No. 21 UW Basketball Hoping To Clinch Pac-10 Title
Feb. 27, 2009
SEATTLE - With the opportunity to clinch at least a tie for the Pac-10 regular-season championship, the Washington men's basketball team enters Saturday's showdown against Arizona with a great deal of incentive.
Tomorrow's sold-out 12 noon tipoff against the Wildcats at Bank of America Arena will be televised live in high definition by FSN with Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini calling the action.
Every Husky game is broadcast live on the radio via the Washington ISP Sports Network, which includes Seattle-based flagship station 950 KJR AM, XM Satellite Radio and GoHuskies.com. Veteran analysts Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton provide the description of the games.
The Huskies currently sit in first-place in the league standings with a 12-4 record following their exhausting 73-70 overtime victory last night against 14th-ranked Arizona State. Washington is 21-7 overall and enters tomorrow's game against the Wildcats a game-and-a-half ahead of Arizona State, California and UCLA - which are all tied for second place in the league standings.
With just one week remaining in the regular-season, Washington will have just one league game left on its schedule - a Saturday, March 7 contest against in-state rival Washington State. Every other team in the Pac-10 will have two games remaining after this weekend.
Senior Justin Dentmon has taken over the UW scoring lead. His 15.8 points per game leads four Huskies who are averaging in double-figures. The Carbondale, Ill. native is enjoying his best season as a Husky and has been mentioned as a candidate for league Player of the Year honors. He is among the league leaders in free throw shooting, three-point field goals and steals and is the Pac-10's second-highest scorer in league games.
But, many observers credit the triple-threat defensive effort of Huskies Venoy Overton, Justin Holiday and Darnell Gant with helping lead the UW's resurgence. Gant has started all 28 games for Washington this season, while Overton and Holiday are the only reserves to have seen action in every game this season.
Arizona enters tomorrow's game with an 18-10 overall record and an 8-7 mark in the Pac-10 following its 69-53 loss at Washington State on Thursday night. The Wildcats sit in fifth-place in the league standings and are hoping to finish the season strong and earn consideration for a berth in the post-season.
Under interim coach Russ Pernell, the Wildcats lost six of 10 games during the middle of the season, but has won seven of their last 10 games. The team averages 71.4 points per game and ranks third in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage.
Junior forward Jordan Hill is the league's second-best scorer and rebounder with averages of 17.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. He is also among the league leaders in field goal percentage, blocked shots and minutes played. Teammate Chase Budinger is fourth in scoring with a 17.5 per game average and is among the conference's leaders in steals.
Last month, the Huskies dropped a high-scoring 106-97 decision to the Wildcats in Tucson. Guard Nic Wise scored a career-high 29 points to lead the Wildcats. Arizona made 34 of 40 free throws in the second half, but it was a Zane Johnson three-pointer with 1:40 remaining that helped clinch the victory.
Following tomorrow's game, Washington remains at home for its last non-conference game of the regular season - a Tuesday night game against Seattle University.
Tuesday's game was scheduled last month to replace a Dec. 23 game against Lehigh that was cancelled due to inclement weather. Tickets are available by calling the Husky Ticket Office at (206) 543-2200 or by clicking here.