Huskies Can't Finish, Look Finished at USC

Dan Raley

Invite them to dinner, and they leave food on their plates.

Collect their midterms, and they let questions go unanswered.

They quit singing in mid-verse. 

Their sentences have no periods.

No matter what, this Washington basketball team can't finish.

On Thursday night in Los Angeles, the hopeless Huskies frittered away a seven-point lead and fell to a shorthanded USC team 62-56.

They lost their seventh consecutive game, and ninth in 10 outings.

They barely have a heartbeat.

Last-place UW (12-13 overall, 2-10 Pac-12) dropped one to an opponent it absolutely crushed in Seattle, experiencing a 38-point turnaround from game to game.

"We just can't help ourselves," beleaguered UW coach Mike Hopkins said on his postgame radio show.

As the feeble outings pile up, accountability now rests solely with the Huskies leader. He barely resembles the two-time Pac-12 coach of the year that he once was. He seems powerless to get his guys to respond to him. He has no control.

His players continue to make the same mistakes. Their UW offense is 3-pointer that won't drop. It's uncomfortable to watch. 

"Consistency is what makes real decent teams and we're not consistent," Hopkins said.

USC (18-7, 7-5) played without its top player, freshman center Onyeka Okongwu. He sat out with concussion-like symptoms from the previous outing against Arizona State.

The Trojans didn't need him. 

They had just enough players to snap their own three-game losing streak.

The Huskies received more than half their points and rebounds from their vaunted freshmen. 

Over his midseason funk, Jaden McDaniels collected 19 points and 12 boards, including a dazzling lefthanded dunk. Isaiah Stewart picked up 13 points and 11 rebounds in his typical workmanlike effort. Yet these guys basically had to go it alone.

They received zero points from their starting backcourt of Marcus Tsohonis and Jamal Bey.

This team simply isn't very good on the offensive end. 

The Huskies hit just 8 of 30 3-pointers, but they kept firing at will, as if it was a nervous reaction. As if they thought those shots actually might go in.

The UW led over a lengthy portion of the first half, going up by as many as 7, at 30-23. 

Coming out of intermission up by 5, the guys in purple were outscored 9-0. Hopkins must have let them take naps during the break. They were groggy when they came back out.

The Huskies reclaimed the lead at 40-37 and last held the upper hand at 42-41 with 12 minutes left. 

Same as in multiple games before, they didn't stand a chance coming down the stretch, dropping behind by as many as 10. They're seemingly allergic to the final horn.

The Huskies play at UCLA on Saturday night. They have six league games left. 

Will they show up?

After all, they're not real good at finishing.