Trojans steal one from Huskies

Using a terrific effort from the Stewart twins of Seattle's Rainier Beach High, the USC Trojans frustrated the Washington Huskies all night long with a 2-3 zone defense and forced 29 turnovers in an 88-80 win at Hec Edmundson Pavilion Thursday night.

"The difference in the game was our inability to take care of the basketball," said a disappointed Husky coach Lorenzo Romar after the game.

Five Trojans finished in double figures scoring, led by the 20 of junior guard Errick Craven.

Freshman Rodrick Stewart started the game and matched a career-high with 14 points. Brother Lodrick added nine points off the bench to go with his team-high six steals.

USC (7-5) had an amazing 17 steals in the game.

"It was a great win in front of our home town fans," said Lodrick Stewart after the game. "I've had this game circled on my calendar since the first day of school."

Washington (5-6, 0-3 Pac-10) was led in scoring by the 21 points of junior point guard Will Conroy, 13 of which came in the final three minutes of the game. Three others – Bobby Jones, Nate Robinson and Mike Jensen – finished in double digits.

Jones, who scored 14, pulled down 12 rebounds to record the Huskies' lone double-double.

While the game was never pretty, it remained close for the first 15 minutes of the game. That's when the Huskies inabilities to handle the basketball allowed the Trojans to take charge, turning a 24-24 game into a 40-26 contest at the half.

The Huskies, which were held to two points in the final 6:07 of the half, went to the locker room have already committed 17 turnovers.

After the break, the turnover problems remained, but the Huskies somehow found a way to work themselves back into the game.

After a Desmond Farmer jumper in the lane made it a 17-point Trojan advantage, Washington went on a 12-2 run to draw with seven with 9:49 remaining.

With the home crowd into the game, the Huskies had life, and more importantly, hope was restored. Minutes later, a 15-footer from Robinson drew the Huskies to within 58-61, but that's as close as they would come.

Turnovers were the talk of the game in the locker room afterwards.

"They forced us to swing it around the top of the key like Gonzaga did," said Conroy. "and they forced some steals like that."

That carelessness, more than anything, is what burned Romar.

"I'd be lying if I told you we were not disappointed," said the Husky coach. "At home, you have to protect your home court and we did not do that tonight."

Stewart Twins Return: Rodrick and Lodrick Stewart made their first trip to Hec Edmundson Pavilion since choosing USC over UW, much to the disappointment of Husky fans everywhere. The Rainier Beach High standouts were greeted mostly with boos from the Seattle crowd, but appeared unfazed. Rodrick, wearing No. 23, started the game and matched a career-high with 14 points. Lodrick, wearing No. 3, checked in 4:18 into the game and played tremendous defense for the Trojans. He had six steals to go with nine points.

Dickerson Sighting: Former NBA player Michael Dickerson, Federal Way High star, and member of the 1997 Arizona Wildcats championship team was at the game sitting courtside. Dickerson retired at the start of the NBA season after several consecutive injury-plagued seasons.

Another Celebrity Sighting: Shawn Springs, a cornerback on the Seattle Seahawks for the past seven seasons, attended the game. He's a free agent and will likely play elsewhere next season.

Up Next: Washington plays UCLA at 7:30 on Saturday night to wrap up the home series versus the Southern California schools. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

Points: Conroy 21, B. Jones 14, Robinson 13, Jensen 11, A. Washington 8, Simmons 7, Roy 6
Rebounds: B. Jones 12, Robinson 8, Jensen 8, A. Washington 5, Roy 4, Conroy 3, Simmons 2, Rollins 1, Burmeister 1
Assists: Conroy 5, Roy 5, Robinson 4, Simmons 3, B. Jones 2, Jensen 2
Steals: B. Jones 2, Robinson 2, Simmons 1
Blocks: Jensen 1, B. Jones 1, Rollins Top Stories