LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Southern California is loving its new home.
And Washington (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) just can't seem to handle the road.
In front of the kind of large and raucous crowd the Trojans
expected in their new Galen Center arena but had yet to see, USC
beat Washington 86-79 in double overtime Thursday night in the
Pac-10 opener for both teams.
USC won its ninth straight home game. The Trojans haven't lost
at home since a season-opening defeat to South Carolina.
"I've never seen the Galen Center like that," said Nick Young,
who scored five of his 25 points in the second overtime to lead the
Trojans. "We were excited to see our fans out there, to have the
student section going, it was a big feeling for us."
USC (11-3) knocked off a ranked team for the second straight
game. They beat then-No. 8 Wichita State in Las Vegas last Friday.
Spencer Hawes scored a career-high 24 points for Washington
(10-2), which has lost both of its road games this season, falling
to Gonzaga 97-77 on Dec. 9.
Hawes made his first 3-pointer of the season to send the game
into double overtime, but the Huskies were outscored 13-6 in the
second extra period.
Young shot 8-for-16 from the field and Taj Gibson finished with
22 points and 10 rebounds despite sitting out the final 8:50 of the
first half with food poisoning.
Despite his sickness, Gibson, also a freshman center, outshone
the more highly touted Hawes with powerful dunks and rebounds for
long stretches of the night. He had his seventh double-double of
Gabe Pruitt, who started for the first time this season for USC
after sitting out most of the year because of academic problems,
added 18 points and six assists for the Trojans.
Pruitt started in the place of Daniel Hackett, Gibson's
roommate, who also had food poisoning and played just 6 minutes.
Both Hackett and Gibson had IVs before the game and at halftime.
Hawes, a freshman 7-footer who had scored 23 in each of the
Huskies' last two games, made his improbable 3 from the top of the
key at the end of the first overtime as Washington inbounded the
ball with 1 second to play.
"He's capable of hitting those kinds of shots," Washington
coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We had confidence he could knock those
Young said Hawes' 3 nearly deflated the Trojans.
"When he hit that 3 I was exhausted," Young said. "I've never
had that feeling before. It was disappointing but we all pulled it
Ryan Appleby, who went 6-for-9 from behind the arc and scored 18
points, had just missed a 3 with 5 seconds to play, seemingly
ending the Huskies' hopes.
Pruitt made a 3-pointer with the shot clock running out early in
the second overtime that gave USC a 78-75 lead.
After a Hawes layup, Young then made a 3-pointer, sank three of
four free throws in the final minute and pulled down a rebound with
the Trojans leading by seven that put the game away.
USC has won six of its last seven, and hosts Washington State on
"It could've been a backbreaker to lose this game," USC coach
Tim Floyd said. "I don't know if anyone has a tougher opening
six-game stretch to open league (play). To get that win was
After losing both road games, the young Huskies, who start three
freshmen and two sophomores, now play four of their next seven on
the road, including a trip across Los Angeles to face No. 1 UCLA on
Washington also has to face No. 7 Arizona at home on Jan. 4.
Aside from Hawes' night, there were a few more bright spots for
The Huskies have yet to be outrebounded this season, and had the
edge on the boards against the Trojans 39-38. They were also just
the second team to shoot over 40 percent against the USC defense,
going 29-for-66 from the field for 43.9 percent.
"I'm proud of the way our guys competed," Romar said. "A lot
of guys played a lot of minutes, expended a lot of energy. We got
in early foul trouble so we never got in a rhythm."
Gibson made two free throws to give USC a 64-62 lead with 1:48
to play in regulation.
Hawes missed a short jumper that would have tied it with 38
seconds left, and Rousean Cromwell fouled Adrian Oliver, who missed
the front end of a 1-and-1 with 7.3 seconds to play.
But Cromwell fouled Jon Brockman in the struggle for the
rebound, and Brockman made two shots with 5.8 seconds left to send
the game into overtime.
"We really had a chance to feel sorry for ourselves at the end
of regulation and the first overtime," Floyd said. "But we
responded to adversity. I'm proud of that."
Brockman had 11 rebounds. He fouled out in overtime, along with
fellow starters Oliver and Quincy Pondexter.