LOS ANGELES – Chavez Goodwin scored 16 of 24 points in the first half, and the 17th Southern California number beat Washington 79-69 on Thursday night.
Drew Peterson scored 14 points, seven assists and 6 rebounds, Isaiah Mabley added 12 points, and the Trojans (22-4, 11-4 Pac-12) won for the fourth time in five games.
With the atmosphere at the center of Galen not as saturated as during Saturday’s UCLA victory, the USC was able to avoid the discord that has traditionally haunted the program.
“It just shows that we’re improving as a team,” said Goodwin, who also made nine rebounds. “But we still have to grow and keep going, but it was definitely a statement that just shows that we don’t look like all the emotions playing against UCLA. It was a really good win. We are still a good team, we are still working and we just have to transfer that momentum to Sunday. ”
USC closed first with a 14-2 run to lead 42-25 at the break. Peterson scored five points, Isaiah White made four free kicks, and Goodwin got into the jump when the Trojans scored the last 11 points.
Goodwin became the focal point for the USC after the attack after some initial fighting against Washington’s Zone 2-3, attacking Paint to make 8 of 10 shots in the first.
“This is the first time we’ve played with a team that has played in the zone all year, so at first we looked different,” Goodwin said. “Our team has willing passers-by. We just had to, for a second, just figure it out, calm down. Once we did that, it was just cut up and moved. If you have a shot, do it. ”
Terrell Brown Jr. scored 23 points and Emmett Matthews Jr. added 20 when the Huskies (13-11, 8-6) lost again with a double-digit score in the second of three games in a row against rated opponents.
“We’re always outsiders, so it doesn’t matter who we play for,” Matthews said. “We already know what everyone thinks, so our task is to go out and change everyone’s mind.”
After trailing by as many as 23 points in the second half, Washington nearly did so, scoring 11 in a row and reducing the deficit to 64-52 at 9:53. The last two points were scored by Brown in a free throw after the Trojans received a technical foul for trying to set a time-out if they had none left.
But Mabley, who came back after breaking his nose against Arizona on Feb. 5 and missed the last two games with concussion-like symptoms, and Goodwin made consecutive baskets to stop Husky’s momentum.
“It’s hard to play behind,” Matthews said. “You’re just trying to get stops, and you’re just trying to tie a group of stops together. You can only move to one possession at a time. You can’t hurry. “
The big picture
Washington: The Huskies are better after last season’s defeat, but are far from the best teams in the Pac-12. A 10-point defeat by the Trojans followed a 92-68 loss from No. 3 of the Wildcats on Saturday. With a visit to № 13 UCLA on deck Washington will not be easier.
USC: If the Trojans can continue to show great performances from multiple players at once once they reach March, they have the same high ceiling as any team in the toughest Pac-12. “We’re a real team,” Mabley said. “We don’t just think, ‘Because I’m averaging the most points, I’m the cause of the win.’ It’s all of us. “
THE MAN IN THE MASK
Mable played with the mask, but it took a while to get used to it, forgetting to take it to training on Wednesday. He clearly felt more comfortable during the game, scoring 10 points in the second half. “Everyone asked if I could see. Yes, I could see, ”Mobley joked.
Washington: to UCLA on Saturday.
USC: Washington hosts Sunday.