A quick review of Washington's 73-67 win over USC at Galen Center:
Player of the game: I'm going to say freshman Terrence Ross, who not only had 18 points, four 3-pointers, four rebounds and two steals in 26 minutes, but he seemed to dole his points out when UW needed them most. Back-to-back treys late in the first half finally moved Washington back into believing distance.
However, it's hard to overlook Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who provided 18 points and eight rebounds. Or, of course, USC's Nikola Vucevic, who had game highs with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
Those were career-high point totals for Ross and Vucevic.
Key stretch: Even before Ross supercharged the Huskies with his back-to-back treys, coach Lorenzo Romar jiggled an unpromising board by shifting the Huskies into a 2-3 zone.
“Some of it had to do with foul trouble,” he said. “Some of it had to do with just trying to change the pace of the game. I thought it helped. They got out to that big lead and we couldn’t get anything going. Just trying to change the pace.”
Key stats: Washington out-rebounded USC, 44-28. ... USC shot 34.5 percent fro the field. ... UW managed to win without any fastbreak points and despite 17 turnovers and only seven assists.
Note: This was a school-record fifth straight Pac-10 road win for the Huskies.
Unsung hero: Romar praised the UW fans who showed up tonight ... and they were amazing ... at times making Galen Center something much closer to a neutral court. The "De-fense, de-fense" chant here tonight seemed perfectly normal until I noticed that it was UW on defense. And send the SC fans out to a chant of "Just like football" was just about a perfect needle.
Next: 1 p.m. Friday at UCLA. ... and you'll be able to watch that one on FSN.
* “It was big for me. It was big for the team. This is definitely something that we wanted to start the Pac-10 season off with. … I was open. I couldn’t hesitate. Coach said if I was open I should shoot the ball. That’s what I had to do.” -- Terrence Ross on his big night.
*“Matthew stepped up against their front line and was terrific. Terrence Ross? What a game to break out: on the road, Pac-10 opener. He really showed up. … But again, I just thought we played good defense, we did a great job on the boards, we did the little things that will allow you to beat a very good team on the road.” -- Romar
“We gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch, but didn’t get it done. We executed well, but had two big turnovers down the stretch and we gave them offensive rebounds again, which is really hurting us in close games." -- SC coach Kevin O'Neill
"I think we're a decent team. We feel we're better than we played tonight. Expectations sometimes exceed reality. Now we've got to play our way into the hunt." -- O'Neill
"I was just trying to find the open spots on the floor. My teammates did a good job getting me the ball. ... I saw the guys were having a hard time making outside shots. If somebody struggles, somebody else has to step in." -- Vucevic
"They don’t go to the offensive board as a team so much. Those two big guys are so good, they get a majority of their offensive boards, and I thought our guys did a good job of boxing those guys off." -- Romar on the rebounding advantage.
"They’re physical, they pack it in on defense, they don’t give anything easy. They make it just difficult. They hardly give you anything in transition. They’ve got those big guys. They just make it difficult for you. They’re our toughest matchup in the league." -- Romar on the physical struggles of playing uSC.
"That was a concern when Aziz was in foul trouble, then Darnell, Justin. That was more of a concern than anything because we have to play against this behemoth front line and now we don’t have our size. But again, our guys stuck together and percerviered. Vucevic is a heck of a player. There’s an NBA player if ever I saw one. He’s really good." -- Romar on his team's foul trouble ... Ross, N'Diaye and Gant fouled out, Holiday and Thomas ended with four.
* “That was awesome support there. They were loud. That was great.” -- Romar on the crowd.