Washington got off to a strong start this season with three straight wins all of them coming at the World Vision Classic, but since then the team has tumbled twice in three outings. The most recent setback took place on Friday night against Nevada, a 76-73 overtime loss in Reno.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles are one of a handful of teams still undefeated to this point in the campaign, running off seven wins in as many opportunities. Many of the earlier victories came against considerably weaker opponents, but on Saturday the team finally showed how strong it could be with a 61-54 triumph over the Wisconsin Badgers. The victory over Wisconsin was actually the first true road game of 2011-12 for the Golden Eagles.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Golden Eagles have taken two of the previous three matchups. However, Washington won the most recent, 80-78, in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in San Jose, California.
Washington led by double figures in the second half of its meeting with the Wolf Pack on Friday night, but the team was unable to hold on and played into overtime before bowing in the three-point decision. Terrence Ross led four players in double digits for the Huskies, posting 18 points, although he shot just 2-of-7 behind the three-point line along the way. Tony Wroten and C.J. Wilcox came away with 14 points apiece and Abdul Gaddy 10 points, to go along with six assists. Although he tallied just two points, Aziz N'Diaye made an impact with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. Through six games the Huskies are pouring in 81.0 ppg, thanks mostly to a healthy 42.7 percent accuracy from three-point range and no so much their mere 62.0 percent effort at the free- throw line. Ross is responsible for 16.2 ppg and 6.7 rpg, the latter number second-best on the team behind N'Diaye (8.2 ppg, 14 blocks), who is pulling down 8.7 rpg which helps to give the group a rebounding edge of more than six per game.
Points were at a premium in Madison over the weekend as the nationally-ranked Badgers were dealt a seven-point loss in their own building. At one stage of the game Marquette had a 13-point lead whittled down to just a single point, but the Golden Eagles then held the hosts scoreless on 10 straight possessions in order to secure the win. Expected to be one of the top players in the Big East Conference again this season, Darius Johnson-Odom emerged as the only double-digit scorer for the visitors with his 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field. As a whole, Marquette shot just 38.3 percent from the field, just the second time this season the team has knocked down less than 53.0 percent from the floor in a game. Johnson-Odom, who has scored in double figures in every game this season and did so in all but four games all of last year, leads the team in scoring at the moment with his 19.4 ppg, while Jae Crowder and Vander Blue account for 16.9 and 10.4 ppg, respectively. The Marquette defense has held foes to just 58.7 ppg on 34.9 percent shooting from the floor.