Not even USC's notable "hit their best guy in the groin" defense could keep Blake Griffin from leading No. 6 Oklahoma to another victory.
Griffin scored 11 of his 25 points after getting hit below the belt in the second half, and the Sooners staved off a rally by Southern California for a contentious 73-72 win Thursday night in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
His brief absence helped the Trojans (5-3) as they rallied from an 11-point deficit to get within one point three times, but Oklahoma (7-0) stayed poised and had an answer every time.
"I didn't see it, but stuff happens in a game. In the heat of the moment, some guys make decisions," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "Our guys did show some maturity and didn't retaliate."
Washington was ejected after officials huddled to see replays of his elbow striking Griffin below the waistline as the Trojans prepared to set up their offense.
"What do you think he said? 'I didn't do it,'" said Trojans coach Tim Floyd, who didn't see the play happen live. "He's a freshman. He doesn't know that we film everything. But he's a good guy."
USC was within one again after Hackett faked a drive to the basket and pulled up for a 3-pointer that made it 69-68, and the Trojans had a chance to go ahead the next trip down but squandered it on a travel by Taj Gibson with 1:55 remaining.
The Griffin brothers combined to go 4-for-4 from the foul line after that, and it was just enough to keep Oklahoma ahead.