We’re getting down to the nitty gritty in the Pac-12 season and in the race for the grand prize in the Guess the UW Score contest.
No change in the overall season leaders because there were a pair of first-time winners following Washington’s 65-57 win over USC on Wednesday. Grammar Rock predicted a 68-57 UW victory while Wooffreak guessed the Huskies would prevail 64-59. Congratulations guys.
Barring a home postseason game, today is the last chance to collect on winnings. So let me know via email (pallen@seattletimes) or twitter if you have a hankering for a hotdog and soda to start the day.
Alright let’s move on.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE (all times Pacific):
No. 23 UCLA (22-8, 12-5) at Washington (17-13, 9-8), 11 a.m. ……………. CBS
No. 19 Oregon (23-7, 12-5) at Utah (12-17, 4-13), 11:30 a.m. ……………….. P12N
Oregon State (13-17, 3-14) at Colorado (20-9, 10-7), 1:30 p.m. ……………. P12N
Arizona State (20-10, 9-8) at No. 18 Arizona (23-6, 11-6), 1:30 p.m. ……. FSN/ROOT
USC (14-16, 9-8) at Washington State (12-18, 3-14), 3:30 p.m. ……………. P12N
AND THE UW-UCLA WINNER IS …
The Huskies 68-60.
Washington is a 1.5-point favorite for good reasons. The Huskies have won three in a row and they have an eight-game winning streak over UCLA at Alaska Airlines Arena. Given the fact their last meeting was decided on a buzzer-beating shot from UCLA’s Larry Drew II, you’d think this game would be close as well.
After a thrilling 74-69 win over then-No.11 Arizona, the Bruins fell flat Wednesday with a dud of a performance during a 73-61 loss at Washington State.
UCLA coach Ben Howland attributed the defeat to youth and inexperience. We’ll see how the Baby Bruins react to an early start time, a nationally televised game and what figures to be an emotionally charged atmosphere due to Senior Day celebrations. It’s the last regular-season home game for Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs and Aziz N’Diaye.
In their first game, Washington did a fantastic job defensively while holding UCLA to 33.3 percent shooting from the field. The Bruins made 11 of 33 field goals in both halves. They were also 2 of 9 total on three-pointers. Washington also dominated the rebounding battle 46-36 and held every UCLA with the exception of Shabazz Muhammad (22 points) under 10.
The Huskies lost because they committed 19 turnovers that led to 19 points. UW’s turnovers also gave UCLA more field goal attempts (66 to 57).
Neither team led by more than six points in the first meeting. The lead changed seven times and the score was tied 11 times.
Still Washington could dominate the rematch.
The Huskies match up well against the Bruins mostly because UCLA doesn’t have anyone to stop 7-foot center Aziz N’Diaye. He had 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting and a career-high 18 rebounds against the Bruins. UCLA will try to slow him down with 6-10 forward David Wear, who was put into the lineup in place of his brother Travis (foot).
Washington can also use 6-9 and 255-pound forward Shawn Kemp Jr. against 6-9 and 235-pound Kyle Anderson in the post. Anderson is a versatile player, but Kemp was able to limit him to six points because he’s not a proficient perimeter shooter.
The Huskies can live with Muhammad having another big scoring performance, he needs 33 points to win the Pac-12 scoring race, if they contain everyone else again. Thanks to Wilcox’s defense, high-scoring freshman guard Jordan Adams was 2 for 11 and had four points in the first game while Gaddy held Drew to nine.