Chevez Goodwin powers No. 17 USC to 79-69 win over Washington
Chevez Goodwin was the best player on the court Thursday night between Washington and No. 17 USC. The Trojan forward racked up 24 points and nine rebounds while shooting 11-for-14 from the field. No one on Washington’s side could contain him or keep him away from his spots.
USC was up by as many as 23 points in the second half, eventually winning 79-69 to move into a tie with UCLA for the No. 2 spot in the Pac-12 standings.
Just over 12 minutes into the action Thursday, the Trojans and Huskies were neck and neck. With 7:54 to play, USC had a slim 22-21 lead. But from then on through the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the first half, USC ripped off a 20-4 run to take a 17-point lead into the intermission.
A pair of triples in short succession from Reese Dixon-Waters and a bucket at the rim from Isaiah White put the Trojans up 23 midway through the second half, Washington unable to string any stops together and build momentum.
Then came a lul from the Trojans.
USC first fouled Cole Bajema on a triple, sending him to the line where he knocked down all three of his foul shots. Then it sent Terrell Brown Jr. to the stripe off a turnover and he knocked down both of his freebies. Another turnover led to a layup from PJ Fuller, which forced a timeout from USC coach Andy Enfield, but the Trojans sent Brown back to the line on the ensuing possession and he again knocked both down.
A 23-point lead with just 12 in the span of 3:18.
Whereas in the first half USC was patient and surgical in attacking the Huskies’ zone, a coverage change from UW coach Mike Hopkins put the Trojans in a blender. USC had 16 assists on 17 made baskets in the first half and shot 53% from the field. In the second half, the Trojans turned it over 11 times.
But 12 is still a lot to overcome when you’ve already hit for an 11-0 run, and USC was able to recover the rest of the way. Isaiah Mobley and Goodwin got buckets to quell the tide and between the two, USC slowly rebuilt its lead back to 17.
UW closed the last two minutes on a 7-0 spurt but by then the game had been decided.
“This is the first time we played a team that played zone all year, so it was kind of like a different look for us at first,” Goodwin said after the game. “We have willing passers on our team. We just had to … figure it out, calm down. Once we did, it was just cut and move. If you have a shot, take it.”
USC guard Drew Peterson finished with 14 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Mobley added 12 points and eight dimes.
The Huskies, who shot just 37% for the game, were led by Brown in the scoring department as they have been all season. He provided 23 points (7-18 FG, 9-12 FT), six helpers, and five rebounds. Forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. added 20 points to go with seven boards.
Washington (13-11, 8-6 Pac-12) will play its third consecutive ranked opponent on Saturday when it faces UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. PT on FS1.
USC (22-4, 11-4 Pac-12) concludes a four-game homestand on Sunday when it takes on Washington State at 4:30 p.m. PT on FS1.