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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 14, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000) -- Seattle, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Idaho State 2-0, Washington 4-2. Away Record: Idaho State 1-3, Washington 0-1. Neutral Record: Idaho State 0-0, Washington 0-1. Conference Record: Idaho State 0-0, Washington 0-0. Series Record: Washington leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: Two teams with their sights set on getting above the .500 mark will square off on Saturday, as the Idaho State Bengals meet the Washington Huskies in non-conference action at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Idaho State hasn't been consistent in either direction this season as it has traded wins and losses over its first six games. The most recent result was a loss to Utah (74-66) that came in the first part of a three-game road trip that continues on Saturday and finishes next Thursday at rival Idaho.
For Washington, the season has been just as pedestrian, with the Huskies sitting at an even 4-4 entering play. Washington lost in its first true road test last time out against No. 25 San Diego State (70-63). That loss ended a short two-game win streak for Washington, which is 4-2 on its home floor. Washington heads to Tulane for its next bout.
In four all-time meetings between these squads, Washington has come out on top each time. The most recent triumph was an 82-50 rout during the 2007-08 season.
Idaho State led by as many as 15 points in the first half against Utah but failed to find much success over the final 20 minutes. In the second half of the contest the Bengals allowed the Utes to knock down 66.7 percent of their field goal tries, including 7-of-10 from beyond the arc. The Bengals made good on only 34.5 percent of their field goal tries in the frame.
To the surprise of many, the Bengals have actually been scoring rather well this season. Idaho State is netting 77.3 points per game and shooting at a 46-percent clip from the field. It is quite a marked improvement over their efforts from the year ago (57 ppg, .470). Leading the way is Tomas Sanchez (16.2 ppg, 4.7 apg), who pacing the team with both his scoring and passing. Sanchez finished with 19 points and five assists against Utah for his fourth straight game of at least 14 points and five assists. Chris Hansen (15.7 ppg) is on the end of a number of those assists, while Andre Hatchett (13.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Jeffrey Solarin (10.3 ppg) also chip in for a team that doesn't get much from its reserves.
Turnovers sank any upset hopes for Washington against San Diego State. The Huskies turned the ball over twice as many times as the Aztecs (16-8) while being on the short end of a 15-7 difference in points off turnovers. The Huskies also did themselves no favors by netting only 38.6 percent of their shots from the field.
It would stand to reason that a team like Washington, that is scoring 81.5 points per game, would be able to find ways to win more often. That has not been the case for the Huskies, who are allowing 84.1 points per game on 50.8 percent shooting. C.J. Wilcox (21.9 ppg) has done all he can to shoot the Huskies into contention as the team's leading scorer. Wilcox knocked down 7- of-15 shots from the field and finished with a team-high 17 points against San Diego State. Nigel Williams-Goss (13 ppg, 5 apg) is turning in an impressive freshman campaign in the paint, while Andrew Andrews (12.8 ppg), Perris Blackwell (12 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Mike Anderson (10 ppg, 7.9 rpg) account for the bulk of the remaining production, as Washington also relies on a limited rotation.
At times the Huskies can just be out-gunned due to the lack of depth. That won't be a problem against Idaho State. Expect the Huskies' more versatile athletes to overpower the Bengals and produce a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington 78, Idaho State 67
12/14 10:43:02 ET
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