University of Washington

UW Huskies-USC Trojans: What to watch for

WASHINGTON (12-12, 2-9 PAC-12) VS. USC (17-7, 6-5 PAC-12)

When: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Where: Galen Center

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KOMO 1000 AM/97.7 FM

Projected starters

Washington

G Marcus Tsohonis, Fr. (6-3): 7.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg

G Nahziah Carter, Jr. (6-6): 12.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg

G Jamal Bey, So. (6-6): 5.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg

F Isaiah Stewart, Fr. (6-9): 18.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg

F Hameir Wright, Jr. (6-9): 5.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg

USC

G Ethan Anderson, Fr. (6-1): 5.8 ppg, 4.5 apg

G Jonah Matthews, Sr. (6-3): 13.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg

G Daniel Utomi, Sr. (6-6): 7.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg

F Onyeka Okongwu, Fr. (6-9): 16.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg

F Nick Rakocevic, Sr. (6-11): 11.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg

Outlook: Washington won the first game against USC, 72-40, in arguably its best performance of the season.

Isaiah Stewart finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Jaden McDaniels had 11 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. Point guard Quade Green, now academically ineligible, had 14 points and five assists. The Huskies led 35-21 at halftime after outscoring the Trojans 21-9 over the final 9 minutes of the first half. USC shot just 20 percent from the field and 13.3 percent from the three-point line.

The Huskies have won just one game — a 64-56 victory over Oregon State — since losing Green. They’ve lost six straight games, including a 79-67 loss to Washington State on Sunday, and are in last place in the Pac-12. USC is in the top half of the conference standings, but is coming off a difficult stretch. Heading into the rematch with UW, Trojans have dropped three straight games to Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State.

Rebounding will be a key factor in the match-up. USC leads the Pac-12 in rebounding (38.8 rpg) and is second in offensive rebounding (11.1). The Huskies are ninth in rebounding (35.3). They are also 10th in offensive rebounding (8.8), an area where they have particularly struggled as of late. In the first meeting, USC out-rebounded UW 46-42, but had a 24-11 advantage on the offensive glass.

Freshman Onyeka Okongwu is leading the Trojans in scoring and rebounding. He’s second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (60.9) and fourth in rebounds per game (8.9). He’s also second in blocks per game (3.0). UW freshman Isaiah Stewart won the first battle inside as Okongwu finished with 10 points and nine rebounds in the loss to the Huskies.

Lauren Kirschman is the UW Huskies beat writer for The News Tribune. She previously covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for PennLive.com. A Pennsylvania native and a University of Pittsburgh graduate, she also covered college athletics for the Beaver County Times from 2012-2016.
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