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December 29, 2006

No. 14 Washington falls to USC in 2OT

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LOS ANGELES -Nick Young scored five of his 25 points in the second overtime, Taj Gibson finished with 22, and Southern California beat No. 14 Washington 86-79 Thursday night in the Pac-10 opener for both teams.

Young shot 8-for-16 from the field and Gibson went 8-for-11 as the Trojans (11-3) knocked off a ranked team for the second straight game. They beat then-No. 8 Wichita State in Las Vegas last Friday.

Spencer Hawes scored a career-high 24 points for Washington (10-2) and made his first 3-pointer of the season at the buzzer to send the game into double overtime, but the Huskies were outscored 13-6 in the second extra period.

Washington has lost both of its road games this season, falling to Gonzaga 97-77 on Dec. 9.

In front of the largest and loudest crowd in the brief history of its new Galen Center arena, USC won its ninth straight home game. The Trojans haven't lost at home since a season-opening defeat to South Carolina.

Gabe Pruitt, who started for the first time this season for USC after sitting out most of the year because of academic problems, added 18 points and six assists for the Trojans.

Hawes, a freshman 7-footer who had scored 23 in each of the Huskies' last two games, made his improbable 3 from the top of the key at the end of the first overtime as Washington inbounded the ball with 1 second to play.

Ryan Appleby, who went 6-for-9 from behind the arc and scored 18 points, had just missed a 3 with 5 seconds to play, seemingly ending the Huskies' hopes.

Pruitt made a 3-pointer with the shot clock running out early in the second overtime that gave USC a 78-75 lead.

After a Hawes layup, Young then made a 3-pointer, sank three of four free throws in the final minute and pulled down a rebound with the Trojans leading by seven that put the game away.

USC has won six of its last seven, and hosts Washington State on Saturday.

After losing both road games, the young Huskies, who start three freshmen and two sophomores, now play four of their next seven on the road, including a trip across Los Angeles to face No. 1 UCLA on Sunday.

Gibson made two free throws to give USC a 64-62 lead with 1:48 to play in regulation.

Hawes missed a short jumper to tie it with 38 seconds left, and Rousean Cromwell fouled Adrian Oliver, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 7.3 seconds to play.

But Cromwell fouled Jon Brockman in the struggle for the rebound, and Brockman made two shots with 5.8 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Brockman had 11 rebounds. He fouled out in overtime, along with fellow starters Oliver and Quincy Pondexter.

For more coverage of the Washington Huskies, visit HuskyDigest.com; For more on the UCLA Bruins, visit BruinBlitz.com.



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