FACTS & STATS: Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena (16,800) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: Pac-12 Networks. Home Record: Washington State 10-7, Washington 11-7. Away Record: Washington State 1-9, Washington 5-6. Neutral Record: Washington State 2-2, Washington 1-1. Conference Record: Washington State 4-14, Washington 9-9. Series Record: Washington leads, 176-100.
GAME NOTES: The Washington Huskies hope to become the second sixth-seed to win the Pac-12 Tournament in a row as they take on their intrastate rival Washington State Cougars in the first round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Huskies had their three-game winning streak snapped in their regular- season finale as they dropped a 61-54 decision to UCLA at home. Washington battled its way to a 17-14 overall record and a 9-9 split of their league contests. During a brutal stretch from mid- January to mid-February the Huskies lost seven of eight contests but they recovered with wins in four of their last six games.
In the loss to UCLA, Scott Suggs scored 14 points and Shawn Kemp Jr. added 10 for the Huskies. C.J. Wilcox, who paces the team with 16.8 ppg, went just 3- of-13 from the field and 2-of-8 from beyond the arc en route to eight points. Abdul Gaddy also tallied just eight points while Aziz N'Diaye pulled down 10 boards and blocked a pair of shots. Washington was guilty of 19 turnovers and shot only 41.1 percent from the floor in the setback. The Huskies will need to up their performance on both ends of the court to make a run at the tourney title as they rank ninth in the Pac-12 in both scoring offense (67.4) and scoring defense (66.2).
Washington holds a 176-100 advantage over their cross-state rivals, with a record of 101-35 at home, 73-62 away and 2-3 at neutral sites. This season, the Huskies earned their fourth sweep in the last five years and their sixth overall in 11 seasons under Lorenzo Romar.
The Cougars ended a nine-game losing slide just in time for the postseason. Washington State first upset UCLA,73-61, before closing its season with a 76-51 rout of USC. Brock Motum (18.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg) was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week as he extended his streak of double-digit finishes to 30-straight games. Coach Ken Bone's squad is 2-2 in neutral games on the season.
Motum was the clear go-to-guy for the Cougars, but he began to receive some help down the stretch. Royce Woolridge (10.9 ppg) poured in 36 points against Oregon this season, while D.J. Shelton made an impact with 6.2 rebounds per conference tilt. In WSU's regular-season ending win over USC, Motum spearheaded the charge with a game-high 31 points and 10 rebounds. Woolridge added 25 points for the Cougars, while Dexter Kernich-Drew chipped in with 11 points. WSU finished the night with a 45-34 rebounding edge. Both teams took good care of the ball, with the Cougars turning it over a stingy five times and the Trojans just 10.
WSU will be a tough matchup for anybody if Motum registers monster double- doubles like he did against USC. The Cougars are due for a win over Washington, which looked lost in its last appearance despite being at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington State 71, Washington 69
03/13 11:11:44 ET