GAME: Washington State (9-7, 1-3, Pac-12) at Washington (10-6, 3-1 Pac-12). WHEN: Sunday, 4 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. MEETING: 273rd (Huskies lead 172-100). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ROOT Sports. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.
Since Lorenzo Romar signed on as University of Washington basketball coach in 2003, no conference team has beaten his Huskies more times at Alaska Airlines Arena than Washington State, which has won four of the past six meetings in the building.
Given the 92-73 embarrassment South Dakota State hung on Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena Dec. 18, the difficulty UW had in dispatching Seattle U. there last Tuesday, and WSU’s recent success in the house of Hec Ed, oddsmakers might be generous in installing the Huskies as four-point favorites.
Ken Bone’s Cougars enter the first of two UW-WSU meetings having dropped their past two, 71-60 at Colorado (Jan. 7) and 62-60 at Utah (Jan. 5).
Coming off a 27-point effort at Utah, Motum leads WSU and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 with 15.3 points per game. Motum has scored in double figures in 14 of the Cougars’ 16 games and has surpassed 20 in two of the last three.
The Pac-12 Player of the Week for the Dec. 5-12, Motum also ranks seventh in the league and 36th in the nation in field goal percentage. Motum is the only player in the Pac-12 to rank in the top-10 in scoring and field goal percentage.
The Huskies’ top two scorers are battling injuries. Tony Wroten has a sore tailbone and elbow after a hard fall in the Tuesday win over Seattle U. C.J. Wilcox has a sore hip that worsened after the SU game. Both were limited in practice during the week. Romar thought both were likely to play Sunday.
Washington is allowing 73.6 points per game, most in the Pac-12 and the fifth-worst, single-season mark in school history. Since the Cougars are the third-best shooting team in the conference at 47.5 percent, Romar’s Huskies might be in for a close one.
SERIES: Dates t0 Feb. 16, 1910, when Washington scored a 13-9 win at Washington State . . . Washington has won five of the past seven in the series, including the last meeting, an 89-87 win during the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles . . . WSU took both regular-season meetings in 2010-11, winning 87-80 in Pullman and 80-69 in Seattle . . . WSU trails the series 99-35 in Seattle, but is 4-2 at Alaska Airlines Arena in the last six meetings . . . Washington State’s longest winning streak in the series is seven games, from 2006-09 . . . Washington’s longest win streak is 17 games, from 1923-30.
LAST GAME (Washington, Jan. 10): Wilcox tallied a career-high 25 points off the bench and Wroten added 24 points, six assists and four rebounds as Washington held off a frantic Seattle U. rally in a foul-filled, 91-83 win at Alaska Airlines Arena. Center Aziz N’Diaye had a season-high 14 points with 13 rebounds in 27 minutes for the Huskies, who blew all of a 14-point lead in the second half. Wilcox then made a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws to put the Huskies back in front for good. Five Seattle U. players fouled out as officials called 61 fouls. UW went to the line a season-high 59 times, making 37. Aaron Broussard led Seattle U. with 20 points.
LAST GAME (Washington State, Jan. 7): Moore scored 14 points and Aden had 12 for Washington State (9-7, 1-3), which lost 71-60 to Colorado in Boulder. The Cougars went on an 11-1 run to pull within 65-57 with 2:42 left, but Colorado hit 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
UW STATS/NOTES: Washington averages 79.1 ppg (2nd, Pac-12) and allows a conference-worst 73.6 . . . Despite ranking second in points per game, UW ranks only eighth in field goal percentage, 41.8, and 11th in free throw shooting at 62.8 . . . Washington continues to lead the Pac-12 in rebounding, averaging 40.5 . . . Two of the top five scorers in the Pac-12 are Huskies, Wroten at 17.0 and Wilcox 15.5. Wilcox also ranks second in the Pac-12 in free-throw shooting, converting 90 percent, and Wroten is fourth in steals at 1.94 . . . Aziz N’Diaye ranks third in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 7.9 rpg and Abdul Gaddy is third in assists at 4.75 apg.
