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Pac-10 Hoops Recap: December 29th

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Washington 73, USC 67: The Pac-10 season got started Wednesday night at the Galen Center, and if the first game was any indication, the season will be a thrilling one. Preseason Pac-10 favorite Washington met USC, a Trojan team that had won four out of their last five, including victories against Texas and Tennessee, and a two point loss against Kansas.

The Trojans got off to a great start, jumping out to a 16-4 lead before the Huskies even knew what had hit them. But as expected, UW settled down and eventually took a 28-26 lead into Halftime.

The Trojans were not intimidated though coming into the second half, going on a 8-2 run to start the final twenty minutes. The game went back and forth from there, and as time wound down, the Glane Center crowd could sense an exciting finish coming. With 1:15 left, Nikola Vucevic drained two free throws to pull the game even at 55. Both defenses held their ground after that, and the game would need an extra five minutes to decide the outcome.

Both teams traded three pointers to start the extra period, but Washington then went on a 6-0 run to make the score 64-58. The Trojans hung around though, eventually cutting the Washington lead to 66-63 with 35 seconds left. But the Huskies would sink their free throws down the stretch, en route to a 73-67 victory.

UCLA 80, Washington State 71: "Maybe WSU should have been the better team tonight. In the first half, they did almost everything right: shoot the ball well, defend and snatch around 80% of the available defensive rebounds. The only problem they had came in the form of turnovers. But given UCLA's similar problems, the Cougs quickly amassed a nice little lead.

In the second half, however, Ben Howland waved his magic wand and UCLA started to play the defense UCLA has been capable of all along this season. On top of that, they started making some perimeter shots - a recipe for disaster when you play a team as good as scoring inside the arc as the Bruins. The Cougs let Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson control this game instead of doing it themselves with Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto. That was the difference, and it was an unfortunate one." (Recap via CougCenter)

Updated Pac-10 Standings after the break

1. Washington, 9-3 (1-0)
2. UCLA, 9-4 (1-0)
3. Arizona, 11-2 (0-0)
4. Arizona State, 7-4 (0-0)
5. Stanford, 7-4 (0-0)
6. California, 7-5 (0-0)
7. Oregon, 7-5 (0-0)
8. Oregon State, 5-6 (0-0)
9. Washington State, 10-3 (0-1)
10. USC, 8-6 (0-1)

Special thanks to CougCenter for participating in our first recap. Once again, if you would like an excerpt from your blog's game recap, please let me know at