Washington basketball is on the road this week to take on the Cal Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal.
Washington basketball needs to win one of the two games to be crowned Pac-12 champions. The last time the Huskies won the league championship was the 2011-12 season. They won league tournament the two years before that though they didn’t win the championship. The last time in the NCAA tournament was 2011 losing in the second round to North Carolina 86-83.
Washington’s current record is 13-1 in conference and 22-5 overall. The Huskies have won three games in a row after losing to Arizona State on the road. This week, the Huskies entered the national rankings for the first time this season at 25th in the country.
The Huskies won the first meeting against Cal 71-52 at Hec Ed and were led in scoring by Dominic Green with 17 off the bench.
California Golden Bears are the last place in the Pac-12. They haven’t won a conference game, for a record of 0-15 in conference and 5-22 overall.
Justice Sueing, the Golden Bears’ leading scorer on the season, averaging 14.9 points per game had a tough time against the Huskies with 8 points, and he shot 2/11 from the field. Credit to the Husky defense for holding Sueing to that number, especially Matisse Thybulle, who is 20 steals away from passing Gary Payton for the all-time Pac-12 lead.
In Washington’s first game against Stanford, they handled the Cardinal 80-64. Jaylen Nowell had one of his best games on the season leading the Huskies with 22 points.
Green had a good game off the bench against the Cardinal. He scored 11 points while Nahziah Carter had 13 points in the first matchup, and both Green and Carter could be key players at Stanford on Sunday.
For Stanford to win they’ll need another good game from KZ Okpala. The sophomore forward scored 22 points against the Huskies in the first game.
Senior center Josh Sharma was a big factor in the first matchup, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds. The Cardinal will need to get the ball to Sharma early and often to try and force Noah Dickerson to commit some early fouls. The Huskies work better when they have the presence of Dickerson in the game, even though junior Sam Timmins has made leaps and bounds off the bench this season.
Both Cal and Stanford will be up for these games, who doesn’t want to knock off the best team in the conference?