Ellis scores 25, USC opens Pac-12 tourney with 80-74 win over Washington, face Arizona next

Wed, Mar 13, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Ellis scores 25, USC opens Pac-12 tourney with 80-74 win over Washington, face Arizona next

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Boogie Ellis scored 25 points to eclipse 2,000 for his career and ninth-seeded USC survived two late turnovers to pull out an 80-74 win over eighth-seeded Washington in the opening game of the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday.

The Trojans face league champion and fifth-ranked Arizona in Thursday's quarterfinals.

After the Huskies failed to capitalize on the giveaways, Ellis got free for a breakaway dunk for a 74-67 lead with 40.7 to play. Washington got a quick basket after that and another after Isaiah Collier made two free throws and it was 76-71 with 27 seconds to go.

USC forward Joshua Morgan found Kobe Johnson for a layup with 14 to go but the Huskies got a three-point play from Sahvir Wheeler with nine seconds left.

Bronny James iced the game with two free throws at 8.9 seconds.

Johnson had 14 points with eight rebounds and Collier 13 with seven assists for the Trojans (15-17), who have won four in a row overall and eight straight in the series. USC spoiled the Huskies' Senior Day 82-75 on March 2.

Wheeler scored 20 points with seven assists to lead Washington (17-15) in what could have been coach Mike Hopkins' last game. Hopkins was told after the final regular season game he would not be back for an eighth season. Koren Johnson and Moses Wood both had 17 points and Keion Brooks Jr. had 13 points and eight rebounds.

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After Wood's 3-pointer with 8:11 remaining, his fifth of the game, the Huskies missed their last seven to finish 11 of 24. Brooks, the league's leading scorer at 21.3, was 4-of-16 shooting, 1 of 8 behind the arc.

The game was tied at 65 with 3:29 to play when James was fouled on a 3-point attempt and he made all 3. Ellis followed with a 3 and it remained a two-possession game the rest of the way.

Wood scored 14 points in the last 5 1/2 minutes of the first half to give the Huskies a 42-37 lead. Four of his shots were 3-pointers, the first giving Washington a 28-27 lead. The third, in the midst of an 8-0 run, produced a 36-35 lead and Brooks followed with another 3. After a basket by Ellis, who had 11 for USC, Woods connected again from long range to close the half.

The Huskies shot 57% (16 of 28) in the first half, including making 9 of 13 3-pointers (69%). The Trojans shot 54% (15 of 28) but was only 4 of 11 from distance.

The second half was a game of runs, with USC scoring eight after the Huskies scored first coming out of the break for a 45-44 lead. Washington then scored six and USC scored six, starting with a James jumper.

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