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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 15, 11 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Haas Pavilion (11,877) -- Berkeley, California. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: UW 9-2, Cal 8-0. Away Record: UW 2-2, Cal 3-2. Neutral Record: UW 0-2, Cal 1-2. Conference Record: UW 3-1, Cal 3-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 78-78.
GAME NOTES: Fresh off a pair of upset victories at home, the Washington Huskies will try to capture one on the road when they visit the California Golden Bears in a Pac-12 Conference clash at Haas Pavilion.
The Huskies welcomed then 15th-ranked Colorado to town on Sunday and, helped by the Buffaloes' loss of leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie, posted a 71-54 win. The victory came on the heels of a 59-57 verdict over Utah and was the fifth in the last six games for the team. Washington is now 11-6 overall and 3-1 in league action. A visit to Stanford is next on the schedule.
California is also rolling of late, with wins in four straight games. The most recent victory was an 88-83 triumph at Oregon State after the Golden Bears defeated nationally-ranked Oregon in Eugene, 96-83, a couple of nights prior. They are now 12-4 overall and a perfect 3-0 against the rest of the Pac-12. Cal, which is also 8-0 at home, will host Washington State next.
Over the past few seasons, Washington has had the upper hand in the series with California, winning four of the last five meetings, including a 62-47 victory in the only matchup last season.
Although not having Dinwiddie certainly hurt the Buffaloes, Washington earned its win over Colorado. C.J. Wilcox was the star of the game, as he scored a career-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including a 7-of-12 effort from beyond the arc. The Huskies scored 29 points off 20 CU turnovers in the win.
Wilcox (20.5 ppg) is one of the top scorers in the conference, ranking second behind Robert Nelson of Oregon State. The 6-foot-5 guard has reached double figures in every game this season, and is connecting on 43.4 percent of his shots from beyond the arc and 88.6 percent at the free-throw line. Wilcox is joined by three others in double figures. Tops among them is Andrew Andrews (13.2 pg), who needs work in his overall efficiency (.390 field goal percentage). Nigel Williams-Goss (12.4 ppg, 3.9 apg) and Perris Blackwell (10.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg) are also reliable options, but the team suffers from a lack of depth.
Justin Cobbs nearly had a double-double with 20 points and nine assists to carry California past Oregon State. Cobbs was joined by four others in double figures, as the Golden Bears shot 51.7 percent from the floor and committed only five turnovers.
There is a nice balance at the offensive end of the court most nights for Cal, which features five players averaging in double figures. However, Jabari Bird (11.3 ppg) has missed the last four games with a sprained ankle. He is out for this contest as well. That puts more pressure on Cobbs (15.1 ppg, 6.4 apg), who is more than capable of leading the way. He isn't just a scorer, getting his teammates involved by ranking second in the Pac-12 in assists. Tyrone Wallace (11.8 ppg) teams with Cobbs in the backcourt, while Richard Solomon (12.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg), who leads the conference in rebounds, and David Kravish (11.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg) shore up the frontcourt.
Even though the Golden Bears are without Bird, Jordan Mathews has filled in nicely as a scorer off the bench. However, that does nothing to address Washington's weakness up front, which will be a real problem against the combination of Solomon and Kravish.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 75, Washington 70
01/15 10:35:41 ET
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