In a rematch from last years Pac-10 Championship game, the No. 17 Washington Huskies take on the California Golden Bears tonight in California.
Despite shooting a season-low 36.2% from the field, the Washington Huskies had a chance to tie the game with 2.5 seconds left, but Justin Holiday missed two free throws and then misfired on a long jumper as the buzzer sounded. The Huskies led by 11 points with 8:55 left in the game, but couldn’t hold on. A big reason for squandering the lead was the absence of injured point guard Adbul Gaddy, who suffered a torn ACL in his left knee earlier this month. Washington committed 15 turnovers versus the Cardinal and has averaged 12.3 TO per game with Gaddy out. In his final four games, the Huskies only turned the ball over 8.8 times per game.
Leading scorer Isaiah Thomas (15.9 PPG) is handling some of the point-guard duties and has 35 assists to just 10 turnovers in his past four games. Thomas scored 16 points in the Pac-10 title win over Cal last year and has averaged 19.0 PPG in five career meetings. Matthew Bryan-Amaning (14.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG) leads the team in rebounding and Holiday is second with 5.8 RPG while scoring 11.8 PPG. Rebounding has been a big factor for Washington this year, as it is 11-1 when winning the rebound battle and 1-3 when getting outrebounded by its opponent this year.
The California Golden Bears have also done a great job on the boards with a +4.9 RPG margin, including a +7.0 RPG in Pac-10 play. Markhuri Sanders-Frison leads the team with 8.3 RPG and is scoring 10.3 PPG. Three other Bears are also scoring in double-figures -- Harper Kamp (13.4 PPG), Jorge Gutierrez (12.7 PPG) and freshman Allen Crabbe (10.8 PPG), who pumped in a career-high 30 points in Thursday’s 88-81 overtime win over Washington State. Crabbe has assumed more of the scoring load since starter Gary Franklin (8.2 PPG) announced his intentions to transfer to Baylor. In the three games without Franklin, Crabbe is averaging 21.3 PPG (11-of-21 on threes), which is quite an increase from his 8.4 PPG in his first 13 games.
Although Washington has had trouble winning at Haas Pavilion (2-8 SU in past 10 trips), it is clearly the superior offensive team, averaging 86.8 PPG (3rd in nation) on 48.4% FG (21st in D-I). Cal puts up a mere 67.6 PPG (218th in nation) on 43.7% FG (172nd in D-I). Before their cold shooting night against Stanford -- the Pac-10’s best defensive team -- the Huskies averaged 88.0 PPG on 52.5% shooting in their three previous games, all against Pac-10 opponents.
NCAA Basketball trends also like Washington to win and cover on the road.
WASHINGTON is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) when playing only their 2nd game in 8 days this season. The average score was WASHINGTON 90.1, OPPONENT 65.6 - (Rating = 1*).
CALIFORNIA is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) versus teams who average 40 or more rebounds/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CALIFORNIA 67.0, OPPONENT 76.8 - (Rating = 1*).