Scott Suggs ended up with an unlikely partner Wednesday night.
The fifth-year senior remained as hot as the oven door with 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting, but it was the elongated Jernard Jarreau who provided Washington with a surprise boost in a 65-57 win over USC in front of a sparse Hec Edmundson crowd of 7,753.
Suggs has been on a rampage the past three games, all wins for the Huskies, during which he’s averaging 19 points per game. He has snapped out of a conservative on-court shell to an expansive personality that bellows, gestures when he hits 3-pointers and flexes when Washington plays stern defense.
Redshirt freshman Jarreau, 20, has seen his minutes continue to increase. When faced with USC’s duo of 7-footers, the 6-10 Jarreau was able to make plays from near the free-throw line and draw fouls at the rim. He finished with a career-high 12 points, eight of which came from the free-throw line in eight attempts.
“Jernard Jarreau did not play like a freshman tonight,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “The most aggressive I have seen him with a
Washington (17-13 overall, 9-8 Pacific-12 Conference) ended up with a 23-4 advantage in bench points and brutalized USC on the boards, 48-29, to win for the fourth time in five games.
“We’re definitely getting closer to playing the way we’re supposed to play,” guard C.J. Wilcox said. “Especially at the right time.”
The Huskies stretched out the lead bit by bit in the second half. A two-point lead became four after Jarreau hit two free throws. A wide open 3-pointer for Suggs pushed the lead to 48-41 with 6 minutes, 9 seconds to play.
Abdul Gaddy’s jumper moved Washington in front by nine and a 3-pointer by Andrew Andrews (seven points, eight rebounds) vaulted the Huskies to a 61-51 lead with 1:21 to play to help the Huskies pick up steam at the end of the season.
Later is better than never, from their perspective.
“There are a lot of good things that happen as a byproduct of playing with energy,” Romar said.
And when USC 7-footer Dwayne Dedmon is out of the game.
Jarreau helped get Dedmon into foul trouble and the Huskies took advantage in the second half while USC’s athletic big man was on the bench (reserve Omar Oraby is USC’s other big man at 7-2).
Washington opened up a 26-21 lead with 3:19 to go in the first half, thanks to back-to-back jumpers from Wilcox and Suggs. Wilcox’s left-wing 3-pointer was the 200th 3-pointer he’s hit for Washington.
The Trojans (14-16, 9-8), who were loose as can be prior to the game, were undeterred.
J.T. Terrell was fouled by Wilcox while shooting a 3-pointer and canned all three free throws.
Point guard Jio Fontan scored with his left hand and Eric Wise powered into the paint for a hoop and a 28-26 USC lead.
Suggs hit another jumper to tie the game at 28 at the half. He had seven points in the first 20 minutes, but received little help. Gaddy (1-for-6) and Wilcox (2-for-7) shot 23.1 percent combined in the first half on their way to a 5-for-19 night from the field.
All the while, Fontan nursed his right wrist, which he sprained Saturday against Arizona State. He began the game with a black wrap on it and increased the tape midway through the firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas