Who said Sundays were just for football?
Beginning at 3:30 this afternoon, no. 10 UConn will attempt to rebound from its first loss of the year with another Pac-12 matchup at Washington. Last Wednesday, the Huskies put forth a putrid offensive performance against Stanford, highlighted by a 13-point second half effort. Today, Shabazz Napier and co. ought to be able to get back on scoring track against the "other" Huskies and their 239th ranked defense (per KenPom).
2013 has not been as kind to Washington as it has been their east coast Husky counterparts, offering only two more wins than losses through ten games. However, propelled by a potent offense, they've have won four of their last five since leaving the same 2k Classic tournament UConn took down a month ago. Back then, Washington fell to Indiana and Boston College by a combined margin of 29 points. Those two clubs are the only common opponents each of the Huskies have shared this season.
Chris Wilcox leads Washington in scoring with nearly 21 points per contest and is one of six Husky scoring threats. Wilcox stands as the only considerable threat from downtown, armed with a 42.7 percent three-point shot. On the interior, Perris Blackwell and Mike Anderson snatch roughly 15 rebounds and 22 points a game between them. Freshman guard Nigel Williams-Gross has grabbed headlines of his own, namely by way of assists and the title of second-leading scorer.
Napier continues to lead UConn in points, assists, rebounds and steals.
Keys for today figure to include ball movement and a fast start. While it's unlikely Washington will be able to keep pace for 40 minutes, landing the first blow in a tough road environment is the best way to secure a solid win.
Last year, this dog fight took place in Hartford just before 2013 broke, and UConn was able to head into the new year with a 61-53 win. Victory didn't come easily, though, as they shot a miserable 2-14 from three-point land and 60 percent at the free throw line. Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun all finished in double figures. Meanwhile, Wilcox was held to five points on 2-12 shooting.
The game can be seen live on ESPNU or heard on WTIC.