BY SPNW Staff 10:17PM 02/28/2015

Depleted Huskies fall to feeble Trojans 70-55

Missing Nigel Williams-Goss (sprained ankle) and Shawn Kemp Jr. (concussion), the already depleted Washington Huskies couldn’t keep pace with a bad USC team and fell to the Trojans 70-55 Saturday night at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. UW (15-13, 4-12) has lost nine of its past 10 and will close out the regular season next week in Seattle with a pair against Colorado and Utah.

Williams-Goss, Washington’s best player, was a late scratch (first career game missed) and the Huskies couldn’t compensate for his absence. They needed Andrew Andrews to step up, but Andrews, who scored 35 points at Washington State a week ago, wasn’t up to it. After going 1-for-7 in the first half, Andrews finished with 19 points but continually missed wide-open looks.

UW coach Lorenzo Romar, clearly disturbed by the outcome, didn’t use the absences of Williams-Goss and Kemp as an excuse for losing by 15 to a conference bottom feeder.

“The mistakes we made had nothing to do with who was or wasn’t playing,” he said. “We had a variety of errors on the defensive end that were unacceptable no matter who was playing. We just didn’t do it defensively. (The Trojans) got a lot of points in the paint and a lot of second-chance baskets. We have to do a better job of concentrating in our coverages.”

USC scored the first 10 points of the game and the final six of the half to build a 27-22 lead at intermission.With lightly used Quevyn Winters scoring 10 points off the bench, Washington rallied for a 22-21 lead with four minutes remaining, but failed to score after that, shooting just 27.6 percent.

USC, which entered with a 2-14 record in Pac-12 play, went on an 8-2 run to start the second half and Washington never recovered despite Andrews scoring in double figures in the final 20 minutes.

Andrews made only 4 of 14 2-point attempts. Winters, a junior, finished with 16, a career high. No other Washington player scored more than six. With no inside presence and relying on perimeter jumpers, UW shot 29.7 percent, a season low.

Nikola Jovanovic, a 6-foot-11 center, topped USC with 16 points and led an onslaught in the paint, where the Trojans outscored the Huskies 44-12. Julian Jacobs nearly recorded a triple double with eight points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

“I’m very anxious to look at the film of this game,” said Romar. “The loss had something to do with our lack of size, but more to do with our attention to detail.”

Romar said he learned only Saturday afternoon that Williams-Goss would not be able to play, and that he isn’t certain yet as to whether Williams-Goss and Kemp will be available when the Huskies close out their regular season.

“We were hopeful he (Williams-Goss) was going to get better, but his ankle didn’t respond,” said Romar. “This is the last week of the regular season coming up and we have two very good opponents coming in. I hope that both players will be available. But whether they play or not, we need to have a better effort than we had tonight.”

Next

The Huskies close out the regular season at Alaska Airlines Arena against Colorado (Thursday) and Utah (Saturday). The Pac-12 Tournament gets underway March 11 in Las Vegas.


YourThoughts

  • 1coolguy

    Blah, blah, blah – USC had a 2-14 PAC-12 record coming into the game.
    Time for Woodward to man up and let Romar go after the season.
    The excuses are never-ending, yet the bottom line is: Romars teams will always be very average to bad. His ship left years ago and it is time to upgrade the program.
    Do your job Woodward.

    • art thiel

      If his ship left, who brought in the six top recruits?

  • ollie swensen

    The Dawgs are having a difficult time in being competitive lately, and many are suggesting that perhaps it is time for a fundamental shift in coaching philosophy. In thirteen seasons since 2002 Lorenzo Romar has provided the fans the following seasons:
    Sweet 16 App.
    ’05, ’06, ’10
    NCAA App.
    ’04, ’05, ’06, ’09, ’10, ’11
    Conf. Tourn. Champ.
    ’05, ’10, ’11
    Reg. Season Champ.
    ’09, ’12
    It shows me that what you see is what you get. On one hand some may point to stability, a clean program with consistently ambitious goals. Or, some may see a stagnant program that is floundering without direction and an inability to connect, adapt to, and augment a solid fan base with a more aggressive style of play regardless of injuries or a lack of depth to work with. Which of course is “no excuse”.

    • art thiel

      He’s burning up capital with games like the USC loss. Even he admits it doesn’t matter which players are on the floor — players have to account for their own effort.

  • RadioGuy

    I’m tempted to give Romar a mulligan for this season because it took a lot of guts to get rid of Upshaw even though Lorenzo had to know his interior defense would be nil in Rob’s absence, which has turned out quite true. Revamping your team’s entire offensive sets and defensive schemes in midseason is never good and this has been particularly ugly, but a message had to FINALLY be sent that being an athlete at the UW is still a privilege and not a right.

    On the other hand, the total collapse and lack of effort from his players over the final month is inexcusable. A talent depletion through injuries and kicking players off the team is no reason to stop trying, but that’s what’s happening, and it’s happening with players Romar has recruited. I like Lorenzo, but it’s pretty apparent the UW will only go so far with him as coach. But who do you bring in that you know will improve the situation?

    • art thiel

      The lack of effort vs. USC is bad. I think the mulligan is warranted, and he deserves to coach the class he’s bringing in. But man, this is grim.