The University of Washington Huskies men’s basketball team (17-4, 8-0 Pac12) will entertain the UCLA Bruins (12, 9-3) Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. PST) at Alaska Airlines Arena looking to remain unbeaten at home and in conference play.
The Huskies are a perfect 8-0 in conference play and 11-0 at home this season. The Huskies are on a 10 game win streak which is the third-longest active streak in Division I trailing Hofstra (16), Tennessee (15) and has them tied with Gonzaga (10) and LSU (10).
While several players have taken turns capturing game-high honors in points, the one constant for the Huskies during the 10 game win streak has been consistent defensive effort and a laser focus on rebounding on both ends of the court. During the win streak, the Huskies have not allowed a team to score more than 70 points. The Huskies defense is limiting opponent shooting percentage from the three-point line to just 28.6 and 61.0 points per game.
With the defense operating in shutdown mode, the Huskies offense has become lethal and efficient.UW has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 5 of its 8 Pac-12 games including 4 of the last 6 and is shooting 50.5 percent from the field overall in those 8 outings, which leads the Pac-12.
If they are to continue their winnings the Huskies will need to be aggressive against a Bruin team that is coming off an impressive twenty point (87-67) win over the Washington State Cougars Wednesday night in Pullman. The Bruins have won two of the last three game against the Huskies and create a matchup challenge due to the size of their front line led by Sophmore forward Chris Wilkes (6’8) and Freshman Center Moses Brown ( 7’0).
One advantage the Huskies will have over the Bruins will be team depth. Sophomore guard and three-time Conference Player of the Week, Jaylen Nowell (16.1pts) is one of three Huskies, David Crisp (15.6 ppg), and Matisse Thybulle ( 10.1ppg) per game. Husky Center Noah Dickerson scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Huskies 75-62 win over the USC Trojans Wednesday night at Alaska Airlines Arena
UCLA ‘s Chris Wilkes has scored in double figures in all 21 games, standing as the third player in the Pac-12 this season to have scored 10-plus points in every game played (Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle has scored 10-plus points in 19 games.
Through games played Wednesday, Jan. 30, the Bruins ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12 (and had been No. 3, nationally) in rebounds per game (42.7). The Bruins ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 and No. 32 in the country in rebounding margin (+6.2).
Moses Brown (11.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg) ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in rebounds per game (8.9) and is second in the league in field goal percentage (65.0%). Brown, a 7-foot-1 center, is tied for No. 2 in the Pac-12 in blocks per game (2.1).