Wilcox leads Huskies to 82-75 victory over USC

SEATTLE — C.J. Wilcox scored 24 points in his final regular-season game and Andrew Andrews added 19 as Washington held off a late charge from Southern California for an 82-75 win Saturday.

The senior guard, No. 2 on the school’s all-time scoring list, was honored before the game as part of the Senior Day festivities. After a quiet first half, he helped spark a big run to start the second that gave the Huskies a double-digit lead they hung on to at the end.

Nikola Jovanovic had 21 points and eight rebounds and Byron Wesley scored 19 for USC, which lost for the 11th time in 12 games.

After an ugly first half for both teams, Washington came out after halftime finally able to take advantage of USC’s mistakes. Trailing by two to start the second half, the Huskies opened the period with a 15-0 run to go up 50-37.

Helped by four USC turnovers in the first 3½ minutes, Washington’s run came largely in transition, highlighted by a big dunk by Shawn Kemp Jr. midway through. After the first 10 Huskies points, Trojan coach Andy Enfield called timeout and voiced his displeasure to the officials, earning a technical. Wilcox hit both free throws and then capped the run with a 3-pointer.

Even after USC finally scored its first points of the half on a Byron Wesley jumper after 4½ minutes, Washington quickly answered, finding Kemp deep on the inbound pass for a quick layup.

The Huskies appeared to have the game firmly in control at that point, but USC crept back. The Trojans cut the lead to 72-67 with 4½ minutes left to play, but weren’t able to get closer than that. After Perris Blackwell missed one of two free throws for Washington with just under a minute left, Jovanovic again cut the lead to five — 80-75 — at the 30-second mark. The Huskies then broke USC’s press, finding Desmond Simmons wide open under the basket for a dunk to seal the win.

Washington freshman guard Nigel Williams-Goss fouled out with four minutes to play — his seven points marked the first time in 11 games he’d failed to reach double-digits.

Very little was on the line for the teams. Coming into the game, Washington was assured of either the eighth or ninth seed in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament and USC knew it would be the 11th or 12th.

The teams looked like they knew there wasn’t much to play for in the sloppy first half. Southern Cal turned the ball over nine times and the Huskies shot just 32 percent before halftime. With all the mistakes, neither team was able to open up more than a four-point lead with USC taking a 37-35 lead at the break.

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