Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - One of only a handful of Division I programs still undefeated after six weeks of play, the 13th-ranked Washington Huskies close out the 2014 calendar year on Sunday by hosting the Seawolves of Stony Brook at Alaska Airlines Arena.
With an unblemished record after 11 games, the Huskies are off to their best start since 2005-06 when they were also perfect at this stage. The team does have quite a ways to go in order to match the school's all-time best start of 18-0, which took place during the 1928-29 campaign.
The most recent victory for Washington was a 66-57 triumph over Tulane at home six days ago. Following this matchup, the Huskies will tip off the Pac-12 Conference portion of their schedule with a meeting at California on Jan. 2.
Meanwhile, the Seawolves hurt themselves with a four-game slide to open the month of December, but since they lost to Canisius in overtime (60-59) 10 days ago the team has bounced back to go back over .500. Stony Brook defeated visiting Loyola-Maryland (67-52) last weekend, and then topped American (59-47) on Tuesday.
This is the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
The Seawolves found themselves tied at the half against American and then dialed up the defense in the second half and limited the Eagles to just nine field goals. It also helped that Stony Brook outscored the visitors by a 10-1 margin at the free-throw line in order to grab the double-digit win. Carson Puriefoy was the top scorer for the hosts with 18 points, although Jameel Warney also accounted for significant contributions with 10 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
On a team that is scoring just 65.9 ppg, which is actually still better than the 62.5 ppg being allowed by the Seawolves, Puriefoy is responsible for both 15.2 ppg and 44 assists, each of which leads the squad. Warney checks in with another 14.9 ppg, thanks to 50.3 percent shooting from the floor and not so much his 55.6 percent accuracy at the free-throw line. However, Varney counters his weak efforts at the charity stripe by clearing 12.8 rpg, one of the top averages in the nation.
Washington has not really been challenged yet, although the Green Wave sure made a run at the Huskies before coming up short. Tulane lost by nine points on the road, yet even 31.7 percent shooting from the floor by the visitors kept them in the mix. As for the Huskies, a team which turned the ball over 18 times and shot just 13-of-21 at the free-throw line, they were led by Shawn Kemp Jr. and his 16 points, while Nigel Williams-Goss added 14 points and a game-high nine assists. Able to record a double-double was Robert Upshaw with 11 points and 10 rebounds, not to mention six blocked shots, off the bench.
Despite shooting only 25.7 percent behind the 3-point line, Williams-Goss leads Washington in scoring with 13.9 ppg, one of four players putting up at least 10.7 ppg. In addition to being a solid scorer in his own right, Williams-Goss has made it a priority to keep his teammates involved at the offensive end of the floor as well with his 77 assists in 11 games. Andrew Andrews checks in with 12.4 ppg and Upshaw 10.9 ppg, to go along with 7.1 rpg which helps to push the Huskies over the 40 rpg plateau.