GAME NOTES: The Stanford Cardinal will play host to the Washington Huskies in a Pac-12 Conference clash at Maples Pavilion on Saturday night.
For Washington, this game represents an opportunity to bounce back from an embarrassing road loss (82-56 at California). The setback ended a two-game win streak for the Huskies, who are 11-7 overall and 3-2 in conference. They return home to challenge Oregon next.
Stanford was on the winning side of a lopsided decision earlier in the week, as it obliterated Washington State in an 80-48 final. The victory was the second straight and the third in the last five games for the Cardinal, who are 11-5 overall, including a 2-2 split of their league bouts. They will head south to battle 25th-ranked UCLA next.
Last season, Washington visited Stanford in the only meeting of the year. The Huskies escaped with a 65-60 victory in that contest, their third straight and ninth in the last 10 contests with the Cardinal, who are still clinging to a 70-68 lead in the all-time series.
C.J. Wilcox scored a game-high 18 points, but no other player was in double figures for the Huskies in their recent loss to California. In all, they managed to connect on just 30.2 percent of their shots from the floor, while logging 10 fewer assists than their hosts (22-12).
One of the biggest weaknesses for Washington this season has been its inability to shoot the ball with any degree of efficiency. The Huskies are next-to-last in the league in field goal percentage (.443), despite netting a solid 76.2 ppg. The guard-heavy lineup utilized by head coach Lorenzo Romar has also meant lackluster production on the glass (35.1 rpg). Wilcox (20.3 ppg) is the second-leading scorer in the conference and is normally given more support than he received on Wednesday. Andrew Andrews (12.8 ppg), Nigel Williams-Goss (12.1 ppg, 4.1 apg) and Perris Blackwell (10.3 ppg, 7 rpg) have been consistent double-digit scorers for most of the campaign.
Stanford connected on 57.7 percent of its shots from the floor, while limiting Washington State to 37 percent. Anthony Brown and Josh Huestis each scored 15 points to lead the way, while Dwight Powell tacked on 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
The Cardinal are shooting a far superior 48.9 percent from the floor compared to the effort put forth by the Huskies. They are also limiting foes to just under 70 ppg and 40.7 percent shooting when backed up on defense. Chasson Randle (18.6 ppg) is enjoying a stellar season as the team's leading scorer. He is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring and is hitting 50.5 percent from the floor, 42.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 78.4 percent at the free-throw line. Powell (14 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.2 apg) is a strong performer on the interior with an impressive ability to find open teammates. Anthony Brown (13.8 ppg) and Josh Huestis (10.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2 bpg) can also be counted on in crunch time.
It is unlikely Washington will have such a miserable offensive outing again. However, superior talent up front should allow the home team to prevail.
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