Dickerson Scores 21, Leads Washington Past USC 75-62
SEATTLE (AP) — Through the first seven games of Pac-12 play, Noah Dickerson had yet to find his way at the offensive end. He was harassed and frustrated and unable to have anywhere close to the production expected from Washington's senior forward.
Washington can only hope Wednesday night's performance by Dickerson is just the start.
"I told you we had a tank," Washington coach Mike Hopkins said.
Dickerson scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Matisse Thybulle added 17 points and seven steals, and Washington never trailed in beating Southern California 75-62 on Wednesday night for its 10th straight win.
Washington (17-4, 8-0 Pac-12) continued its best start to conference play since the 1952-53 season despite sloppy stretches of the second half where the Huskies had multiple wasted possessions when they could have put the Trojans away far sooner. Most egregious was three straight turnovers while leading by 11 and saw the Trojans pull within 62-55 with 5:05 left.
But when the Huskies needed a basket, Dickerson spun through the lane to finish left-handed while being fouled and completed the three-point play with 4:08 left to push the lead back to 10. It was the biggest highlight from a night where Dickerson looked closer to the dominant force he was during the nonconference schedule.
"When he is confident and he has that look in his eyes, he's a tough guard," Hopkins said. "We kept going to him, feeding him and he produced."
David Crisp scored 15 points and Jaylen Nowell had 12 for Washington.
Benny Boatwright led USC (12-9, 5-3) with 22 points and Nick Rakocevic added 16 points and 10 rebounds. But a third scorer never developed for the Trojans, who committed 18 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-28.
"We played hard but we didn't play great. We had too many turnovers, gave up way too many offensive rebounds," USC coach Andy Enfield said. "Then we missed three layups in the second half, a couple front ends of 1-and-1 and the game was tight."
Dickerson had struggled for the past month as teams paid more attention to him on the offensive end. Washington's primary post player was regularly the subject of double teams and rarely would get clean looks at the basket.
Against USC, Dickerson and his teammates found ways to get him open chances inside the paint. Dickerson also had several second-chance opportunities with six of his rebounds coming on the offensive end. Washington outscored USC 24-10 in second-chance points.
"I've been waiting for that," Dickerson said. "I like one-on-one. It's a lot easier. ... It's nice to have space to play again."
Washington led by as many as 16 late in the first half and only a late flurry of points from Boatwright, including the only 3-pointer of the half for the Trojans, kept USC within 11 at the half.
Washington quickly let that lead evaporate in the opening stages of the second half, watching the Trojans pull within 41-37 after five quick points from Rakocevic. But that was as close as the Trojans would get as Washington answered every USC run with big shots of its own despite stretches of sloppy play and poor shot selection. USC was within 54-49 after Boatwright's 3-pointer with 9:41 left, but consecutive 3s from Dominic Green and Nowell pushed the lead back to 11.
70 OR LESS
Washington had held every opponent in conference play to 70 points or less. Colorado was the only team to reach 70. USC was averaging 77.7 points per game.
USC: The Trojans still have not found the answer playing outside of Los Angeles. USC is 1-6 in games not played in Los Angeles this season, the only win coming back in November in Kansas City, Missouri against Missouri State.
Washington: With a win on Saturday, Washington would become just the ninth team in the Pac-12 since the 1978-79 season to reach 9-0 in conference play. Arizona started the 2016-17 season 10-0 before its first loss in conference play but before the Wildcats it had been since the 2003-04 season since a team started 9-0. Stanford started the 2003-04 season 17-0 before losing.
USC: The Trojans will face Washington State on Saturday.
Washington: The Huskies will host UCLA on Saturday.