USC Tops Washington in Pac-12 Tourney, Boosts NCAA Hopes
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chimezie Metu had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Southern California boosted its postseason hopes by holding off Washington 78-73 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Bennie Boatwright added 13 points for the sixth-seeded Trojans, who rallied from 10 points down in the first half and then withstood a sloppy finish in advancing to play No. 3 UCLA on Thursday night.
David Crisp had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Huskies (9-22) but missed a game-tying 3-point attempt in the closing seconds. Noah Dickerson scored 18 points, but Washington was undone by 10 second-half turnovers in its school-record 13th straight loss.
Washington played without potential No. 1 NBA draft pick Markelle Fultz for a fourth straight game. The Pac-12 top scorer sat out with a sore knee, meaning the freshman's college career is likely over.
USC (24-8) likely needed a win to stay in NCAA Tournament contention, but the Trojans struggled much of the night, not putting it away until Shaqquan Aaron hit two free throws with 3 seconds left.