The University of Washington (20-5,11-1) mens basketball team will host the Utah Utes (14-11, 8-5) Wednesday night ( 8 p.m.) at Alaska Air Lines Arena looking to continue its winning ways after Saturdays 72-70 win over the Washington State Cougars in Pullman.
The win over the Cougars got the Huskies back on the winning side after their lone Pac-12 Conference at Arizona State. The Huskies have six games left before the Pac-12 Conference tourney and the Conference-leading Huskies will play four of the six at home.
Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins is looking for a strong finish from his senior-laden team and is looking for the home crowd to play a pivotal roll in his team finishing strong heading into the Conference Tourney.
The Huskies are week three games ahead of second-place Oregon State (8-4) in the Pac-12 standings and are 3.5 games ahead of both Arizona State and Utah (8-5).
UW is averaging 71.7 points per game, which ranks just 10th in the league, but UW’s defense is yielding just 64.7 points to opposing teams and that is good enough for second in the Pac-12.
The Huskies are giving up a league-leading 62.8 points to teams in Pac-12 only play. UW shoots .463 from the field (fifth in the Pac-12), .350 from three-point range (fourth), and .707 from the free throw line (seventh). The Huskies rank 11th in the Pac-12 in assists (12.0), but are tops in the conference in both blocks (5.8) and steals (8.9).
Jaylen Nowell leads UW in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game, which is good enough for sixth in the Pac-12. Noah Dickerson (13.0 ppg) and David Crisp (12.2 ppg) follow as the other two Huskies averaging double-digit scoring efforts on the season. Dickerson also leads the team with 6.8 rebounds on the season. Matisse Thybulle leads the team defensively with a Pac-12 best 3.4 steals per game. His 84 total steals on the season is 45 more than the next Pac-12 player (39 steals).
UTAH GAME NOTES
Utah had its three-game winning streak come to an end this past Saturday, falling 98-87 to Arizona State at the Huntsman Center. The Utes trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half and just never recovered on the way to the home defeat.
ASU was led by Rob Edwards’ season-high 28 points and Zylan Cheatham registered a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Four of ASU’s starters scored in double-figures as Luguentz Dort totaled 17 points and Remy Martin chipped in with 16 points on the evening.
Parker Van Dyke scored 15 points in the first half, but was limited to just two points over the next 20 minutes to finish with 17 points. He was tied with Sedrick Barefield’s 17-point effort for a team-high on the night. It marked the second-straight game that Van Dyke led or tied for the team lead in points.
Utah shot just under 54 percent for the game, but yielded a 54 percent shooting effort to the Sun Devils. ASU converted 20-of-24 (.833) from the free throw line, while Utah connected on just 23-of-36 (.639) from the stripe.