Washington needs a win Sunday against Washington State to take sole possession of third place and pull within a 1/2 game of Pac-12 leaders California and Stanford.
The Huskies are tied with Oregon in third in the standings, however, the Ducks have something no one else in the conference can claim – three league road wins.
A look at the Pac-12 standings.
And here’s links to tonight’s action.
— Can a backup win the Pac-12 Player of the Week award? Not sure why not. Josh Huestis (near right) should receive consideration after scoring a career-high 13 points in a second straight game to help Stanford to an 84-64 thrashing of Colorado. The reserve forward finished with four blocks and four rebounds while spearheading a defense that held the Buffaloes to just five points while Stanford (15-3, 5-1) scored 32 during a pivotal 10-minute stretch in the second half.
— Thursday morning Colorado stood alone on top of the standings with a perfect 3-0 record. Today the Buffaloes (11-6, 3-2) are tied for fifth after a winless trip to the Bay Area. Before Colorado was drubbed 84-64 at Stanford, coach Tad Boyle wasn’t impressed crowds at Cal’s Haas Pavilion and Stanford’s Maples Pavilion. He told the Daily Camera: “We’re coming from the Big 12. And quite frankly the Big 12, up to this point, I would say has tougher road environments than the Pac-12 right now. I’m being honest. So this shouldn’t be anything we’re not used to and can’t handle.”
— California, which is perfect at home, made quick work of Utah, which is winless on the road, in an 81-45 victory. The Golden Bears (15-4, 5-1) led 32-15 at halftime and the Utes never got closer than 20 points after the first 4 minutes of the second half. Jorge Gutierrez rebounded from an 2-for-17 shooting performance on Thursday and converted 7 of 9 field goals for a team-high 15 points.
— Just when it seemed as if Utah had progressed to the point where it would no longer be blown out on the road, they run into California who utterly destroyed the Utes in a 36-point blowout defeat. It was the second worse loss of the season and rekindled bad memories for Utah fans of the Utes’ 40-point defeat at Colorado in the Pac-12 opener. Utah (4-13, 1-4) committed 18 turnovers, shot 34.7 percent from the field and Josh Watkins (15 points) was the only player in double-digit scoring.
— Following a dramatic 59-57 win at Arizona, Oregon completed its second ever sweep against the desert schools. The Ducks (13-5, 4-2) led 34-22 at halftime and were ahead by 17 points (41-24) early in the second half. They had to fight off a comeback from Arizona, which tied the score 54-54 with 2:59 left. Devoe Joseph played all 40 minutes and finished with 13 points along with reserve forward Olu Ashaolu. Garrett Sim and E.J. Singler each had 12.
— Trailing by two points with 29 seconds left, Arizona (12-6, 3-2) missed three shots on its final possession that could have tied the score or put the Wildcats ahead.
— Arizona State (6-11, 2-3) won a game, but lost junior guard Trent Lockett, who suffered sprained his ankle and played just 24 minutes. It’s a testament to the Sun Devils and coach Herb Sendek that they were able to outclass Oregon State 76-66 despite the absence of their best player. Chanse Creekmur scored a career-high 24 points and Kyle Cain added 16 points and eight rebounds. X-rays on Lockett revealed no serious damage.
— Something is seriously wrong with the Beavers (11-7, 1-5). On paper, they look as if they have everything they need to contend in the Pac-12. But on the court, they’ve lost four of the last five games and fading fast. Maybe they’re still in a funk from the four-overtime defeat last week to Stanford. It looks as if they’re lacking leadership among the players. Devon Collier finished with 21 points against ASU.
Photo credit: AP Photo – Tony Avelar