Washington (13-9) at UCLA (16-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pauley Pavilion (13,800) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Washington 8-5. UCLA 11-3. Away Record: Washington 4-3, UCLA 3-1. Neutral Record: Washington 1-1, UCLA 2-2. Conference Record: Washington 5-4, UCLA 6-3. Series Record: UCLA leads, 90-42.
GAMES NOTES: The UCLA Bruins will play the second contest of a three-game homestand with hopes of a better result when they host the Washington Huskies in Pac-12 action at Pauley Pavilion.
The Huskies had been struggling with a four-game losing streak before an impressive 96-92 win against Arizona State last Saturday. The victory pushed the Huskies back above .500 in conference play (5-4) while improving their overall record to 13-9. Washington has lost its last two road contests and is 4-3 in its seven away games on the campaign. Washington will remain in Los Angeles to take on USC next.
After an 11-game winning streak seemingly had the Bruins back in the national mix. UCLA has stumbled of late with losses in three of the last four games. UCLA's most recent setback was a 75-71 overtime disappointment against cross- town rival USC in the first of this three-game homestand. UCLA still has a strong 11-3 record at home this season while managing a 16-6 overall record. The Bruins are in a tie for third place with Arizona State in league play at 6-3.
UCLA ended a four-game winning streak for Washington in the series with a 75-69 win last season. The streak was the second-longest ever for the Huskies against the Bruins. UCLA leads the all-time series 90-42.
Aziz N'Diaye and C.J. Wilcox came up big in crunch time in the Huskies' win over the Sun Devils. N'Diaye broke an 89-89 tie with 35 seconds left with three-point play in the paint and then got a critical block with six seconds remaining, while Wilcox nailed four free throws in the last 20 seconds.
The 96 points UW put up and the 92 points the team allowed were each season highs. On the year the Huskies are allowing 69.9 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting. Wilcox (18.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg) has been the unquestioned go-to scorer for the Huskies as well as the fifth best scorer in the conference overall. Aiding Wilcox in the backcourt are 3-point marksman Scott Suggs (12.2 ppg) and top facilitator Abdul Gaddy (11.1 ppg, 3.8 apg). N'Diaye (10.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg) mans the frontcourt as a consistent double-double threat.
Despite rallying from a 15-point deficit in the second half, UCLA was able to take a lead just twice after the 6:50 mark in first half in the loss to USC. After a Jordan Adam's jumper forced the extra session the Bruins allowed the Trojans to score the last five points in overtime while UCLA missed its last three field goal attempts.
Star freshman Shabazz Muhammad (18.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg) continued to fill it up at an exceptional rate in the contest. The second-leading scorer in the Pac-12, Muhammad dropped in 22 points, marking the sixth straight game he has been in double figures and the third time in the last five games he has gone over 20. Adams (15.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg) has been a more than capable second option, while Travis Wear (12.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg) has added double-figure scoring while being the team's top rebounder. Kyle Anderson (9.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 3.6 apg) has contributed across the board and Larry Drew II ( 6.3 ppg, 8.0 apg) may be the best pure passing point guard in the Pac-12.
Both of these teams rely heavily on their talented starting five. UCLA has begun to struggle in recent weeks but Muhammad's scoring dominance should outweigh Wilcox in this matchup and get the Bruins back in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCLA 76, Washington 71
02/07 10:38:07 ET