Washington won three of its first four Pac-12 contests, losing only to No. 1-ranked Arizona. Huskies have won four of their past five against the Cal Bears.
GAME: California (12-4 overall, 3-0 Pac-12) at Washington (11-6 overall, 3-1 Pac-12). WHEN: Wednesday, 8 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 157th (series tied 78-78). RANKINGS: Neither school ranked. COACHES: Lorenzo Romar, Washington; Mike Montgomery, Cal. TV: ESPNU. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
Washington struggled through much of its non-conference season while trying to adjust to the losses of Jernard Jarreau (ACL) and Desmond Simmons (since returned), and adapting to NCAA rules changes that drastically limited how the Huskies played defensively. But they seem to have gotten the hang of things, as their results in Pac-12 play show.
After going 8-5 in non-league play, Washington has won three of its first four conference contests, most recently executing a sweep of Utah and No. 15 Colorado at Alaska Airlines Arena. The most dramatic part of the turnaround is that, after allowing opponents to average 79.2 ppg during the non-conference slate, the Huskies have since limited their four Pac-12 foes to 61.8 points.
“I think we’ve taken the next step,” said UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. “A month and a half ago, we wouldn’t have been able to do this. Now, there is a belief, and that helps. Our guys have stuck with it and we’ve been able to win games.”
Even though the Huskies took No. 1 Arizona to the last two minutes in Tucson before caving, their most impressive effort came at the expense of Colorado. The Huskies dominated in a 71-54 victory with C.J. Wilcox knocking down a career-high 31 points, including seven 3-pointers.
Wilcox drew the headlines, but the Huskies also held Colorado to 8.3 percent shooting from 3-point range (second consecutive game UW held an opponent to less than 10 percent) and stifled the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, Askia Booker, who finished with zero points.
The Huskies head to Cal Wednesday and Stanford Saturday. The Bears are 12-4 overall, 8-0 at home and are coming off an 88-83 win over Oregon State at Corvallis.
California is unusual in the fact that it sports five double-figure scorers in Justin Cobb (15.1), Richard Solomon (12.1), David Kravish (11.9), Tyrone Wallace (11.8) and Jabari Bird (11.3). These Bears will probably give the smaller Huskies, who start three guards, matchup fits. Cobb is 6-foot-3, Solomon 6-10, Kravish 6-9, Wallace 6-5 and Bird 6-6. Washington’s tallest starter is 6-9 Perris Blackwell.
SERIES: Dates to Jan. 14, 1915, when UW lot to Cal 30-24 in Berkeley. Washington won four of the past five meetings, including the last one, 62-47 in Berkeley Jan. 9, 2013. In that game, C.J. Wilcox scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (341-222 overall, 248-134 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 took 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