Trojans rout Huskies at the Forum

After the Huskies managed a 5-4 lead, the Trojans went on a 19-3 run, jumping out to a 23-8 lead and never looking back in trouncing Washington 94-74 this evening at The Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California. The Trojans came out in a full-court press, which was successful in disrupting the Huskies' offense.

USC came out of the blocks running. The Trojans had four quick steals from the young Husky guards, allowing them to run and gun with perfection. When the Trojans weren't scoring on easy baskets, they were nailing jumpers from the outside and quickly put the Huskies away in the first half.

Washington entered this game with some confidence after a very good showing against the UCLA Bruins two nights ago. They had hoped to avenge their worst loss of the season, suffered just 10 days ago in Seattle to the Trojans. Tonight in The Forum, the Huskies must have felt like they were taking on Kareem, Magic, and Worthy.

However, this "Lake Show" was led by five Trojans that went for double figures. Senior David Bluthenthal led USC with 18 points. Seniors Sam Clancy and Brandon Granville and freshman guard Errick Craven each had 17 points to shred the Husky defense.

The Trojans continued their press throughout the game and embarrassed a young Husky backcourt. Their ball pressure forced the Huskies into 14 second-half turnovers, for a season high total of 26 for the game. USC led by as many as 32 in the second half while Bob Bender suffered through yet another nightmare at the hands of USC. This was USC's seventh straight victory over the Huskies and their last four wins over UW have been by 20 or more points.

Forward Jeffrey Day got his first start tonight in place of Grant Leep to add size to the lineup. But the added size wasn't enough to stop the high-powered and experienced Trojans. The Trojans returned three starters from last years' NCAA Elite Eight appearance.

Down 29-10, the Huskies weren't ready to roll over just yet and went on a mini-run, scoring six unanswered points. Grant Leep took a nice pass from Josh Barnard for a dunk, and Doug Wrenn added the next four points.

That was about it for Washington, as USC stopped the bleeding quickly and opened up a lead as big as 24, and went into halftime up 51-30. Sixteen of the Trojan points in the first half came off of 12 Husky turnovers, and the 21-point halftime deficit was the largest for the Huskies this season.

Freshman point guard Charles Frederick made his first appearance of his Husky basketball career midway through the first half. He was welcomed to Pac-10 play by having to guard Husky-killer Brandon Granville. Granville lit up the Dawgs for 27 points in their previous meeting.

Frederick, known by family and friends as "ET," might have had a case of the first-game jitters in his three-minute appearance in the first half. Frederick thought about a three, quickly changed his mind and headed for the hoop. He was promptly called for a travel. He went scoreless in the first half.

With the Huskies in need of serious help, Doug Wrenn stepped up his play in the second half by scoring 24. Barnard threw about a 40-foot pass to a cutting Wrenn, who slammed it home. That ray of sunshine managed to "slice" the Trojan lead to a paltry 26 points. Wrenn finished the night with a season high 29 points, including several pretty dunks, and was the game's leading scorer.

Frederick also came in for the last five minutes of the game. He scored his first two career points on a layin off of a Trojan turnover. ET also had two assists, one on a spectacular pass that set up center David Dixon for an easy two, who also drew a foul to complete a three-point play.

The Husky big men have fallen into a disturbing pattern of getting into foul trouble. Dixon picked up his first foul tonight on USC's first possession of the game. He avoided fouling again in the first half and scored seven before the break; however, Day picked up three fouls and failed to score in the first half. The freshman from Seattle fouled out with less than two minutes played in the second half. It was the third time this season Day has fouled out.

Dixon finished the game with 11 points and eight rebounds. He returned to the scoring column after going scoreless two nights ago against UCLA. This is the first time during the current six-game losing streak that Dixon has scored in double figures.

Josh Barnard, who has hit 16 treys in the last five games, went 0-3 from behind the arc and finished with four points and four assists. He was feeling the effects of a pinched nerve in his neck. He reportedly sustained the injury while shopping with his parents.

Husky Head Coach Bob Bender expected the big damage to come from USC's three seniors, but when the younger Trojans began to pour in points, it proved lethal for the Dawgs. "Other guys stepped it up. They are so deep as far as the different ways they can attack you," said Bender.

The Huskies fall to 6-8 overall, 0-4 in Pac-10. They host the Arizona State Sun Devils on Thursday, January 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Washington:

Scoring: Wrenn 29, Dixon 11, Allen 10, Leep 8, Brown 7, Barnard 4, Knight 3, Frederick 2 Massingale 0, Conroy 0, Day 0, Hudson 0, Gibbs 0

Rebounds: 31 (Dixon 8)

3-Point FGs: 3-13 (Wrenn 2-5, Brown 1-2, Allen 0-1, Frederick 0-1, Hudson 0-1, Barnard 0-3)

Assists: 14 (Barnard 4, Allen 3)

FGs: 25-53 (47%)

Free throws: 21-27 (78%)

Turnovers: 26 (Allen 7, Wrenn 4, Barnard 3, Conroy 3, Leep 3, Dixon 2, Knight 2, Day 1, Frederick 1)

Steals: 6 (Allen 2, Brown 1, Dixon 1, Frederick 1, Leep 1)

USC:

Scoring: Bluthenthal 18, Clancy 17, Granville 17, E. Craven 17, Farmer 15, Dupree 4, Charissis 2, Curtis 2, O'Neil 2, Hutchinson 0, Guenther 0, D. Craven 0

Rebounds: 39 (Farmer 7, Clancy 6)

3-Point FGs: 4-11 (Bluthenthal 2-2, E.Craven 1-3, Farmer 1-3, Hutchinson 0-1, Granville 0-2)

Assists: 20 (Granville 10, Bluthenthal 4)

FGs: 33-73 (45%)

Free throws 24-32 (75%)

Turnovers: 12 (Granville 4, E Craven 2, Hutchinson 2, Clancy 1, Curtis 1, Dupree 1, Guenther Jr. 1)

Steals: 21 (Granville 6, Clancy 5, E Craven 4, Bluthenthal 3, Dupree 2, Hutchinson 1)

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