Jan. 30, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Despite a disappointing loss Thursday night at the University of Arizona, the 23rd-ranked University of Washington men's basketball team will take a determined attitude into Saturday afternoon's Pac-10 game at No. 14 Arizona State.
The Huskies are 15-5 on the season and their 6-2 mark in the Pac-10 is tied with UCLA on the top of the league standings. The Arizona contest was Washington's only road loss in the Pac-10 and was only the team's second road loss of the season.
"We have to learn from our performance last night, move on and focus on getting back on track against a very dangerous Arizona State team," said UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. "ASU was disappointed after their loss to Washington State last night so we are both going to have a little extra incentive tomorrow. We hadn't really had a poor effort for quite a while before last night's Arizona game and I think our guys have the maturity and determination to be able to put it behind them and move on."
Saturday's game is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. (Pacific) tipoff at Wells Fargo Arena on the Arizona State campus. The contest will be televised live by FSN Arizona and FSN Northwest.
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.
Senior Jon Brockman added to his UW rebounding record with his 52nd career double-double at Arizona, which is tops among active players in NCAA Division basketball. The Snohomish, Wash. native scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against the Wildcats. He is averaging 15.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
Senior guard Justin Dentmon is averaging a team-leading 20.0 points per game in the last six contests and scored 23 points at Arizona. The Carbondale, Ill. native is close to entering the school's top-20 scoring charts and is among the all-time leaders in assists, steals and three-point field goals.
Freshman Isaiah Thomas has scored in double-figures in 18 of his 20 college games and continues to lead the team in scoring with a 16.1 per game average. He is the Pac-10's leading freshman scorer and is second in assists and assist-turnover ratio.
14th-ranked Arizona State enters Saturday's game with a 16-4 overall record and a 5-3 mark in Pac-10 games. Thursday's surprising 65-55 loss to Washington State dropped the Sun Devils to 8-1 at home after it went 11-1 in non-conference play. ASU's only other losses this season were against Baylor in Anaheim, Calif., at California and at USC.
Sun Devil sophomore James Harden leads the Pac-10 in scoring with a 22.2 per game average, while senior Jeff Pendergraph is 16th with a 13.4 scoring average and is fourth in the league in rebounding with a 7.6 mark. Hardin leads the league in steals (1.9) and is eighth in assists (4.1) and 12th in rebounds (5.6, tied with UW's Pondexter). As a team, ASU leads the Pac-10 in three-point field goals per game, is second in scoring defense (58.2 pts allowed per game) and free throw percentage (.734) and ranks first in assists (16.1) and assist-turnover ratio (1.3)
Arizona State owns a narrow 34-31 series lead over Washington since the two schools first played in the 1977-78 season. The bulk of the Sun Devils' victories have come in two streaks - six-straight from 1979-81 and 14-straight from 1990-96. Until last year's 77-63 loss at home, Washington had won 11-straight dating back to 2004. So, obviously, UW has won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
Following Saturday's game, the Huskies remain on the road for a pair of games in the Bay Area next weekend. Washington plays at California on Thursday night then meets Stanford in a Sunday afternoon game. UW returns home for a Feb. 12 game against Oregon State.