BY SPNW Staff 06:30AM 12/06/2011

Huskies Facing Brutal Week In Big Apple

Washington goes up against two of college basketball’s premier teams, No. 11 Marquette Tuesday and No. 7 Duke Saturday, in New York. Here’s the preview.

Terrence Ross (31) has taken over the scoring lead for the Huskies, who face two tough games this week in New York City. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Washington (4-2, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Marquette (7-0, 0-0 Big East). WHEN: Tuesday, 6 p.m., Madison Square Garden, New York City. MEETING: 4th (Marquette leads 2-1). RANKINGS: UW unranked; Marquette No. 11 AP, 11 Coaches. TV: ESPN. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.

Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies play the middle game of a three-game road trip taking on undefeated and No. 11-ranked Marquette as part of the Jimmy V Classic.

Washington (4-2), winless on the road (0-2), is coming off a 76-73 overtime loss at Nevada, which featured 21 UW turnovers and several mental lapses, while Marquette improved to 7-0 with its latest victory, a 61-54 decision over No. 9 Wisconsin. Romar said Monday from New York,  “It’s almost impossible to win on Wisconsin’s home floor . . . that was probably the most impressive win I’ve seen this season. They controlled the game from start to finish.”

After playing Marquette, the Huskies will remain in New York City, where they will play No.  7-ranked Duke Saturday as part of the CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic.

Marquette is coming off a 22-win season in 2010-11 that included a road victory over eventual national champion Connecticut and a quarterfinal appearance in the league tourney, en route to a No. 11 seed in the NCAA field. In the tournament, the Golden Eagles upset No. 6 seed Xavier and No. 3 seed Syracuse to claim a spot in the round of 16, which marked the furthest the team had advanced since 2003.

SERIES: Began Dec. 18, 1965, when Marquette won 75-74 in the Milwaukee Classic. In January, 1978 Washington lost to Marquette, then ranked No. 2,  71-63.

LAST TIME: In the NCAA tournament’s first round in San Jose March 18, 2010, Quincy Pondexter recovered from a poor first half and scored on a bank shot with 1.7 seconds to play to lift the 11th-seeded Huskies (24-9) to an 80-78 win. The Huskies, who trailed by one point (43-42) at halftime, fell behind by 15 points with 13 1/2 minutes remaining before rallying to win. Lazar Hayward missed a half-court heave at the buzzer for the sixth-seeded Golden Eagles (23-11), who didn’t manage a field goal in the final 4:33. The Huskies led for less than a minute of the second half before Pondexter’s shot.

Romar said Monday compared to the tourney game, “We’re younger and they’re more experienced . . .  (and also) bigger and stronger.”

LAST GAME (Washington): Terrence Ross scored 18 points, but Washington’s 21 turnovers and inability to foul as instructed on the final defensive possession of regulation ultimately led to a win by Nevada 76-73 in OT Friday night in Reno. On the final possession of overtime, Darnell Gant had a 3-point shot blocked and Abdul Gaddy’s potential tying 3 fell short. That sealed the second road loss in two tries.

LAST GAME (Marquette): Darius Johnson-Odom scored 17 points as then-No. 16 Marquette knocked off in-state rival No. 9 Wisconsin 61-54 (Dec. 3). Todd Mayo added 14 points for Marquette (7-0), which snapped the Badgers’ 23-game home winning streak. Mayo, the younger brother of NBA player O.J. Mayo, had a critical late layup and an emphatic game-clinching dunk.

COACHES: Lorenzo Romar is in his 10th season as Washington’s head coach. Romar’s 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.

Buzz Williams: Williams is in his fourth year as Marquette’s head coach. Williams has guided Marquette to three NCAA Tournament appearances in a row. Williams arrived in Milwaukee after serving for one season as the head coach at the University of New Orleans. Prior to UNO, Williams served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M for two seasons (2004-05/2005-06) under head coach Billy Gillispie, now at Texas Tech.

UW STATS / NOTES: Senior Scott Suggs is working out with the team but will not play against Marquette because he’s not all the way back from a toe injury.  The Duke game Saturday remains a possibility . . .  Besides practice, the team on its first full day in town toured the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan . . .Ross, averaging 16.2 points per game, has supplanted C.J. Wilcox (15.8) as Washington’s leading scorer. Tony Wroten (13.0) is the only other Husky scoring in double figures . . . The Huskies are averaging 81 points per game and yielding 71 . . . Washington is averaging 15.5 turnovers per game after committing 21  against Nevada . . .  The game against Duke Saturday will mark the fourth meeting between the schools — the first since 1990 — with Duke holding a 3-1 advantage . . . Romar needs two wins to reach 200 in his Washington coaching career.

MARQUETTE STATS / NOTES: The Golden Eagles are 3-0 on neutral courts this season . . . Marquette averages 84.1 points per game and allows 58.7 . . . The Golden Eagles have three players scoring in double figures, Johnson-Odom at 19.4, Jae Crowder at 16.9 and Vander Blue at 10.4 . . . Marquette makes 36.8 percent of its 3-pointers (43-for-117).

Art Thiel

ART THIEL’S TAKE: Romar has taken pride in his past teams’ ability to bounce back after unexpected losses. The defeat in Reno qualifies. The difference this time is that Romar has never had a team with so many youthful players in key roles, and the bounce-back opportunity hasn’t happened against a top-15 team in Madison Square Garden.

Wroten tweeted from New York that he had “a good feeling” about this week’s games. Belief in his feelings would be buttressed if he also promised to play under more control. The freshman had three turnovers in his first two minutes on the floor against Nevada. He finished with five (after six against Saint Louis) and the team had 21. No shocker for such a young team, but there’s no reason to think this is get-well week. Marquette 85, Washington 71.

Steve Rudman

STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: I made the mistake of picking Washington to win its first two road games (at Saint Louis and Nevada), and won’t repeat that gaffe until the Huskies demonstrate they can win away from Alaska Airlines Arena.

It won’t happen this week, when the Huskies take on No. 11 Marquette and No. 7 Duke. The Golden Eagles, Washington’s opponent Tuesday, are coming off a whipping of No. 9 Wisconsin and are stomping opponents by an average of 25.4 points per game. Marquette has been particularly impressive defensively, holding opponents to fewer than 60 a game.

Unlike Nevada last week, which featured a lot of young guys, Marquette has a veteran team coming off a 22-win season. From Washington’s perspective, this could be brutal. Marquette 88, Washington 63.

COMING UP: The Huskies return to Alaska Airlines Arena for a five-game home stand that will start with UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 18) and end with Pac-12 openers against Oregon State (Dec. 29) and Oregon (Dec. 31).

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
11/14/11 vs. Portland W 93-63 3-0
11/20/11 at Saint Louis 23 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
12/6/11 vs. Marquette 11
12/10/11 vs. Duke 7
12/16/11 vs. UC Santa-Barbara
12/18/11 vs. South Dakota St.
12/22/11 vs. Cal-State Northridge
12/29/11 vs. Oregon State
12/31/11 vs. Oregon
1/5/12 at Colorado
1/7/12 at Utah
1/10/12 vs. Seattle U.
1/15/12 vs. Washington St.
1/19/12 vs. California 24
1/21/12 vs. Stanford
1/26/12 at Arizona St.
1/28/12 at Arizona
2/2/12 vs. UCLA
2/4/12 vs. USC
2/9/12 at Oregon
2/12/12 at Oregon St.
2/16/12 vs. Arizona State
2/18/12 vs. Arizona
2/25/12 at Washington St.
3/1/12 at USC
3/3/12 at UCLA
3/7/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/8/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/9/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/10/12 Pac-12 Tournament


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