Washington is coming off its most impressive win of the season, at Arizona State, but now face an Arizona club that just shellacked the Washington State Cougars 60-25.
GAME: Washington (9-5 overall, 1-0 Pac-12) at Arizona (14-0 overall, 1-0 Pac-12). WHEN: Saturday, 11 a. m., McKale Center, Tucson, AZ. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 75th (Arizona leads 46-28). RANKINGS: Arizona No. 1 AP, USA Today/Coaches. COACHES: Lorenzo Romar, Washington; Sean Miller, Arizona. TV: Pac-12 Networks. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
Washington played by far its best game of the season Thursday, dispatching Arizona State in Tempe with relative ease, 76-65. The most impressive part was that the previously porous Huskies held the Sun Devils to 38.6 percent shooting and 2-for-14 beyond the arc, stats that probably would have been better had not coach Lorenzo Romar pulled his starters in the final five minutes.
Romar insisted that, even with Jernard Jarreau out for the season (ACL), he had the makings of a good basketball team. A tepid 8-5 non-conference record failed to bear that out, but the shellacking of the Sun Devils provided considerable evidence that the Huskies are better than they showed in conference warm-ups.
Now comes the ultimate test. On Saturday, the Huskies face Arizona, the No. 1 team in the country, and a team that looked even better than No. 1 in crushing Washington State 60-25 Thursday night. The 25 points were the fewest for Washington State since the Cougars had that many at Idaho Jan. 15, 1938.
“Arizona jumped on us early and it never really ended,” said WSU coach Ken Bone.
The Cougars, who had scored 78 or more points in three of their four previous games, missed their first 16 shots and didn’t make a basket until 6:42 remained in the first half. They wound up shooting 20 percent.
“Arizona is really good,” Romar said in a vast understatement earlier this week.
Arizona ranks first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 54.4 points per game. In their last three, the Wildcats have allowed an average of 37.3, ceding 43 to Southern and 44 to Northern Arizona before dousing the lights on WSU.
Washington has never had much luck against No. 1-ranked opponents, or even top-10 foes, for that matter. The Huskies are 2-26 all-time (1-1 under Romar) vs. No. 1s, including 0-10 on the road. They haven’t defeated a top-10 club since an 82-64 victory over No. 8 New Mexico in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats, who rank fourth nationally in rebound margin and second in the conference in scoring margin (+20.7), feature four double-digit scorers in Nick Johnson (15.4), Brandon Ashley (12.1), Aaron Gordon (12.0) and Kaleb Tarczewski (10.2), a 7-foot center.
SERIES: Dates to Dec. 29, 1964 when the Wildcats scored a 77-63 victory over the Huskies at the Los Angeles Classic. Arizona won both meetings with Washington last season (57-53 in Seattle, 70-52 in Tucson), snapping a three-game winning streak by the Huskies and five wins in six contests dating to the 2010 season.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (339-222 overall, 246-134 UW) is coming off a year in which the Huskies finished 18-16 and ended with a loss to Brigham Young in the National Invitation Tournament. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times and won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011).
2012-13 Washington Regular-Season Statistics
University of Washington 2013-14 Schedule
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/6/13||@vs. Cent. Wash||—||—||W||95-65||0-0|
|11/10/13||vs. Seattle U.||—||—||W||88-78||1-0|
|11/14/13||vs. UC Irvine||—||—||L||86-72||1-1|
|11/17/13||vs. E. Wash||—||—||W||92-80||2-1|
|11/22/13||*vs. Boston Co||—||18||L||89-78||2-3|
|12/30/13||vs. L. Beach St.||—||—||W||92-89||4-3|
|12/8/13||vs. SD State||—||24||L||70-63||4-4|
|12/14/13||vs. Idaho St.||—||—||W||85-66||5-4|
|12/27/13||vs. Miss. Valley||—||—||W||95-80||7-5|
|3/18-19/14||NCAA 1st 4||—||—||—||—–||—|
|3/20-23/14||NCAA 2nd, 3rd||—||—||—||—–||—|
@=Exhibition; *=2K Sports Classic; ^=Pac-12 Tournament