Streaking Huskies Head To Bay Area
Feb. 9, 2010
SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies (16-7, 6-5) head to the Bay Area riding a four-game win streak and are in search of their first victory away from Bank of America Arena. The Dawgs are 16-1 at home, but 0-6 away from Seattle.
They play Cal (15-8, 7-4) on Thursday at 6:00 pm at Haas Pavilion, before heading to Stanford (10-13, 4-7) for a 5:00 pm contest on Saturday. A win against Cal will propel the Huskies into a first-place tie in the conference standings.
Thursday's game will air to a national audience on ESPN2 with Dave O'Brien calling play-by-play and Steve Lavin providing color analysis. The ISP Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game with Bob Rondeau supplying the play-by-play and Jason Hamilton providing color commentary. In addition XM channel 194 and Sirius 214 will carry the UW-Cal game. Live Gamertracker is available for free and audio is available by paid subscription on the Dawg Channel All-Access on GoHuskies.com.
California is 15-8 overall, 7-4 Pac-10, and are currently atop the conference standings. High expectations in preseason were hampered by an early injury to senior forward Theo Robertson (14.2 ppg). In his absence, fellow seniors Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle stepped up to lead the Golden Bears. Randle is averaging 19.1 points and 4.7 assists per contest. Christopher is second on the team with 16.3 ppg. The Golden Bears are in first place after winning six of their last nine games. Last weekend, California split against the LA schools, falling to USC 66-63 before beating UCLA 72-58 at Pauley Pavilion. Coach Mike Montgomery is in his second year at California with a 37-19 record. He holds a career record of 584-263 in 27 years of coaching.
UW And California History...
Washington snapped a three-game losing streak against Cal with a 84-69 win on Jan. 16. California leads the all-time series 76-74 and is 47-26 overall in Berkeley. Washington's last win at Cal was an 87-84 win on March 1, 2008 and the UW has won just 2 times in their last 9 visits to Cal. Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar is 7-9 against the Golden Bears as the Husky head coach and 8-10 overall, going 1-1 as coach at St. Louis.
Last Time They Met...
Quincy Pondexter scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half, Isaiah Thomas added 20 and Washington recorded an impressive 84-69 win over Cal on Jan. 16. Thomas and Pondexter were the culprits at the offensive end, but it was Washington's defense that helped them build a 24-point lead in the first half. Washington forced 15 turnovers in the half, held the Bears to just 37 percent shooting and kept leading scorer Jerome Randle scoreless with just two shot attempts and seven turnovers in the first 20 minutes. The result was a 50-31 UW halftime lead that the Bears couldn't overcome. Patrick Christopher led California with 28 points, but was the only one of Cal's top four scorers to reach double figures. Randle, who had a career-best 39 points the previous game at WSU, finished with five points. Jamal Boykin and Theo Robertson were non-factors in the game. Washington forced 22 California turnovers, making up for the 50 times the Huskies sent Cal to the free-throw line. But the fouls served their purpose, displaying the Huskies' aggressive, physical tone on defense, something missing in the previous weeks. The aggressive defense kept Cal's offense from ever getting started. Christopher scored 17 in the first half, but no other Bears player had more than four.
Did You Know?...
Since the Pac-10 formed in 1978-79, Washington has beat California twice in the same season just five times? The last time they accomplished that feat was in 2005 and prior to that it was 1999. The other years Washington won twice against the Bears were 1980, 1984 and 1985.
Pondexter Makes Pac-10 Player Of The Week History
Quincy Pondexter joined an illustrious group on Feb. 8 when he was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. He joins joins Oregon State's Gary Payton (1988-89), Arizona's Chris Mills (1992-93), UCLA's Ed O'Bannon (1994-95) and Arizona State's Eddie House (1999-2000) as the only four-time winners in a season. All four of those players went on to win at least a share of the Pac-10 Player of the Year award. Pondexter averaged 23.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in victories over Arizona and Arizona State. Prior to the season, Pondexter had never won the award. He joins Jon Brockman (5) and Brandon Roy (4) as the only Huskies to win the award four times or more in their career. Overall, a UW player has now won 37 times in conference history.
No Holiday For The Opponent
Justin Holiday proved himself as a lock-down defender over the last four games, shutting down some of the top scorers on the West Coast. Comparing the box scores from their home match-up against the Arizona schools to Washington's trip to the desert last month shows Holiday's dominance. In two losses on the road, the Huskies were hurt by forwards Holiday would have guarded had he been with the team. Arizona State forward Rihards Kuksiks scored a career-high 27 points, while Arizona forward Jamelle Horne scored 22 points against Washington in the desert. With Holiday in the lineup last weekend, Kuksiks and Horne combined for just 10 points. In the past four games, opponents that Holiday primarily guarded (Charles Garcia, Klay Thompson, Horne, and Kuksiks) are shooting 29 percent from the field, on 11 of 38 shooting.
Thomas Heading Towards 1,000
Isaiah Thomas is averaging 17.1 ppg (6th best in Pac-10) and has scored in double figures in 19 of 22 games this season. Thomas eclipsed the 900 point mark against Arizona, just his 56th career game, and needed just 50 games to eclipse the 800 point plateau, doing so at Arizona on Jan. 10. He should become the 35th Husky to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau at some point during the season (currently 918 points).
Last Time Out For Washington
Isaiah Thomas responded from being benched the game before to score 17 points, Quincy Pondexter added 17 and resurgent Washington cruised to a 79-56 victory over Arizona State. The Huskies (16-7, 6-5 Pac-10) and Sun Devils (16-8, 6-5) are in a five-way tie for second place in the scrambled conference, one game behind California. Seven games remain in the league's regular season. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar benched Thomas at times in Thursday's win over Arizona for not leading the offense efficiently. Unfazed, last season's Pac-10 freshman of the year ignited a 25-6 run to begin the game as the Huskies avenged a 17-point loss in Tempe last month. Justin Holiday had seven points, 10 rebounds and another game-changing night of defense for Washington, which next plays at Cal on Thursday night. Freshman Demetrius Walker scored 14 points off the bench for the Sun Devils, who looked lethargic while losing for the third time in five games. Matthew Bryan-Amaning finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.