Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams off to tremendous starts get together on Monday night, as the Tulane Green Wave have made the trek to the Pacific Northwest to challenge the Washington Huskies.
Tulane brings a stellar 9-1 record into this contest, as the team has won nine in a row after dropping a 71-49 decision to Wake Forest in the season opener. During its lengthy win streak, the Green Wave have really only faced one team of consequence, that being the Mississippi State Bulldogs at home on Dec. 6. Tulane won that game, 59-54, and this will mark only its second true road bout of the season.
Washington faced its second real test of the campaign in Saturday's matchup with No. 15 Oklahoma in Las Vegas, and coach Lorenzo Romar's squad kept its perfect record in tact by slipping past the Sooners in a 69-67 final. The Huskies' only other game of note took place roughly two weeks earlier, as they knocked off San Diego State in a defensive battle, 49-36. UW is 4-0 at home, 1-0 on the road, and 5-0 in neutral-site affairs, and this bout begins a brief two-game homestand, leading up to its Pac-12 Conference opener at California on Jan. 2.
The Huskies won the only previous meeting between these two teams, taking a 73-62 decision in New Orleans last season.
Tulane was last in action this past Friday, and used a tough defensive effort to knock off Jackson State, 56-49. Louis Dabney scored 22 points to pace the Green Wave, while Jay Hook came up just shy of logging a double-double by posting 10 points and nine rebounds. Neither player shot the ball well, combining to go 7-of-20 from the field, the team as a whole netting only 33.3 percent of its total shots, including a 3-of-12 showing from 3-point range. An unsightly 17 turnovers didn't help matters, but fortunately Jackson State converted only 31.6 percent of its field goal attempts. A 25-10 edge in points from the foul line also played a major role in the positive outcome for Tulane.
The Green Wave are scoring a solid 72.9 ppg this season, dropping 48.4 percent of their total shots, which includes a 34.7 percent effort from beyond the arc. The same kind of accuracy can't be credited to the opposition, which shoots just 41.6 percent from the floor, 28.2 percent from long range and only 61.7 percent at the foul line. As a result, Tulane is permitting just 60.5 ppg. Dabney (13.1 ppg), Hook (12.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Jonathan Stark (11.4 ppg, 3.9 apg) are all averaging double digits in the scoring column, with the latter two contributing in other areas as well.
Washington jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first half, but needed to hold on from there as it narrowly prevailed in Saturday's clash with Oklahoma. The Huskies knocked down nearly half of their field goal attempts, and while no player scored more than 12 points (Jernard Jarreau), eight tallied at least seven points. Jarreau and Nigel Williams-Goss each grabbed eight rebounds, and the Huskies outscored the Sooners at the charity stripe, 14-8, while their reserves outscored those of OU by a 24-4 margin.
Save for a momentary lapse or two, the Huskies are getting it done at both ends of the court this season, as they average 72.7 ppg while yielding a mere 58.5 ppg. A quartet of players are netting double digits on a consistent basis, with Williams-Goss leading the way with 13.9 ppg. Robert Upshaw is the only non-starter logging at least 10 ppg, but he is known more for his defensive prowess as he presently leads the nation in blocked shots with 45, while also spearheading UW's rebounding effort with 6.8 rpg.