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March 7, 2013

Suggs plays key role in win

Once again, Scott Suggs was on clicking on all cylinders.

The senior guard poured in 18 points on Wednesday night, shooting 8-13, as he led the Washington Huskies (17-13, 9-8 Pac-12) to a victory over the USC Trojans (14-16, 9-8 Pac-12).

Ever since Suggs' talk with Lorenzo Romar prior to the Arizona State game the guard has been shooting lights out and playing with more emotion than ever. This intensity and emotion not only showed on the offensive side of the ball when he made shots, it showed on the defensive side as well. After tipping a way a pass intended for a Trojan, which eventually went out-of-bounds off that Trojan, Suggs pumped his fist in the air and let out a cry.

Similar emotions were shown all night by the Huskies, but it didn't look like they would be from the start. The Huskies got off to a slow start and turned the ball over four times within the first four minutes of the game.

The Trojans were making it a priority to pressure the ball-handlers and they did so successfully. It didn't hurt to get an excellent start from Dewayne Dedmon as well. Dedmon shot 9-11 from the field, most of points coming off thunderous slam dunks, and scored 18 points in the game.

However, Dedmon picked up his fourth personal foul with about 11 minutes remaining in the game and had to sit for the majority of the remaining time. During the duration that Dedmon was sitting, the Huskies extended their lead. When Dedmon came back into the game, he found his team down 41-48 with 6:10 left to play.

Dedmon is a hard matchup as he is long and athletic. He has proven he can shoot long-range jumpers as well, which makes him even harder to guard. Coach Lorenzo Romar was just glad his team escaped with the win and didn't have to deal with Dedmon for the rest of the night.

"Well, I thought that was a good team win," Romar said. "That's an explosive offensive basketball team and I thought we did a pretty good job of being physical and defending them. Dewayne Dedmon is a heck of a basketball player, he's really good. Aside from that, I thought we did a pretty good job."

J.T. Terrell also provided some scoring for the Trojans, as he usually does. Terrell racked up 16 point on 3-8 shooting while going 8-9 at the charity stripe. However, the Trojans didn't get much else and the next leading scorer after these two scored only 7 points in the game.

When the Huskies started to look a step slow they always seemed to get a jolt of energy. Whether it is a three by Scott Suggs or a hustle play from Andrews, the Huskies found a way to win their third straight game Wednesday night. It always helps when an unexpected scoring threat emerges from the bench.

Jernard Jarreau found himself guarding a lengthier and stronger Dedmon, as well as a bully in Eric Wise for most of the game as he subbed in whenever Aziz N'Diaye needed a breather. Not only did Jarreau defend well and have some great blocks, but he played well on the offensive side of the ball as well. Lorenzo Romar was very pleased with the play of his lengthy forward.

"I am very happy with his decision making," he said. "The reason Jernard was starting early in the year is because he's so versatile. He can make plays. I said that earlier in the week, he's a playmaker. As the game went on, Shawn Kemp did a pretty good job against Eric Wise who's a load to deal with. But Jernard probably did the best job of defending Eric so his length was there to help us. Jernard, he made shots, you have to guard him, he drove to the basket. He'll get us to the bonus. He just did a lot of good things"

Jarreau knocked down all eight of his free throws and contributed 12 points off of the bench, a career high for the freshman.

dAndrews had a great all-around game and contributed 8 rebounds off of the bench, 5 of them being on the offensive end. In one sequence, there was a missed shot as Andrews gathered up the offensive rebound. The ball was moved around the arc a little bit and as soon as the next shot went up, Andrews gathered in the offensive rebound again.

By this time in the possession, there was only 5 seconds left on the shot clock. Abdul Gaddy fired up a long shot, only to miss. Andrews flew through the air and since the shot didn't hit rim, he had to heave the ball up desperately in an attempt to beat the shot clock. Andrews was unsuccessful with his shot, but his hustle gave the Huskies energy on the defensive side of the ball. Andrews was hustling for his team, but may have had a little incentive behind his motivation.

"I just don't want to run 17's for not rebounding, so I just go to the boards. It's not so much as a threat that I'll have to run if I don't, it's more that I set a goal for myself to crash a certain amount of times and I try to hold myself to reaching that goal every single game."

More of this same type of attitude can always be used on a basketball team and the Huskies will look to bring this mentality in to their final home game of the season as they face the UCLA Bruins on Saturday morning. Having lost to Washington State on Wednesday, the Bruins will be as fired up as ever to come in and ruin senior day for Aziz N'Diaye, Scott Suggs and Abdul Gaddy. Suggs is looking forward to Saturday morning.

"It hasn't really hit me yet but the game should be fun. It's been a good five years. It won't be the end of the year, but it will be the last time I play at home so it will be special," Suggs said.

Suggs and his teammates will look to continue their momentum into the Pac-12 tournament with UCLA coming to town on Saturday.


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