On Friday night, the (winless in the PAC-12) Washington Huskies’ best chance for their first conference victory came when the USC women’s basketball team arrived at Hec-Ed — with a seven-game PAC-12 losing streak of their own.
The Dawgs started fast, as Nancy Mulkey was hot early — scoring seven of Washington’s first 11 points.
Washington built an 11-4 lead midway through the first quarter with 5:01 to go.
However, the Huskies fell into their all-to-familiar pattern of scoring droughts, as the USC Trojans went on a 9-0 scoring run to take the lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Washington’s Jayda Noble had a huge impact on the energy of the Huskies — with 3 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block in six minutes.
And the Huskies regrouped enough in the second period to shoot six (6) for seven (7) from the free throw line; as well as, a decent 41.7% from the field overall.
Trinity Oliver also contributed significantly with 2 for 2 shooting from three-point range, but strangely the Huskies’ offense did not look to give her more three-point opportunities in the second period; although, she was clearly hot from deep.
At the half, the Huskies lead the Trojans by six points, 29-23.
But, once again, the Huskies’ penchant for fading in the second half reared its ugly head, as the Trojans outscored Washington 24-11 in the third quarter.
For all intents and purposes, the game was over early in the fourth quarter when USC proceeded to score the first eight points of the final period to widen their lead to 15 points, 55-40.
Ultimately, Washington shot 50% in the fourth quarter but that was mere window dressing as Laure Schwartz went on a late one-woman mission with 13 points in the final period.
However, the game was never in doubt as USC shot 48% from the field in the second half; as well as, 17-for-21 from the free throw line.
Ultimately, USC ran away with a 70 -59 victory.
Curiously, despite her fast start, Nancy Mulkey only had two points in the second half.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Coach Tina Langley continued to rely on a limited number of players, playing nine Huskies, but only five saw the majority of time:
For comparison, while Coach Langley committed to playing these five players until exhaustion; USC also played nine players, with only three playing 30 minutes or more — and eight playing 10 minutes or more each.
Finally, despite the blowout loss, none of the freshmen in Washington’s #14 ranked Class of 2021 recruits saw any playing time against USC.
The Washington Huskies (5-12 overall, 0-9 Pac-12) will continue their hunt for their first conference win at home against UCLA on Sunday, February 13th at 12 Noon.