SEATTLE -- Jamaal Williams and Washington got the
start they needed to end their offensive woes.
Williams scored nine of his 15 points in the first half as the
23rd-ranked Huskies halted a three-game losing streak by
charging out to a big lead en route to an 87-73 Pac-10
Conference victory over Southern California.
In the midst of its longest losing streak since dropping five in
a row to open conference play in 2004, Washington (17-5, 6-5
Pac-10) was able to crack the 70-point plateau for the first
time in four games.
That would have seemed like a small task for the nation's
second-highest scoring team, as the Huskies (83.9) entered the
contest trailing just East Tennessee State (84.0).
The turnaround could not happen at a better time for Washington,
which hosts league-leading UCLA on Saturday.
"The good news is that we got back on the winning track,"
Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. "I thought we made progress,
but we have to do a better job on Saturday. We don't have any
options on Saturday."
Williams, who managed only two points in a 77-64 loss to
intrastate rival Washington State on Saturday, did not sulk
despite losing his starting role. He came in to hit his first
attempt with 16:14 remaining and found Bobby Jones for a layup
and a 7-2 edge 41 seconds later.
"The switch was done just to try something different," Romar
said. "To create a little bit of chemistry when we started the
game, and in the second half."
"We knew that Williams would be back in there," USC coach Tim
Floyd said. "He had a terrific game against us the first time,
and I thought he played very well today."
In all, Williams scored five points as Washington jumped out to
a 15-4 lead with 11:55 to play in the first half.
Leading 44-27 at the half, the Huskies extended the advantage to
27 points as Brandon Roy split a pair of free throws to make it
64-37 with 10:17 remaining.
Behind a barrage of 3-pointers, the Trojans (15-8, 6-6) closed
within 79-70 on two free throws by Nick Young with 2:58 left,
but the Huskies broke the ensuing full-court press and Ryan
Appleby pulled the ball back before finding Roy on the right
wing for a 3-pointer with 2:41 to play.
Shooting over 50 percent for the first time in three games,
Washington finished 32-of-63 (51 percent) from the floor and
held a 38-24 advantage in rebounding.
"I was really pleased that our guys did try to compete until the
end," Floyd said. "The bottom line is that we got pounded, one
more time, on the boards. That is the fourth consecutive game,
14th or above on the glass. That is just too big of a deficit
for our team to overcome."
Roy finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Appleby and
freshman Justin Dentmon added 12 points apiece for the Huskies,
who have won the last five meetings in the series and seven of
Young scored 28 points and Lodrick Stewart added 16 for USC,
which shot 52 percent (14-of-27) in the second half, including
7-of-12 from the arc.