UCLA Looks To Snap Four-game Road Skid Against Washington
Dec. 20, 2001
UCLA looks for its first victory at Washington in four years as the teamsmeet Thursday night in the Pac-10 opener for both schools.
UCLA's skid in Washington matches the Bruins' longest road losing streakagainst a Pac-10 opponent since losing six straight times to Oregon State inCorvallis between 1980-85.
The contest is the earliest conference clash for both schools since 1989.Each Pac-10 team will play a pair of league games before Jan. 1 toaccommodate the conference postseason tournament, which will be held March7-9.
The 19th-ranked Bruins (5-2) prepared for their conference slate withSaturday's 75-74 win over UC Irvine. Jerry Green led UCLA with 27 points andStanislav Zuzak added a career-high 22.
However, Bruins coach Steve Lavin knows a non-conference tuneup is muchdifferent from a conference clash.
'Obviously the Pac-10 presents a big, big challenge when you go on theroad,' Lavin said. 'There are some very difficult, hostile environments toplay in. We've lost four consecutive years at Washington. Our playersunderstand what it takes to win.'
UCLA's last win in Seattle was in 1997 when they downed Washington, 87-85.
The Bruins will welcome back Matt Barnes as they aim for that first win inSeattle. The senior forward, leading the Bruins with 6.7 rebounds per game,re-aggravated his left ankle injury in practice last Thursday and missed thewin over UC Irvine.
Barnes' presence will take some pressure off Jason Kapono, who leads theBruins with 22.0 points per game. UCLA is averaging 75.7 points per game asthe Bruins hitting 47.0 percent of their shots from the field, including43.8 percent from 3-point range.
Washington has lost two of three games, capped by a 67-47 defeat by Gonzagaon Dec. 11. Senior forward Doug Wrenn leads the Huskies with 16.6 points pergame, while senior center David Dixon is averaging 8.7 rebounds per game.