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USC Men's Basketball Survives In 65-61 Win Over Washington At Pac-12 Tournament

Mar 10, 2022

LAS VEGAS — Boogie Ellis scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting to lead 3-seed USC men's basketball to a 65-61 win over 6-seed Washington at the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday night.

Isaiah Mobley finished with nine points, nine rebounds and six assists. Drew Peterson and Reese Dixon-Waters also scored nine points each.

The Trojans (26-6, 14-6 Pac-12) move on to the semifinal round to face rival 2-seed UCLA on Friday, 8:30 p.m. PT on FS1. The crosstown rivalry gets a rubber match after both teams won at home during the two regular-season meetings.  USC's 26 wins tied the school record for victories in a season, matching the 2017 team (26-10).

USC escaped despite having a season-high 23 turnovers, including four in the final two minutes that nearly cost USC the game. The Trojans compensated toward the victory by shooting 49% from the field and held the Huskies to just 30.8%.

"Our guys played great defense the second half," said USC coach Andy Enfield. "That was the key because obviously our turnovers didn't help us."

The Trojans endured a 21-point first half from Terrell Brown Jr. The Trojans' eight turnovers led to USC trailing 39-36 at halftime.

Washington (17-14, 11-9 Pac-12) led by eight at the 18:14 mark in the second half, but USC quickly got back into the game and took the lead with two 3-pointers from Ellis and an and-one play from Max Agbonkpolo. The Trojans held the Huskies to a five-minute scoring drought midway into the final period that disrupted Washington's flow the rest of the game.

"People always say defense wins championships, and we're a team that believes in that," Mobley said. "Down the stretch, I knew I had to step up and guard. It was big time, money on the line, and we got stops. So happy for the team."

Peterson made an acrobatic layup with 2:26 remaining. The Trojans committed two straight turnovers that didn't lead to any Washington buckets and got another boost from Mobley's fastbreak layup with 1:06 remaining.

USC still couldn't put Washington away. The Trojans failed to advance the ball backcourt on two straight possessions and the Huskies got a layup with 35 seconds remaining.

Down two points, Washington had one final try on offense but Reese Dixon-Waters contested a layup and drained both free throws after being fouled.