The Washington basketball team come home to face Utah and Colorado. The Huskies face the Utes on Wednesday night, and Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.
Washington basketball returns home after winning two out of three games on the road. The loss came to Arizona State, the first of the Huskies Pac-12 season. This last Saturday, Washington narrowly beat the Washington State Cougars, 72-70.
The Washington men’s team beat both Utah and Colorado early on in the Pac-12 schedule. After finding success at home in the non-conference schedule, the Huskies completed their first road sweep in six seasons.
On January 10, they beat Utah 69-53, followed by a 77-70 victory in Boulder two days later. Washington ripped off five straight road victories before losing to Arizona State.
Washington basketball now has a record of 11-1 in Pac-12 play with an overall record of 20-5. This is now the second year under head coach Mike Hopkins winning 20 games. Last year, Hopkins earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year in his first season at Washington.
In the previous outing against Utah, the Huskies were led by Nahziah Carter coming off the bench with 18 points. He has been an asset all year long for the Huskies. David Crisp, who has been playing ball very well throughout the Pac-12 play, had 17. Noah Dickerson, the Huskies overall second-leading scorer on the team, had 13.
The team found success despite a night of low point production from leading scorer, Jaylen Nowell. Nowell had only six points in the game, but he added a team-high 12 rebounds along with five assists.
Jaylen Nowell rebounded against Colorado in their first outing scoring 19 points with five assists. David Crisp had a good game scoring 16 points.
For the Huskies to repeat their success over the mountain schools, Nowell will need to be the scorer we’ve come to expect from him and not lean on secondary scoring from the bench as he did with Utah.
In their first meeting against the Huskies, the Utah Utes leading scorer guard Sedrick Barefield was held to six points. Barefield averages 16.2 a game. Freshmen forward Timmy Allen was held well below his scoring average as well, ending with seven points.
Utah was beaten on Saturday by Arizona State at home 98-87. This puts the Utes in third place tied with Arizona State at 8-5. With tournament implications on the line, Utah will be desperate for a victory over top-seeded Washington to stay in the hunt.
Colorado is a game behind Utah at 7-6 in conference, just outside of top four first-round bye conversation.
The Buffaloes leading scorer McKinley Wright IV didn’t play much the last time Washington faced Colorado due to a shoulder injury early in the game. He missed the following game against Utah, but has been playing his best basketball since. Against Arizona State, he scored 24 points. He then scored 14 against Arizona the following game. The Huskies will need to limit his scoring to win.
Sophomore guard D’Shawn Schwartz had a big outing against the Huskies to make up for the loss of Wright. He had 22 points including making four out of five behind the three point line. Another sophomore guard Tyler Bey had 15 points against Washington.
Both Utah and Colorado are heading to the Pacific Northwest on hot streaks. Utah has won their last four games on the road while Colorado have a five game win streak, including beating USC and UCLA on the road. Washington will need to play to the peak of their abilities for the hope of a one-loss season to stay alive.