GAME NOTES: Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans is the site of Tuesday's non- conference matchup between the Washington Huskies and the Tulane Green Wave.
This is just the second true road test for the Huskies, who lost their first such encounter against San Diego State (70-63) on Dec. 8. Washington bounced back from that setback with an 85-66 defeat of Idaho State last time out to improve to 5-4 overall. The team begins a three-game homestand this weekend against No. 9 Connecticut.
Tulane put an end to a five-game slide the last time out, as it defeated Jackson State, 70-65, in the first leg of the four-game homestand. The Green Wave is an even 5-5 and will take on Alabama State next.
This bout marks the first meeting between Washington and Tulane in men's basketball.
Perris Blackwell led four players in double figures with 20 points, as Washington got over on Idaho State. The Huskies sank 55.2 percent of their shots from the floor, and outscored the Bengals by a 30-6 count from 3-point range.
Clearly offense has not been a weakness for the Huskies, who are scoring 81.9 points per game despite shooting a rather pedestrian 43.9 percent from the floor. Where the team has continually come up short is on defense, as foes are generating 82.1 points per game while connecting on 50.4 percent of their field goal attempts. C.J. Wilcox (21.6 ppg) is the leading scorer and surprisingly for a guard, leads the way in blocked shots (1.3 pg). Wilcox is a skilled shooter from 3-point distance as well, draining 5-of-9 long-range shots en route to 19 points against Idaho State. Andrew Andrews (13.2 ppg), Blackwell (13 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Nigel Williams-Goss (13 ppg, 5 apg) are all important contributors as well.
Jay Hook was on fire against Jackson State, as the 6-foot-3 guard sank a school record 8-of-11 shots from 3-point range to finish with a career-high 31 points. As a team, Tulane scored 33 points from downtown while getting only 12 in the paint.
Just like Washington, Tulane has struggled to make enough stops at the defensive end to remain competitive. The Green Wave are surrendering 75.2 points per game and a 48.6 percent success rate on opponent field goal attempts. Tulane is shooting at only a 429 percent clip itself due primarily to a lack of ball movement. The Green Wave are only assisting on 8.9 field goals per game. Louis Dabney (20.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg) is normally the top scoring option, but Hook (17.5 ppg, 7 rpg) and Jonathan Stark (17.1 ppg, 4.4 apg) are more than capable of lighting it up as well. Depth is an issue for the Green Wave, with Trevante Drye (6 ppg, 7.5 rpg) the only other player scoring more than four points per game.
Neither team is especially deep so this contest will come down to which starting lineup can stay the freshest. A long trip for the Huskies may slow them down some, but their more balanced attack should win out.
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