Hartford (5-8) at Washington (7-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 29, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000) -- Seattle, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Hartford 3-1, Washington 6-2. Away Record: Hartford 2-4, Washington 1-1. Neutral Record: Hartford 0-3, Washington 0-2. Conference Record: Hartford 0-0, Washington 0-0. Series Record: First- ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Washington Huskies close out their non-conference schedule and the 2013 portion of their schedule, as they welcome the Hartford Hawks to Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday evening.
Lorenzo Romar's Huskies are two games over .500 at 7-5, thanks to wins in three of their last four games. Washington is coming off a 95-80 win over Mississippi Valley State on Friday, to move to 6-2 at home this season.
John Gallagher's Hawks have struggled to a 5-8 overall mark thus far, However, Hartford has won each of its last two games and three of four overall, following last Sunday's 66-56 win over Saint Peter's. Hartford is 2-4 in true road games this year.
These two teams are meeting for the first time on the hardwood.
The Hawks showed their mettle in overcoming a nine-point second half deficit to post a 10-point win over Saint Peter's last time out. Mark Nwakamma scored 11 of his game-high 15 points after intermission to lead the charge for Hartford. Yolonzo Moore II and Taylor Dyson posted 13 and 11 points, respectively, for Hartford, which shot a solid 50 percent from the floor overall in the win.
The Hawks have played better of late, but have struggled on the year and currently own a -4.7 scoring margin, averaging 65.8 ppg, while allowing 70.5. Nwakamma has done a little bit of everything for the Hawks this season, shooting a solid .536 from the floor and pacing the team in scoring (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg), while ranking second in assists (2.3 apg). Moore is currently the only other Hawk currently averaging double-figure scoring at 10.7 ppg.
The Huskies used an 18-0 run in the second half to put the game out of reach against Mississippi Valley State on Friday. Nigel Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews led the way with 18 points apiece in the win. The team also received double-doubles from Perris Blackwell (17 pts, 10 rebs) and C.J. Wilcox (15 pts, 10 rebs). Washington shot an impressive 54 percent from the field against the Delta Devils and owned the glass, outrebounding MVSU, 51-29.
Offense has been easy to come by for the Huskies this season, as the team is netting 81.2 ppg on .450 shooting. Defense has been a completely different story, as foes are averaging nearly the same amount of points (80.2 ppg) and doing so on a generous .492 shooting. Four of the five starters are averaging double figures for UW, led by Wilcox's 20.3 ppg. Wilcox is shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range (35-of-87) and nearly 90 percent from the free- throw line (52-of-58). Williams-Goss (12.8 ppg), Andrews (12.6 ppg) and Blackwell (12.5 ppg) add plenty of scoring depth.
The Hawks lack the offensive firepower to match Washington basket-for-basket. Wilcox and company should get off to a fast start and earn a victory here to enter league play with a little bit of momentum.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington 84, Hartford 66
12/29 10:33:41 ET