The Dawgs managed to hold on to a close win over USC making it three straight wins. The Huskies’ offensive struggles continued as C.J. Wilcox missed left and right and the free throw issues looked as though they would continue as the team meandered out to an 0-5 start. Things turned around, however, as the Dawgs marched forward with 17 straight makes led by redshirt freshman Jernard Jerreau who went 8 of 8 at the line with Wilcox providing ample support with a 6 of 6 night.
Scott Suggs put forward another solid offensive night with 18 points behind 8 of 13 shooting, all 5 misses coming outside the 3-point line. The senior guard added 3 rebounds and 3 assists to make up for his 3 turnover night. All in all it was one of Suggs’ better nights, but not one to remember in particular.
Aziz N’Diaye sucked up the rebounds left and right after his zero rebounding night Sunday against the Cougars finishing with 12, including 5 on the offensive end. N’Diaye’s 1 of 9 shooting left a lot to be desired, however, and it gives N’Diaye just one last game to put together an all around excellent performance while his mother is in town.
While Wilcox was not able to put in the points we were accustomed to at the season’s onset, he did manage to drop in 11 points on top of 8 huge rebounds and a pair of assists to his one turnover. During the off season, Wilcox must focus on his ability to free himself from a defender to find open shots. This team will likely lean heavily on his offensive production capabilities and much of his success or failure will depend on how well Wilcox can create opportunities despite double teaming efforts by the opposition.
Andrew Andrews and Jernard Jerreau both had excellent nights off the bench for the Dawgs and proved to be the key in getting the win against the Trojans. Andrews raked in 8 rebounds, 5 on the offensive glass, on top of 7 points and was instrumental down the stretch in securing the Husky victory. Jerreau had a career night in points finishing with 12 points on just 2 of 7 shooting. Coupled with 3 rebounds and a pair of blocks late in the second half, Jerreau showed why he had earned starting rights during the non-conference season. Jerreau’s length is tough to contend with and it will be interesting to see how it is utilized next season.
Overall it was a decent win. Sloppy, but manageable with just a hint of anxiety. The Dawgs played solid defense and dominated the glass throughout. Their free throw shooting finished strong despite lacking shooting abilities elsewhere on the court. The Trojans are no push over as their 9-8 conference record shows, yet they are far from the competition the Dawgs will face against the Bruins in the regular season finale. The Bruins are fresh off their first defeat in Pullman since 1993 and this should motivate their squad plenty for the match against the Dawgs in just a few days time.