By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000) -- Seattle, Washington.
Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Oregon 15-1, Washington 8-5. Away Record:
Oregon 4-3, Washington 4-5. Neutral Record: Oregon 0-1, Washington 1-1.
Conference Record: Oregon 8-3, Washington 5-6. Series Record: Washington
GAME NOTES: Long time conference foes Oregon and Washington meet up once again
on Wednesday when the 23rd-ranked Ducks head to Alaska Airlines Arena for a
Pac-12 bout with the Huskies.
Oregon had been slowed in a season-long three-game losing streak before
earning a 73-64 victory against Utah on Saturday. The win allowed the Ducks to
hang on to their national ranking, although they did drop from No. 19 to No.
23 this week. Oregon is 19-5 overall and within range of its third-straight
season of least 20 wins. The Ducks three-game losing streak has relegated them
to a tie for the top spot in the conference standings with No. 9 Arizona and
UCLA at 8-3. Oregon remains in the Evergreen State for its next bout against
Washington would need quite an effort to get to 20 wins this season after
back-to-back losses and setbacks in six of its last seven games leave the
Huskies at 13-11 overall with seven regular seasons games left on the docket.
Washington is just 5-6 in conference action after starting out 4-0. At Alaska
Airlines Arena the Huskies haven't exactly been dominant (8-5) but they will
be back there on Saturday against Oregon State.
In 293 previous meetings Washington has been the dominant team of this rivalry
with 187 wins against Oregon. The Ducks earned a win in the first meeting this
season, 81-76 and have won two of the last three matchups.
Led by 21 points from E.J. Singler, Oregon was able to overcome a tough night
shooting the ball to top Utah. The Ducks hit just 39.6 percent of their shots
from the floor but had a 41-19 edge in rebounds and outscored the Utes 27-11
from the free-throw line.
Singler (11.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg) has really begun to take the lead for the Ducks
who are still missing an important contributor in Dominic Artis (10.2 ppg),
out with a foot injury. Singler has scored at least 14 points in four of the
last six games and has risen to a tie with Damyean Dotson (11.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
for the team lead in scoring. Dotson has struggled since the loss of his
backcourt running mate with his 16 points against Utah breaking a streak of
four games below double figures. Tony Woods (10.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Arsalan
Kazemi (8.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg) haven't been asked to be big scorers but have
contributed well in the frontcourt nonetheless. In all, Oregon is shooting a
solid 45.3 percent from the field while netting 72.9 points per game. The
Ducks also boast a +10.1 scoring margin and lead the conference in rebounds
Washington trailed by as many as 19 points and never got any closer than five
in the second half in its loss to USC. The Huskies shot 44.1 percent for the
game but failed to do much at the free-throw line, where they got four points
on a total of 14 attempts.
Perhaps more alarming than the loss was the struggles of C.J. Wilcox who
managed only eight points against USC. The Huskies can't hope to put together
many wins if the 6-foot-5 guard struggles, as he is the fifth best scorer in
the Pac-12 (17.7 ppg). Teaming with Wilcox in the backcourt is 3-point
specialist Scott Suggs (12.0 ppg) and point-man Abdul Gaddy (11.2 ppg, 4.0
apg). Neither have the same ability to take games over like Wilcox. Aziz
N'Diaye (10.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg) is nearly averaging a double-double for the
Huskies who are rather shallow up front. The Huskies are just eighth in the
conference in scoring (68.9 ppg), while placing ninth in field-goal percentage
(.441) and rebounds (36.4 pg).
If Singler can keep playing at a high level and the Ducks can put their
struggles behind them they should be able to get back on track with a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 73, Washington 70