Slow second half halts Trojans in Seattle

The last two times the USC men’s basketball team traveled north to Seattle to face Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena, the team walked away with a victory in hand.

Saturday would be slightly different.

Road trippin’ · Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson scored a team high 15-points Saturday at Washington. Despite being down 10 points at the end of the first half, the Trojans were unable to close the gap on the first-place Huskies, eventually losing by a 28-point margin. - Luciano Nunez | Daily Trojan

Facing the Huskies, the Trojans (6-18, 1-10) shot just 29 percent from the field en route to a 69-41 loss — their 14th in their last 16 games — in front of an announced crowd of 9,948.

Though eventually losing by 28 points, USC kept pace in the early goings. Initially, it grabbed a 7-4 lead at the start of the contest and trailed by 10 points at halftime.

But even in the first half, USC struggled to hang with the Huskies (16-7, 9-2).

Over the course of the first 20 minutes, the Trojans converted nine of 30 shot attempts and went 0-for-8 from 3-point range. They would not make a 3-pointer, missing their first 14 attempts, until about two minutes remaining in the game, finishing 1-for-16 from beyond the arc.

In the second half, the Huskies ran off 40 points, cruising to the easy win, keeping the Trojans winless on the road in Pac-12 play. USC has one road win all season — a 56-35 win at UC Riverside on Nov. 30.

At one point, leading 44-33 late in the second half, Washington went on an 18-0 run over a six minute stretch to balloon its lead to 62-33, squashing any remaining hope of a USC comeback

In recent weeks, season-ending injuries to sophomore center Dewayne Dedmon and junior forward Aaron Fuller have left six scholarship players healthy enough to play, and the Trojans have consequently had trouble scoring.

The 41 points scored against Washington marked the third-lowest scoring total this season and the lowest of any conference game.

Guard Tony Wroten played in spite of a deep thigh bruise that had hampered him in recent weeks, sidelining him for the final seven minutes of Thursday’s contest against UCLA.

Five players would score for the Trojans, and two finished in double-figures with sophomore forward Garrett Jackson and freshman guard Byron Wesley, chipping in 15 and 12 points, respectively.

By comparison, Washington saw 11 of its 13 players record at least two points. It was led by guard Tony Wroten, who led the way with 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds, keeping the Huskies ahead of California and Colorado in the Pac-12 standings by one game.

Guard Terrence Ross added 10 points and 14 rebounds for Washington. The victory marked the team’s fifth straight win.

The Trojans will return to the Galen Center this week to take on California Thursday and Stanford Sunday.

The Bears (18-6, 8-3) are currently tied for second place in the Pac-12 but have just a 2-4 record on the road. They defeated USC earlier this season at Haas Pavilion on Dec. 29 by a score of 53-49 in a close contest that wasn’t decided until the game’s final seconds.

Stanford (16-7, 6-5), meanwhile, has lost four of its last five games, including a 13-point defeat at home against Arizona on Feb. 4. Stanford beat USC 51-43 on Dec. 31 in its last matchup.

USC will close the season with four of its final seven Pac-12 games at the Galen Center and one road contest at the nearby Los Angeles Sports Arena against UCLA on Feb. 15. The Sports Arena is serving as the temporary home for UCLA this season, while Pauley Pavilion undergoes renovations. It will reopen next fall.