After earning a home split with the Oregon Schools in last week’s homestand the Huskies are hoping to use the upcoming two-game road trip against the Utah Schools as a springboard to get them back in the race for the Pac-12 title. After facing Utah on Thursday the Huskies will complete the two-game road trip with Saturday match up against the Colorado Buffaloes The Huskies (12-7, 2-4) have been stuck in second gear and unable to build any type of momentum little alone a title run. For every one step forward the Huskies have taken two steps back.
After going 0-2 against Stanford (55-61) and California ( 58-61) the Huskies returned home and rebounded with a solid 65 -56 win over Oregon State last Thursday at Alaska Airlines Arena. The feel-good mood was short-lived two days later when the Huskies gave up a 16 point second-half lead and lost to the Oregon Ducks 64-61 in overtime.
The Huskies have 12 conference games left before the start of the Pac-12 Tournament on March 11th. While it’s not mandatory that the Huskies win out their 12 remaining games, there are some must-win games against beatable teams. On Thursday the Huskies will visit a Utah (10-7,1-4) team that is on a four-game losing streak but is 6-1 at home. One thing the Huskies have failed to do is close out games defensively.
POINT GUARD PLAY PIVOTAL
The unexpected loss of Quade Green until the end of Winter due to being academic issues has thrust freshmen Marcus Tsohonis in the point guard role. While he did not start in the loss to the Ducks Tsohonis played 36 minutes at point guard was 6-13 from the field, 2-4 from the three-point arc and finished with 14 points.
If Tsohonis can continue his upward trajectory the Huskies start-studded forward line of Isaiah Stewart, Nahziah Carter, Jaden McDaniels and Hameir Wright could have success against a smaller Utah team.
Over the last two games, the Huskies swatted 19 blocks and added 10 steals for a total of 29 takeaways
• The Huskies are currently fourth in the country in blocks with 6.7 per game … UW led the nation in blocks a year ago
• UW is averaging 13.8 takeaways (blocks and steals) this season, which is the most combined average by any team in the Pac-12.
• The freshmen guard combo of Marcus Tsohonis and RaeQuan Battle who had each played an average of less than six minutes per game prior to Oregon State, combined for 42 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and
just five turnovers in a combined 102 minutes of action …. the two had played 56 combined minutes prior to the weekend
• Isaiah Stewart recorded his fifth 20/10 double-double of the season against No. 8 Oregon as he pulled down a career-best 19 points and added 25 rebounds … the last player to have five 20/10 dub-dubs in a season was
Matthew Bryan-Amaning who had six in 2010-11
• Stewart leads the Pac-12 with nine double-doubles and his five 20/10’s are tied for the most in the league with Onyeka Okongwu (USC) … additionally his nine double-doubles are the second most by a freshman in the NCAA
• Stewart is the only freshman in the country averaging 18 points and nine rebounds per game … additionally he is the second leading freshman scorer in the NCAA averaging 18.3 points per game
• UW is ninth nationally in field goal percentage defense holding teams to 37.1 percent per outing which also leads the Pac-12