Fall of Troy: Huskies rout USC

Just three words can be used to describe the scene at Hec Ed Pavilion Thursday night: steals, dunks, and Tre. Oh my. In many cases, those words were associated with each other on a single play, with a Husky steal leading to a thunderous dunk or a Simmons trey within a flash of a second. Whatever the case was, nearly everything went right and fell through the nets as Washington stomped USC 99-69.

Washington (18-3 overall, 8-2) shot an amazing 60 percent from the floor during the course of the game. Simmons scored a career high 29 points, including six three-pointers. And with Simmons scoring from the outside, Jamaal Williams took care of the inside, adding 21 points on 9-10 shooting. Will Conroy had his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 assists and had zero turnovers. But offense did not win this game alone for Washington. The Huskies' unforgiving, in-your-face defense caused havoc all night for USC (9-12, 2-8), forcing the Trojans to cough the rock up 24 times. The Dawgs also came up with 14 steals.

"I was pleased with our effort," said Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. "We were sharing the ball very well and playing aggressive basketball."

The Huskies totaled 34 assists to just 11 turovers.

USC actually got the better of Washington for the first eight minutes of the game, forcing the Huskies to an uncharacteristic slow start. Romar then sent in Williams, who lived up to his "instant-offense" billing. Williams threw up an off-balance hook shot and got fouled along the process to make it a three-point play and tie the score at 15 with 12:26 left in the first half.

From that point on, it was all Washington. The men of Troy began to unravel and the Huskies outscored the Trojans 32-14 the rest of the half while their relentless defense stepped up and forced turnover after turnover, mostly on steals.

In the second half, it was more of the same as Washington put on an aerial display that would make Boeing proud, including a sky-walking effort by freshman Joel Smith. Simmons caught fire and a repetitive theme arose; Conroy to the "Tre-Bomb", right-corner pocket.

"Our guys understand that when Tre gets going, he can score in bunches," said Romar. "The team recognizes that with Jamaal as well and they look to them for offense."

Simmons had a free shot at breaking the 30-point mark, as he headed to the line for two free throws. Knowing that he was going to be pulled after his free throw attempts, the usually accurate Simmons missed both freebie attempts.

"I guess I was anxious," said Simmons with a laugh.

Rainier Beach alum Lodrick Stewart of USC scored 13 points for the Trojans while constantly being the target of the unforgiving UW Student Section.

The Huskies will host UCLA this Saturday at 2pm. They will be looking to avenge their loss from January 8th, where UCLA defeated UW 95-86, overcoming a 21-defecit.

Husky Statistics:
Points: Simmons 29, Williams 21, Conroy 13, Jensen 10, Robinson 9, Burmeister 5, Jones 4, Smith 4, Roy 4
Rebounds: Simmons 6, Roy 6, Jones 4, Jensen 4, Smith 3, Conroy 2, Four others tied with 1
Assists: Conroy 10, Robinson 5, Roy 5, Simmons 3, Jensen 2, Smith 2, Williams 2, Burmeister 1
Steals: Jones 3, Simmons 2, Conroy 2, Robinson 2, Roy 2, Williams 1, Jensen 1, Burmeister 1
Blocks: Burmeister 1

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