WSU STATS/NOTES: The Cougars rank sixth in the Pac-12 at 71.2 ppg and seventh in scoring defense at 65.2 ppg . . . WSU is the third-best shooting team in the conference at 47.5 percent, and also the third-best at making 3-pointers at 38.3 percent . . . The Cougars make 6.75 3-pointers per game, same as the Huskies . . . WSU ranks just ninth in rebounding at 34.0 rpg . . . Junior Brock Motum is the conference’s 11th-best rebounder at 6.4. Motum is also WSU’s best shooter at 55.6 percent . . . Moore leads the Pac-12 in assists at 5.38 apg . . . WSU assistant Curtis Allen played at Washington from 2000-04.
COACHES: Romar is in his 10th season as Washingtons head coach. His Huskies have won 166 games since 2004-05 (entering the 2011-12 season), most in any seven-year span in school history. Romar signed a 10-year contract extension last April. He won his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16 when the Huskies defeated UC Santa Barbara.
Ken Bone: Bone is in his third season as head coach of the Cougars and coming off a 22-13 year in which he led WSU to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. In his first year at the helm for WSU in 2009-10, Bone led the Cougars to a 16-15 overall mark and 6-12 Pacific-10 Conference record. Prior to his stint at WSU, Bone spent the previous four years as the head coach at Portland State, leading the Vikings to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Bone served under Romar on the UW staff from 2002-05. Bone is 2-6 vs. Washington. Bone also coached 12 seasons at his alma mater, Seattle Pacific.
ART THIEL’S TAKE: With Wroten and Wilcox at less than full speed, Gaddy and Terrence Ross have to pick up some slack, as will Dez Simmons, who probably will get another start at forward, replacing Darnell Gant. Romar liked the energy Simmons brought in his first start against Seattle U.
The Cougars a year ago had their way with Washington in both regular-season games, but the difference-maker, Klay Thompson, is in the NBA. WSU’s deliberate pace bothers the Huskies, and Bone got a good look at UW’s clumsiness with the full-court press against Seattle U. At 6-10, Motum will be a matchup problem. So expect a slower, taut duel, and the Cougars to prevail. Washington State 68, Washington 65.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: Alaska Airlines Arena usually provides the Huskies with with plenty of energy and a hefty home court edge. But Washington State has beaten UW in the building four times in the past six meetings and can play with the sort of moderate tempo the Huskies loathe.
If the Huskies could convert a respectable percentage of their foul shots — they’re making just 62 percent — they would be an elite Pac-12 team (which, we concede, isn’t saying much). Since they can’t, they’re vulnerable no matter who they play. Washington 77, Washington State 69.
COMING UP: The Huskies play the Bay Area schools, California (Jan. 19) and Stanford (Jan. 21) at home before closing out January with road games at Arizona State (Jan. 26) and Arizona (Jan. 28).
University of Washington 2011-12 Schedule/Results
(Rankings Are Current)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/4/11||vs. Seattle Pacific||—||—||W||77-60||0-0|
|11/12/11||vs. Georgia State||—||—||W||91-74||1-0|
|11/13/11||vs. Florida Atlantic||—||—||W||77-71||2-0|
|11/20/11||at Saint Louis||—||—||L||77-64||3-1|
|11/25/11||vs. Houston Baptist||—||—||W||88-65||4-1|
|12/2/11||at Nevada||—||—||L||76-73 (OT)||4-2|
|12/16/11||vs. UC Santa-Barbara||—||—||W||87-80||5-4|
|12/18/11||vs. South Dakota St.||—||—||L||92-73||5-5|
|12/22/11||vs. Cal-State Northridge||—||—||W||74-50||6-5|
|12/29/11||vs. Oregon State||—||—||W||95-80||7-5|
|1/10/12||vs. Seattle U.||—||—||W||91-83||10-6|
|1/15/12||vs. Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|1/26/12||at Arizona St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/12/12||at Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/16/12||vs. Arizona State||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/25/12||at Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|