Berkeley, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 21st-ranked Washington Huskies will try to bounce back from their first loss of the 2014-15 season as they open up Pac-12 Conference play against the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion.
Washington was 11-0 on the season before the team hosted America East program Stony Brook on Sunday. The Huskies suffered their first loss of the new campaign against the Seawolves, 62-57. Washington is 1-0 away from home on the year.
California was 10-1 on the season until two consecutive losses against Wisconsin (68-56) and CSU Bakersfield (55-52) set the Golden Bears back to 10-3. This home clash is the sixth contest in a seven-game stretch in Berkeley for California.
These two Pac-12 rivals have met a 158 times on the basketball court in their series history, and the all-time advantage favors California by just two games, 80-78. The programs met last February in Seattle, which saw the Golden Bears come away with a 72-59 road win.
Overall, Washington seriously struggled to get any sort of offense going in the team's home loss - the first of the season - against Stony Brook. The Huskies shot a mere 34.3 percent for the game from the field, and connected on only 3-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. The Seawolves did a stellar job limiting Washington's best players, as Nigel Williams-Goss and Robert Upshaw each netted 10 points apiece to lead the team as the only Huskies players in double digits. Upshaw chipped in 11 rebounds for the double-double, and Jernard Jarreau added 10 boards in the loss.
Williams-Goss leads a group of four players averaging a double-digit point total this season, as the guard is netting 13.6 ppg this season with a team- best 80 assists. The Huskies are scoring 70.8 ppg on 44.5 percent shooting from the floor, but the team's scoring defense has been the real story so far. Washington is allowing just 58.7 ppg to opponents on an especially low 33.9 shooting percentage. Andrew Andrews (12.0 ppg), Upshaw (10.8 ppg) and Shawn Kemp Jr. (10.3 ppg) round out the team's double-digit scorers.
California will be hoping for a complete turnaround in terms of offensive success against the Huskies on Friday. The Golden Bears netted just 39.1 percent of their field goal tries in the team's three-point loss to CSU Bakersfield, including just 2-of-15 from 3-point distance. Tyrone Wallace led the way for the Bears with 17 points, also grabbing nine rebounds in the defeat to come just short of a double-double. David Kravish did complete the double-double for Cal, netting 14 points with 10 rebounds.
Wallace has played well enough to already garner attention as a potential Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year candidate. The guard leads the team in all three major statistical categories. Wallace enters the game against Washington averaging 19.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg, and has dished out 53 assists in just under 35 minutes per outing. Jordan Mathews (12.8 ppg) and Kravish (10.6 ppg) are the team's other two double-digit scorers, although Jabari Bird (11.7 ppg in six games played) would help out the scoring effort plenty if he were healthy. He will miss yet another game with a bruised left foot.