60 - 51 Final
  for this game

Pondexter takes over to lead Washington past USC

Feb 22, 2009 - 5:44 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Quincy Pondexter scored 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting to lead 19th-ranked Washington to a 60-51 victory over Pac-10 foe Southern California on Saturday.

Jon Brockman added six points and 14 rebounds and Venoy Overton and Justin Dentmon each hit a pair of free throws in the final minute for the Huskies (20-7, 11-4 Pac-10), who bounced back from a loss at UCLA on Thursday and maintained first place in the conference.

"We see that it's within our reach," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said of the Pac-10 championship to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

With USC up, 50-46, after Daniel Hackett's layup with 5:53 to play, Pondexter took over, scoring on each of Washington's next four possessions.

"Yeah, I definitely did," Pondexter told the paper when asked if he felt that it was time to take over. "I saw that our team was struggling a little bit."

The Trojans (16-10, 7-7) managed only one point over the last 5:52, getting outscored 14-1 down the stretch.

The Huskies led, 35-28, after Isaiah Thomas made a pair of layups to open the second half. But USC quickly closed the gap, turning up the defensive pressure during a 14-3 run over the next eight minutes to take a 42-38 lead with 10:41 remaining.

Washington missed 11 straight field-goal attempts during the spurt and finished with a weak 37 percent (22-of-59) effort from the floor, including 1-of-11 from beyond the arc.

Pondexter snapped the field-goal drought with a jumper and the teams traded baskets until the Huskies took over down the stretch.

"Quincy Pondexter, from the opening tip, was just a man out there," Romar told the newspaper.

"It's just one of those games where everything falls into place," Pondexter said.

Hackett and Dwight Lewis each scored 11 points and Taj Gibson added 10 for the Trojans, who shot 39 percent (19-of-49) and watched their NCAA Tournament hopes take a hit. With four regular-season games remaining, USC now sits in sixth place in the Pac-10.