GAME: Washington (19-8, 12-3 Pac-12) at Washington State (14-13, 6-9 Pac-12. WHEN: Saturday, 5 p.m., Beasley Coliseum, Pullman. MEETING: 274th (Huskies lead 173-100). RANKINGS: Neither ranked. TV: ROOT Sports. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.
The last time Washington and Washington State engaged in hoops, Jan. 15 at Alaska Airlines Arena, the Cougars had a 10-point lead on the Huskies with 14 minutes to play, only to wither under a 28-point, second-half outburst by Terrence Ross, who finished with a career-high 30 in UW’s 75-65 win.
Key for Washington in that game was rebounding, the Huskies pounding out a 46-24 domination the Cougars.
“Our approach was right,” WSU coach Ken Bone said this week. “Our guys really tried to keep the Huskies off the glass, but Washington was very strong, physical and relentless in the last half and had their way with us.”
Bone expects rebounding to be the key factor in the rematch. Washington needs to win to remain a viable at-large candidate for the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies have an RPI of 55, the Cougars 178.
“Washington is a unique team in the way it rebounds, especially offensive rebounds,” Bone, a former UW assistant, said. “It’s a big part of their offense (the Huskies lead the Pac-12 in rebounding). Tony Wroten is one of the best I have ever seen at getting his own rebound. He’s a 6-5 future NBA guy. So it’s hard to stop that. His instincts and quickness are so good that he reacts so fast. He plays his own missed shots as well as anyone I’ve ever seen.”
Although Washington State trails in the series 71-62 in Pullman, the Cougars have won four of the past six meetings against the Huskies at Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars are 9-2 in the facility this season and outscore their opponents at home by an average of 11.9 points per game.
Three of the past four UW-WSU matchups at Beasley have been decided by seven points or less.
“Brock can score,” said Bone. “He plays a different role for us than Klay Thompson (now in the NBA) did, but he can score a variety of ways. If he’s guarded tightly, he can drive and get to the rim. Like Klay, he’s a multi-dimensional scorer.”
In the first meeting, Faisal Aden led Washington State with 18 points. But he won’t play due to an injury to his left knee that ended his season.
Washington, with three regular-season games remaining to impress tourney selectors, has won eight of nine, 11 of 13, and 14 of 17. The next win by the Huskies will give them 20 for the season for the fourth consecutive year. That will mark the longest streak of 20+ wins in school history.
SERIES: Dates t0 Feb. 16, 1910, when Washington scored a 13-9 win at Washington State. Washington has won six of the past eight in the series, including the last meeting, a 75-65 decision in Seattle. In that game, Ross exploded for 26 points in an 18-minute span of the second half. 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. Lorenzo Romar is 11-10 all time vs. WSU, and Ken Bone 2-7 all time vs. UW.
LAST GAME (Washington, Feb. 18): Terrence Ross had 25 points and five steals and Tony Wroten 22 and nine rebounds, but C.J. Wilcox, MIA in the first half with just two free throws, scored eight points in a three-minute burst of the second half and Washington pulled away from Arizona for a 79-70 home victory Saturday. The win kept the Huskies atop the Pac-12 Conference and marked third straight triumph over the Wildcats.
LAST GAME (Washington State, Feb. 18): DaVonté Lacy scored 17 points and Brock Motum added 16 as Washington State routed Arizona State 72-50. The Cougars (14-13, 6-9 Pac-12) started off with a 10-0 lead and led the Sun Devils (8-19, 4-11) 36-8 at the break — the fewest points allowed by WSU in a first half since the shot clock was introduced 25 years ago. Arizona State (8-19, 4-11) put together a 23-7 run and pulled within 43-31 with 13:07 left. But Dexter Kernich-Drew made a 3-pointer, was fouled and made the free throw, and the Cougars stayed in control.
UW STATS/NOTES: Washington averages 75.5 ppg (2nd, Pac-12) and allows 70.3 (11th) . . . The Huskies rank only eighth in field goal percentage (44.9), 11th in free throw percentage, and 10th in 3-point shooting (33.8) . . . Washington is the Pac-12’s best rebounding team, averaging 40.3 rpg . . . Only UCLA (4.67) and Oregon State (4.41) average more blocks per game than Washington (4.22) . . . Washington features three of the top seven scorers in the conference, No. 4 Tony Wroten (16.5), No. 6 Terrence Ross (15.6) and No. 7 C.J. Wilcox (13.7) . . . Wroten ranks second in steals at two per game.
WSU STATS/NOTES: The Cougars average 70.6 ppg (5th, Pac-12) and allow 67.1 (8th) . . . The Cougars rank No.2 in the league in field goal percentage (47.2) and free throw percentage (72.4), and fourth in 3-point shooting (37.6) . . . WSU makes 6.74 3-points per game, the No. 3 in the Pac-12 behind Arizona (7.46) and Oregon (7.00) . . . Junior Brock Motum is the No. 2 scorer (17.8 ppg). Motum is also WSU’s best shooter (56.7 percent) and its leading rebounder at 6.5 rpg . . . Junior Reggie Moore leads the Pac-12 in assists at 5.56 per game.
COACHES: Lorenzo Romar is in his 10th season as Washingtons head coach. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times, and won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011). Romar, who signed a 10-year contract extension in April 2011, won his his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16, 2011, when the Huskies defeated UC Santa Barbara. He had his 300th career victory and his 100th as a conference coach when the Huskies beat Stanford 76-63 Jan. 21.
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 league 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 this the lone game of Washington’s week, the Huskies had a chance to heal a bit from the rigors of a season in which every starter has some sort of lingering hurt. The Cougars will try to inject some emotional pain — an upset of tourney-dreaming Washington would be the signature moment in a disappointing WSU season.
The Huskies will have a match-up problem with Motum, the 6-10 Aussie who is among the conference’s most improved players. But the Cougars will have a larger matchup throughout the backcourt, where Ross, Wroten, Wilcox and Abdul Gaddy will dominate. The Cougs know the game in Seattle was winnable, but the Huskies are five weeks better, and the Cougars are not. Washington 69, Washington State 62.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: While Washington State is plodding through another mediocre season, I’m reminded how tough the Cougars played the Huskies in Seattle.
WSU had a 10-point lead with 12:16 left, and it took a rare technical foul on Romar and a 26-point burst in 18 minutes by Ross to put the Huskies in the win column.
The Huskies are going to need the kind of full-game effort they had against Arizona last Saturday to beat the Cougars. Even if they get it, I have a feeling the game is going to be close. Keep in mind that the Cougars held Arizona State to just eight points in the first half (36-8) last Saturday. Washington 72, Washington State 68.
COMING UP: Washington closes out its conference schedule at USC Thursday and at UCLA March 3, the latter an 11 a.m. start televised nationally on CBS. The Pac-12 Tournament opens March 7 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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.||—||—||W||75-65||11-6|
|1/26/12||at Arizona St.||—||—||W||60-54||13-7|
|2/12/12||at Oregon St.||—||—||W||75-72||17-8|
|2/16/12||vs. Arizona State||—||—||W||77-69||18-8|
|2/25/12||at Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|