With UW coming off a no-show at Oregon, and OSU embarrassed by a home loss to WSU, Sunday’s match makes for a potential screamer.
GAME: Washington (16-8, 9-3 Pac-12) at Oregon State (15-9, 9-7 Pac-12). WHEN: Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Gill Coliseum. MEETING: 290th (Huskies lead 153-136). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ROOT Sports. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.
After an abysmal effort Thursday against Oregon in Eugene, Pac-12 co-leader Washington will attempt to recover against the highest-scoring team in the conference, an Oregon State club that averages 80.8 points per game (to Washington’s 75.3) and features the likely Pac-12 Player of the Year, Jared Cunningham.
Washington defeated Oregon State 95-80 in the Pac-12 opener for both schools Dec. 29, but since then the Beavers have developed into the best offensive team in the league. Oregon State’s 80.8 points per game not only leads the conference, but ranks sixth in the nation.
The Beavers have never led the conference in scoring (team statistics began in 1959-60). Oregon State’s highest scoring average in a full season was 78.4 points per game in 1989-90.
While Washington ranks a dismal 10th in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, Oregon State has tallied 90 or more points in a school-record eight games this season (1979-80 and 1988-89 teams did it six times). The Beavers had one streak in which they scored 90 in four consecutive games.
Impressive about the Beavers (and what will be troubling for a faltering UW defense), is that they outscore their opponents in every specialty stat, including points off turnovers (525-347), second-chance points (314-297), points in the paint (884-716), fast-break points (260-132) and bench scoring (482-470).
Cunningham leads in scoring (18.6) and steals (2.8) and could become the sixth player to lead the conference in both. The five were named Pac-10 Player of the Year that season.
SERIES: Dates to 1904, when Oregon State won 22-19 in Corvallis. The Huskies have won nine of the past 10. In the Dec. 29 game, Tony Wroten led six Huskies in double figures with 26 points. Washington’s longest winning streak over Oregon State occurred from 1951-53, when the Huskies won 10 in a row. Oregon State’s longest win streak is 11, from 1978-83. Lorenzo Romar is 15-5 all-time against the Beavers (9-1 in Seattle and 5-4 in Corvallis). OSU coach Craig Robinson is 1-7 all-time against UW. The Huskies are going for their sixth series sweep in 10 years under Romar.
LAST GAME (Washington, Feb. 9): With an unsightly mix of missed free throws, missed layups, botched foul shots and blown defensive assignments, the Washington Huskies fell behind 8-0, trailed by 20 and eventually by 27 en route to an 82-57 loss at Oregon. In falling back into a first-place tie with California, the Huskies allowed Oregon to shoot 56 percent, including 48 percent from 3-point range. The Huskies also tied their season low in points scored.
LAST GAME (Oregon State, Feb. 9): Jared Cunningham tallied a league career-high 33 points, but it wasn’t enough as Washington State (13-11, 5-7) won 83-73 at Gill Coliseum. Cunningham hit 10-of-20 from the field, including a career-high five 3-pointers to score 30+ points for the third time this season, but the rest of Beavers were 12-for-39 (31 percent) and just 5-for-21 from beyond the arc. “It was a disappointing performance,” said coach Craig Robinson. “I was worried about having one game like that because we had been playing so well at home.”
UW STATS/NOTES: UW has not been swept in consecutive seasons during the Oregon swing since 1990 and 1991 . . . Washington has never lost four straight on the road in Oregon during the Romar era, but did go 0-3 over his first two seasons before an overtime win at Corvallis, 103-99, ended that modest streak and started the Huskies on a path of a 12-1 conference finish and eventual NCAA berth . . . UW features the No. 2 scoring offense in the Pac-12 (75.3 ppg) and the 10th-rated scoring defense (70.3) . . . Washington makes just 60.9 percent of its free throws, 11th in the conference . . . UW has dropped to 10th in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting (34.8 percent) . . .UW leads in rebounding at 40.2 . . . C.J. Wilcox in free throw shooting, making 90.2 percent . . . Aziz N’Diaye ranks third in rebounding at 7.9 per game . . . Abdul Gaddy ranks third in assists (4.5) . . . Terrence Ross ranks sixth in scoring (14.9 ppg).
OREGON STATE STATS/NOTES: Oregon State is sixth in the nation in scoring (80.8) and third in steals (10.13) . . . The Beavers have outscored their opponents 260-132 on fast break points and 525-347 on points off turnovers . . . Cunningham has a steal in 26 consecutive games dating to last season, the third longest streak in school history . . . Cunningham moved into 28th on Oregon State’s career scoring list with 1,073 points after scoring 33 against WSU. . . The starting frontline of Devon Collier (.618), Joe Burton (.548) and Angus Brandt (.545) rank 1-8-10 in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage . . . Ahmad Starks has made a triple in 22 of 24 games this season and has attempted 158 from beyond the arc, the fifth-most in a season in school history . . . Eric Moreland set the school’s freshman blocked shot record and is fifth on the school’s freshman rebounding list with a team-best 153 boards.
COACHES: Lorenzo Romar is in his 10th season as Washingtons head coach. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times, and has 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.
Craig Robinson: Robinson is in his fourth year as head coach at Oregon State. Prior to joining the Beavers, he spent two years as head coach at Brown, leading a revival of the Bears program that he guided to a school-record 19 victories in his final season. A 1983 graduate of Princeton with a BA in sociology, Robinson is considered one of the top players in Ivy League history. He ranks fourth on Princeton’s all-time scoring list with 1,441 points and led the Ivy in field goal percentage in 1982 (.577) and 1983 (.642). Robinson’s first win at Oregon State over a Top 25 opponent occurred last year when the Beavers beat No. 20 Washington.
ART THIEL’S TAKE: The pulp mills of the Willamette Valley used to provide an unmistakable odor. But they could not have topped the stink brought to the mossy wetlands by the Huskies Thursday against Oregon. Most teams will clank a game or two during the season, especially young ones. But after winning 11 of 13 games to take the conference lead, few can be counted to be so abruptly inept for an entire game as the Huskies. Not even a whisper of a rally.
Wroten and Wilcox are playing through nagging injuries that are affecting their games. So someone (hellooo, Abdul Gaddy — anyone home?) is going to have to start filling some voids. And Romar has to have provide some splendid wordsmithing, which he had a start on with this one: “If we bounce back, we’ll look back at this and as bad exam and throw it out.” Where was he when I was in school? Washington 84, Oregon State 82.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: Washington is coming off one of its few no-shows of the season (and its first in a conference game), and Oregon State is coming off a rare home loss. UW and OSU rank 1-2 in the Pac-12 in scoring, but Washington is a bleak 10th in scoring defense and will face off against the Pac-12’s top scorer, Cunningham.
Given that Washington really needs a win here for Selection Sunday purposes, I think this game shapes up as one of the most interesting of the season. The numbers, plus Washington’s immaturity, add up to an Oregon State win. Oregon State 80, Washington 72.
COMING UP: The Huskies return home Thursday to host Arizona State. UW will entertain Arizona Feb. 18 before traveling to Pullman for a rematch with Washington State Feb. 25.
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.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/16/12||vs. Arizona State||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/25/12||at Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|