SEATTLE - Whether he was in a dead sprint on the wing, or curling off a screen, Ryan Appleby's four minute display of flawless 3-point shooting was the catalyst Washington needed to break its recent slide.
Appleby hit five 3-pointers, en route to 22 points, and Washington snapped a four-game losing streak with an 85-70 win over No. 23 Southern California on Thursday night.
Washington's only NCAA tournament hopes lie with next week's Pac-10 Conference tournament. A sweep of four games and the tournament title is the Huskies (17-12, 7-10 Pac-10) only realistic NCAA chance.
Needing to regain some lost confidence, the Huskies took a positive step against the Trojans.
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"We did some things that we have been doing for some time now, but I don't think we had the wins to show for it," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "Some guys played good and stepped up offensively."
None more than Appleby, who made four consecutive 3-pointers midway through the first half, as Washington built an 11-point halftime lead. The Huskies hit nine 3-pointers in first 20 minutes, taking advantage of USC's poor transition defense.
The nine 3's were more than their game total in all but three contests this season, and more than half of the Huskies first-half field goals.
Appleby's sharp shooting, opened up the inside in the second half and freshman center Spencer Hawes took advantage. Hawes scored eight of his 13 points in the final four minutes after USC had trimmed a 17-point deficit down to five.
Washington improved to 16-2 at home this season.
"We're just a little more comfortable at home. That's why we play better," Appleby said.
Stanford 63, Arizona St. 53
At Stanford, Calif., Lawrence Hill and Fred Washington scored 18 points apiece, and Stanford took advantage of a long Arizona State scoring drought early in the game to bolster its NCAA tournament hopes with a victory over the Sun Devils.
Arizona State (7-21, 1-16 Pac-10) went nearly nine minutes without a point after scoring on the opening possession of the game and played from behind the rest of the way.
Mitch Johnson added 11 points for Stanford (18-10, 10-7), which got the key win despite a quiet night from the Lopez twins. Brook Lopez scored just four points, snapping a string of four straight 20-point games, and Robin had just five.
Arizona 70, California 65
At Berkeley, Calif., Marcus Williams had 21 points and nine rebounds, Ivan Radenovic added 19 points and Arizona hung on for its 16th victory in 18 meetings with California. Chase Budinger added 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Wildcats (19-9, 10-7) won their second straight despite falling out of the race for the Pac-10 title.
Arizona, which must win Saturday at Stanford to avoid finishing with its fewest conference victories in 22 years, still has ample reason to hope for a top-four seed at next week's Pac-10 tournament and an at-large bid to the NCAA tourney.
Ayinde Ubaka scored 15 points and Omar Wilkes had 10 for the Golden Bears (14-15, 6-11), who lost their third straight despite holding the Pac-10's highest-scoring club well under its 79.6-point average.
Ryan Anderson added 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting for the Bears, who still have hopes for an NIT berth despite a mediocre season after losing key big men DeVon Hardin and Jordan Wilkes to injuries.
Arizona took control of a tight game with an 11-2 run late in the second half, including five straight points by Williams while the Wildcats mostly shut down Cal.
The Bears weren't helped by coach Ben Braun, who got a technical foul with slightly more than 5 minutes left for stomping onto the court to protest a no-call. Radenovic, who also had eight rebounds, hit one free throw to put Arizona up 65-59, but neither team scored again until Anderson converted a three-point play with 1:03 left.
Jawann McClellan then hit one free throw for Arizona, but Ubaka hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to trim the Wildcats' lead to 66-65. Williams then hit two more free throws and Ubaka missed a straightaway 3-pointer, leading to two final free throws by Mustafa Shakur, who went 1-for-9 from the field.
Earlier, the teams even played through the earthquake that struck the Bay Area with 17:35 left in the second half. The Haas Pavilion crowd issued a collective "Oooh" as the building shook, then cheered as officials briefly delayed the game.
The clubs traded the lead in the first half before Shakur threw in a blind layup while sprawling to the floor at the halftime buzzer, putting Arizona ahead 36-34.