the three-pointer, with Chass Bryan hitting two big threes, preceded by Terrell’s fourth of the night.
Those would be the only six points that Bryan scored all night as his play was limited to 11 minutes. But after USC had blown a big second half lead to UCLA two games ago, it was Bryan’s play that gave the Trojans enough energy to ensure a second half collapse wasn’t in the cards.
The Huskies didn’t score a point in the game’s final two minutes and the Trojans prevailed with their third-straight win, giving them a 6-5 record in the Pac-12 Conference.
This is the first time since February of 2011 that USC has won three games in a row, and in watching how the Trojans have come into their own under interim head coach Bob Cantu, they just might be able to extend that streak on Thursday night at Stanford. In December, USC beat the Cardinal 71-69 and that was still with Kevin O’Neill at the helm.