GAME NOTES: The Washington Huskies will try to stop a downward trend when they host the Stanford Cardinal in a Pac-12 Conference clash at Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday night.
Washington has plummeted in the league standings recently, with losses in five of its last seven games. The Huskies are just 13-11 overall and in a three-way tie with Utah and Oregon State for seventh place in the Pac-12 (5-6). They will be at home on Saturday as well against California.
Meanwhile, Stanford has been heating up of late, with wins in three of its last four bouts. The Cardinal is still near the middle of the Pac-12 pack (6-4), part of a 15-7 overall mark. They have a solid 6-3 success rate on the road, where they will be again on Saturday against Washington State.
Stanford hosted the first contest of the season between these teams and earned a 79-67 victory. The win ended a three-game win streak for Washington in the series, which the Cardinal narrowly leads, 71-68.
Dwight Powell muscled his way to 22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to push Stanford past California, 80-69, last Wednesday. Powell scored 11 of his points at the free-throw line, where the Cardinal enjoyed a 28-12 advantage.
Powell (15.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 4 apg) often stuffs the stat sheet, as he can score and rebound as well as can be expected of a 6-foot-10 forward who plays 33.3 mpg, However, Powell is also a skilled passer, leading the Cardinal in assists. Chasson Randle (18.8 ppg) is still the team's primary scorer and ball-handler, ranking fourth in the league in scoring. Randle tallied 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting against California, and has scored in double figures in six straight games. His 33-point effort against Washington earlier began the streak. Anthony Brown (12.6 ppg) and Josh Huestis (11.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg) are also solid contributors.
Washington was dominated in a 91-65 loss to Colorado when it last took the floor. The Huskies shot just 32.3 percent from the floor, recording 10 fewer field goals than the Buffaloes (31-21). Nigel Williams-Goss scored 15 points to pace the losing side.
Like Stanford, Washington has three players averaging in double figures. C.J. Wilcox (19.3 ppg) is the leader, as well as the second-best scorer in the league. However, he only managed eight points on 2-of-10 shooting, including a miserable 0-of-8 performance from beyond the arc, against Colorado. Williams- Goss (13.2 ppg, 4 apg) runs the point and is the best alternative scorer to Wilcox. Andrew Andrews (12 ppg) can also light up the scoreboard, but his efficiency as a shooter is far from ideal (.356). Lastly, Perris Blackwell (10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is the team's best option down low.
Clearly Washington will have trouble defending the paint with its undersized lineup. However, the Huskies are an extremely strong home team (11-2) and if Wilcox can bounce back, they should be able to keep things close, if not pull off the upset.
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