Washington basketball takes on two state rivals this week. They go against #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs on the road in Spokane on Wednesday, December 5 then return home to take on city rival Seattle University Redhawks.
Washington basketball won big last Tuesday against another state rival in the Eastern Washington Eagles 83-59 at home. The Huskies were led in scoring by Dominic Green with 25 points. This was his first start of the season. He started in place of Noah Dickerson who was sick. Dickerson did play for 11 minutes in the second half scoring seven points.
Senior starting guard David Crisp was second in scoring with 14 points followed by reserve forward Nahziah Carter with 11 points. Jaylen Nowell, leading scorer for the Huskies on the season, had eight points, however, he was the primary playmaker in the game having seven assists and led the Huskies with nine rebounds.
On Sunday, the Huskies narrowly beat the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 67-63. They were led by power forward Noah Dickerson with 22 points and 8 rebounds. He is second leading scorer on the season averaging 17.3 points per game. Jaylen Nowell having key free throws at the end of the game had 17 points, 5 assists and four rebounds.
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The Huskies to beat the Gonzaga on Wednesday they will need to have Nowell, Dickerson, Green, Crisp, Carter and Matisse Thybulle last year’s Pac-12 defensive player of the year at the top of their game.
The Zags are 8-0. They are ranked No. 1 in the country after beating Duke in the Maui Invitational championship game on Wednesday 89-87.
All five of their starters scored in double digits. Following Hachimura and Clark were guards Corey Kispert with 15, Zach Norvell at 15 and Josh Perkins with 10. Reserve forward Filip Petrusev, who played only 18 minutes, led the players off the bench with 11 points. The bench altogether had 24 points total in the game.
On Saturday, the Zags beat the Creighton Blue Jays on the road 103-92. All the starters played over 30 minutes in the game. Zach Norvell Jr. led the Zags with 28 points, followed Brandon Clarke with 27. Rui Hachimura had 22 points along with 11 rebounds in the game.
Last year’s game between Gonzaga and Washington was in Seattle. The Bulldogs beat the Huskies 97-70. Of the returning players, Zach Novell Jr had 21 points. Also, Josh Perkins had 14 along with Rui Hachimura coming off the bench with 11 points.
It will be important for the Huskies to play their best game of the season to have any chance against the Bulldogs. They will have to get off to a fast start and limit Gonzaga at shot attempts.
The Seattle Redhawks are nothing like Gonzaga, however, being a city rival team the Huskies will have to play a good game to win. At least the Huskies will have three days off after the Gonzaga game in whatever way the game turns out.
The Redhawks have a record right now of 8-2 coming into this week. They will be playing Omaha on their home court on Thursday before facing the Huskies on Sunday.
They have played teams on different levels of basketball. They beat Northwest College an in-state rival along with Eastern Washington. Against Northwest College they won 107-72 and 88-68 against Eastern Washington who the Huskies beat as well.
Early on in their schedule, they played two other Pac-12 teams as well. They lost their opener at Stanford 96-74. After two wins at home against state rival Puget Sound 95-67 and Bryant University 82-59 they played the Washington State Cougars at home where they won as well 78-69. So they will give the Huskies a good run for their money.
The Redhawks offense is averaging 82.9 points a game on the season while giving up 69.7 points a game. All five of their starters are averaging in double figures.
They are led in scoring by junior guard Morgan Means with an average of 16.6 points a game. He is a very good 3-point shooter making 23 out of 46 attempts for 50%. He is followed by redshirt junior forward Myles Carter a transfer from Seton Hall at an average of 14.7 points a game.
Carter leads the Redhawks in rebounds with an average of 8.2 per game. He is the team’s primary shot blocker, having 32 of their 45 blocks on the season so far. He and Aaron Menzies will make the inside game difficult for the Huskies to stop.
Last year the Huskies beat the Redhawks on November 24 89-84. Jaylen Nowell led the Huskies in the game with 25 points while Matisse Thybulle had 18 points and David Crisp with 16. Noah Dickerson had only nine points because he played 20 minutes with three personal fouls.
The Redhawks were led in scoring in last year’s game by junior guard Matej Kavas with 25 points. Junior center Aaron Menzies was second in scoring with 17 points along with 13 rebounds.
The Huskies will have to look to find a way to stop both Menzies and Carter inside while trying to stop Kavas on the outside. He made 5 3-pointers out of 10 attempts in last year’s game. Menzies made 7 out of 12 field goals and 7 of his 13 rebounds were on the offensive side. He did foul out in the game though, playing 31 minutes. Carter didn’t play because he was red-shirted.