The Huskies overcome a 22-point deficit to knock off USC. Dejounte Murray scores 29 points and Andrew Andrews has 24.
Washington did the improbable and pulled off an 87-85 comeback win over USC despite trailing by 22 points in the second half.
The Huskies improved to 10-4 and 2-0 in the Pac-12.
Here’s three impressions.
Washington likes it wild and crazy: The Huskies flourish in a frenetic pace when opponents tend to get sloppy with the ball. It happened Friday when they forced 25 turnovers in a 96-93 double overtime win over UCLA and it happened again Sunday when UW created 21 turnovers against USC. Washington’s full court press and traps along the baseline cause problems for most teams. The Trojans broke the press routinely in the first half, but when they lost Julian Jacobs (ankle injury) they had just one primary ball-handler in Jordan McLaughlin. He had eight turnovers. Without Jacobs Washington tightened the press and got USC out of its offense. The Huskies didn’t shoot well (33.3 percent), but the turnovers allowed them to outscore the Trojans 51-39 in the second half.
Andrews and Murray lead the way: Andrew Andrews and Dejounte Murray combined for 53 points, which represented 61 percent of Washington’s scoring. They also combined for 11 of UW’s final 12 points and made the biggest plays at the end. Murray attacked relentlessly while scoring 20 of his career-high 29 points in the second half. The freshman guard, who entered the game shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 23.6 percent on three-pointers, connected on 11 of 22 shots. He also converted both three-point attempts. Meanwhile, Andrews came up big when UW needed him most. The Pac-12 scoring leader, who finished with 24 points, scored the game-winning basket on a putback with 25 seconds left. Andrews has also scored in double figures in 25 straight games, which is the fifth longest current streak in the NCAA.
Good conference start, but still work remains: You could make the argument that UW’s two Pac-12 wins erases one of the nonconference upsets to Oakland and UC Santa Barbara. However, the Huskies need to go at least 2-1 during their next three games – all on the road – to truly get back a game they probably shouldn’t have lost. It won’t be easy. Washington plays at cross-state rival Washington State (8-5, 0-1) before a tough road trip to No. 8 Arizona (13-1, 1-0) and Arizona State (10-4, 0-1). It’s way too premature to imagine the Huskies playing in the NCAA tournament and snapping a four-year drought, but after Sunday’s game coach Lorenzo Romar strongly believed USC (12-3, 1-1) was a tournament team. It’s a belief shared by many around the conference. If the Trojans are on the path to snap their four-year tournament drought, then maybe the Huskies can do the same.