LOS ANGELES (AP)—Washington imposed its defensive will on Southern California and the Trojans didn’t stand a chance.
Tre Simmons scored 22 points and the 12th-ranked Huskies won 84-59 Thursday night, their ninth consecutive victory.
The Huskies (13-1, 3-0 Pac-10) are off to their best start in 29 years. The last Washington team with a longer winning streak was the 1982 squad that won 10 in a row.
“Every game isn’t easy, you’ve got to bring it,” Simmons said. “When you get a large lead, it’s hard to focus on little things.”
But the Huskies were focused on pressuring the ball and denying USC easy passes.
“We knew they were a young team and that our pressure would get to them,” said reserve Brandon Roy, who added 10 points. “We just wanted to get to them early.”
The Trojans (7-7) have yet to win a Pac-10 game under interim coach Jim Saia, getting swept on the road at Oregon last week. The 0-3 mark is their worst conference start since they began 0-4 in 1991, but still made the NCAA tournament.
“It was an old-fashioned blowout,” Saia said. “We need to get a win. I have to get them playing well and get some confidence. I still have all that hope. We’ll come back.”
Freshman Nick Young scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to lead the Trojans.
“We have a lot of talent on this team. We just don’t know how to get it together,” Young said.
Washington raced to a 10-0 lead as the Trojans went 5 1/2 minutes before scoring. The Huskies scored 20 points off USC’s 17 first-half turnovers and they were 14-0 in second-chance baskets.
USC trailed by 18 points three times in the first half and was down 36-19 at the break.
“We just couldn’t run our offense against their pressure,” Saia said. “It was just a bad matchup for our team. We’re not as quick as them.”
The Huskies dominated the start of the second half with a 10-3 run to take a 46-22 lead. USC answered with a 14-3 spurt, including five points by Young, but it barely put a dent in the Trojans’ deficit as they trailed 49-34.
“You always feel that someone is going to give you a good shot the first five minutes,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “I wasn’t noticing how flat they were as long as our guys were coming out with intensity.”
USC never made any kind of run in the second half, when the deficit was 20 points most of the way. The Trojans’ 59 points were a season low.
“We played our worst game at the wrong time,” said USC senior Greg Guenther, who gave up his tight end job on USC’s national championship football team to focus solely on basketball this season.
Washington’s Mike Jensen was in foul trouble most of the second half, but still finished with 14 points. Bobby Jones fouled out with 5:41 to play after scoring eight points. Guard Nate Robinson had just eight points on a night when his shot wasn’t falling.
The Huskies have won four of their last five against USC after losing seven in a row.
“Guys just want to be a part of success and the older guys weren’t part of it early on,” Romar said. “They are enjoying winning because when polls come out TV guys talk about Washington. It’s fun to be complimented and for people to say you’re doing well.”
USC fell to 1-6 when they score under 70 points. They are 5-5 since Saia took over a month ago after Henry Bibby was fired.
The Trojans are still without guard Errick Craven, who has a sprained right ankle.
USC’s cheerleaders wore white sweaters with oranges on the front, signifying the Trojans’ Orange Bowl victory over Oklahoma on Tuesday for football’s national championship.