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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

January 25, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Huskies hoops links: UW’s new defense working well

Washington hopes to smother Utah star guard Delon Wright with its new-look zone defense. (Photo credit: Deseret News)

Washington hopes to smother Utah star guard Delon Wright with its new-look zone defense. (Photo credit: Deseret News)

In the past three games, Washington has relied exclusively on a 2-3 zone and the results have been surprisingly positive.

The Huskies are holding opponents to six fewer points (56.7) during that span. Washington allowed just 43 points last week to Oregon State and upset Colorado 52-50 on Thursday. In both wins, the Beavers and Buffaloes failed to shoot better than 32 percent from the field.

Washington’s new-look defense will be tested at 5:30 p.m. PT Sunday against No. 12 Utah (15-3, 5-1) at Huntsman Center. The Utes lead the Pac-12 shooting at 49.7 percent from the field and 40.7 percent on three-pointers.

SUNDAY MORNING LINKS:

— With each dominating Pac-12 win – and there’s been five of them – Utah is distancing itself from most of the conference-title hopefuls and its 6-win season in 2011-12.

Stanley Johnson had 19 points and nine rebounds, Dustin Ristic scored 12 points and No. 7 Arizona avenged last season’s loss in Berkeley by crushing California 73-50. The Wildcats (18-2, 6-1 Pac-12) overcame early foul trouble to their frontcourt to finish the first half ahead by 10. They came out of the break with another big burst, going ahead by 24 points and cruising to their fourth consecutive win.

— The Golden Bears (11-9, 1-6) are far from the team they were a year ago. They’ve lost six straight and eight of nine games, falling into last place in the conference. Jordan Matthes scored 16 points and David Kravish had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bears, who lacked the bodies to match up against a deep and talented Arizona team.

— Should be a fun matchup when Stanford plays at Washington on Thursday. The Cardinal bounced back from a close loss to No. 7 Arizona and rolled over Arizona State 89-70 thanks to a dominating effort from its three senior leaders. Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown contributed 21 points apiece andStefan Nastic added 20 as the Cardinal (14-5, 5-2 Pac-12) won their eighth in 10 games. Rosco Allen had 12 points.

Arizona State got a Bay Area split. Savon Goodman came off the bench to score 18 points for the Sun Devils (10-10, 2-5), who were coming off their second largest conference road victory in school history, a 79-44 pasting at California on Thursday.

— Colorado rebounded from a last-second loss to Washington on Thursday night by jumping to an early double-digit lead and never letting Washington State into the game. Askia Booker scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures, and the Buffaloes snapped a four-game skid by routing Washington State 90-58. Jaron Hopkins added 13 points and  Wesley Gordon had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Colorado (10-9, 3-4 Pac-12). The 32-point margin was Colorado’s biggest of the season even though the Buffaloes were again without Josh Scott (back) and Xavier Johnson (ankle).

Josh Hawkinson and Davonte Lacy had 12 points apiece to lead Washington State (9-10, 3-4), which lost its third in a row.

— Washington’s wins over Oregon State and Oregon last week are looking better and better. Gary Payton II recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Oregon State to a 59-55 victory over USC. Jarmal Reid added 14 points, including the go-ahead basket with 10:02 to play, as the Beavers (14-5, 5-2 Pac-12) won their third in a row in a game that featured 12 lead changes and four ties.

— Katin Reinhardt led USC with 17 points and Nikola Jovanovic finished with 13 points, but Trojans coach Andy Enfield lamented the fact that starting guards Malik Marquetti, Jordan McLaughlin and Julian Jacobs shot a combined 3 for 21 from the field, including 1 for 10 from 3-point range. The Trojans (9-10, 1-6) suffered their fourth straight loss.

Joseph Young led five scorers in double figures with 16 points as Oregon rode 75 percent shooting from the field in the first half and Dwayne Benjamin’s perfect game off the bench to an 82-64 win over UCLA. Benjamin added 15 points while going 6 of 6, including 3 of 3 beyond the arc. Elgin Cook had 11 points, Jalil Abdul-Bassit and Ahmaad Rorie scored 10 each for the Ducks, who top the conference in 3-point attempts but tried just 13 and made nine in the rout.

Norman Powell led UCLA with 23 points. Kevon Looney, who fouled out, and Bryce Alford added 15 points each. The Bruins started the second half by hitting six of their first seven shots, but they still were down 15 at 62-47 as Oregon kept humming along. UCLA (11-9, 3-4) never came closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

— And here’s a look at the Pac-12 standings.

Pac-12 Conference Standings

TEAM CONF W-L TOTAL W-L
No. 7 Arizona 6-1 18-2
No. 12 Utah 5-1 15-3
Oregon State 5-2 14-5
Stanford 5-2 14-5
Oregon 4-3 14-6
Washington 3-3 14-4
UCLA 3-4 11-9
Colorado 3-4 10-9
Washington State 3-4 9-10
Arizona State 2-5 10-10
California 1-6 11-9
USC 1-6 9-10

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