The Washington Basketball team travels to take on Utah Utes on the road Thursday, January 10. This will be the second game of the Pac-12 schedule for the Huskies. They won their Pac-12 opener last Saturday night at home 85-67 against the Washington State Cougars.
The game between the Washington basketball and the Cougars was much closer than the score indicates especially in the first half. Unlike some of their previous games, the Huskies got off to a good start though the Cougars kept pretty well even. The Huskies did get out to a 34-19 lead, but the Cougars went on a 13-2 to get within 36-34. The Huskies picked it back up, and the half ended at 43-38.
In the second half, the Cougars took a lead of 46-45, however, the Huskies went on a 12-3 run making 57-49 at the 13:10 mark left in the game. After that, the Cougars were only able to get within ten points twice 61-51 and 69-59. At the 3:57 time left in the game the Huskies were ahead 77-65 however they outscore the Cougars 8-2 to end the game at 85-67.
The Huskies were led in scoring by senior guard David Crisp with 23 points. It was his best game of the season. Sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell, the leading scorer for the Huskies this season, had 20 points. Senior guard Matisse Thybulle had 17 points; he had a perfect night offensively going 4-4 on the field, 3-3 from the 3 point line plus 6-6 shooting at the free throw line.
Senior forward Noah Dickerson the Huskies second leading with 16 points a game had a poor night only having 4 points along with one rebound. For the Huskies to have a successful Pac-12 season Dickerson will need to play better along with Crisp and Thybulle have a game like this one.
Going into Utah the Huskies are 10-4 with a 1-0 record in conference play. The Huskies have an 8-0 record at home, and are 2-4 on the road or at neutral sites. For them to expect to make the NCAA tournament in March they must do better on the road while continuing well at home.
The Utes started the Pac-12 schedule splitting the games on the road in Arizona, a tough place to play. They upset then 17th ranked Arizona State 96-86, then lost a close one to the always tough Arizona 84-81 in overtime.
If the Utes continue playing that kind of basketball, it will be tough for all the teams in the Pac-12 to face them. The Utes have a record of 7-7 going into the game against the Huskies, and they’re 5-1 at home.
The Utes were led in scoring by senior guard Sedrick Barefield in both games, scoring 24 points against Arizona State and getting 26 against Arizona. He’s averaging 16.4 points per game on the season.
Another player to watch is sophomore forward Donnie Tillman, who had 22 points against Arizona State and 21 against Arizona. His season average is 11.6 per game. For the Huskies to beat the Utes they will need to keep both Barefield and Tillman closer to their averages.