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Husky Men's Basketball

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January 26, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Guess the UW Score — Oregon

Lots of winners Wednesday in the Guess the UW Score contest. We had a three-way tie between husky basketball 2009 (75-68), jdke (74-69) and justosu (73-64). They all picked Oregon State to beat Washington and the Huskies fell 74-66.

Nice job guys.

For your efforts, I got prizes such as tasty Hec Ed hot dogs and delicious soft drinks. So claim them because they’re yours.

Alright, somewhat early slate of games today so let’s get to it.

PAC-12 SCHEDULE:

UCLA (16-4, 6-1) at Arizona State (15-4, 4-2), 1 p.m. ………………….. FSN

Washington State (10-9, 1-5) at Oregon State (11-8, 1-5), 2 p.m. ….. P12N

Washington (12-7, 4-2) at No. 16 Oregon (17-2, 6-0), 4 p.m. ………… P12N

USC (8-12, 3-4) at No. 6 Arizona (16-2, 4-2), 4 p.m. ……………………. ESPNU

AND THE UW-OREGON WINNER IS …

The Ducks 72-64.

Here’s a few not-so-fun facts about Washington and ranked teams.

The Huskies have dropped eight of their nine games against top 25 opponents.

It gets worse.

They’re 11-109 on the home court of a ranked opponent. The most recent win was an 84-71 victory over then-No. 14 Arizona State on Jan. 31, 2009.

Under coach Lorenzo Romar, the Huskies are 4-14 against ranked teams on the opponent’s floor.

And Washington has lost the past two games at Matthew Knight Arena, including last year’s embarrassing 82-57 setback.

History says it will be a daunting task for Washington to win today. The Las Vegas oddsmakers have made Washington an 8.5-point underdog.

Both teams are trending in opposite directions.

Oregon has an eight-game winning streak and has won the past 19 at home, while UW has lost two consecutive games.

Still there’s several reasons for optimism for the Huskies.

Most notably, Oregon isn’t without flaws. On paper, the Ducks are downright pedestrian. They don’t have anyone who averages more than 12 points. Still their calling card is they’re balanced. They play hard. And they play smart.

On Wednesday, Washington State controlled the game for about 30 minutes, before Oregon pulled away in the last 10 minutes for a 68-61 win.

If the Huskies play their A-game and the Ducks are off just a little, then UW should win.

“We’ve done it before,” guard Abdul Gaddy said. “We have a good team and we know our strengths. I believe when we’re playing at our best, we’re a good team and can play with anybody in the country.”

However, Washington hasn’t played anything close to a flawless game in a long time. Even when the Huskies won its first four Pac-12 games, they did so in spite of a struggling offense. UW has scored fewer than 70 points in its past eight games.

Romar is trying to build an identity around defense and rebounding, which is wise considering Washington’s offensive struggles.

Still, the Huskies should re-examine how it manufactures points. They’re a jump-shooting team, which means they don’t draw a lot of fouls. That’s a major problem.

Getting to the line has made a world of difference for the Huskies, which is 10-1 when attempting at least 19 free throws. They’re just 2-6 when failing to reach that mark.

In the past two games, Washington went a combined 13 for 24 (54.2 percent) from the foul line while its opponents were 31 for 47 (65.9).

The Huskies could desperately use a big game from fifth-year senior guard Scott Suggs to take relieve some of the pressure on leading scorer C.J. Wilcox.

Romar said: “I think maybe sometimes he gets a little anxious. I think if he were a little more patient, I think he’d have better results. It’s something him and I have talked about. I think he’s smart enough to figure that out.”

Suggs epitomizes UW’s inability to draw fouls. He’s attempted more three-pointers than free throws in 14 of 16 games. When Suggs attempted more foul shots than 3-pointers, he scored a career-high 24 and 17 points, respectively.

Romar pinned the last two defeats on a lack of focus, defense and offensive execution. He also said the Huskies overlooked their opponents, who were winless in the Pac-12.

He pointed to Saturday’s game as a measuring stick for the Huskies.

“If we can get this done at Oregon, I think it will shoot us in the right direction,” Wilcox said. “If we lose, you never know. We just want to get this one done and see what kind of run we can make.”

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