The Washington Huskies aim for their fifth straight win Wednesday night when they host in-state opponent Eastern Washington in Seattle.
No. 22 Washington is coming off a 75-55 win over South Dakota on Monday night in which it held the nation’s top 3-point shooting team to just 4 of 23 (17.4 percent) from long range. That’s 30 percentage points lower than what the Coyotes were shooting entering the game.
The Huskies (6-1) continue to get strong offensive production from a pair of touted freshmen, Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels. Stewart had 16 points and 15 rebounds Monday, while McDaniels scored 20 in 39 minutes.
Guard Nahziah Carter had 12 points and nine rebounds while guard Jamal Bey scored 14 points in his first start of the season. The Huskies’ starters scored all but four of the team’s points against South Dakota, a team that presented a challenge with its size.
“Jamal’s been working really hard in practice. Wanted to give him an opportunity and he did great,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said.
Wednesday will mark the first of three straight games against in-state colleges for Washington. The Huskies face Eastern Washington, No. 9 Gonzaga and crosstown rival Seattle University over the next two weeks.
The challenge for the Huskies will be to not look past the Eagles on Wednesday to a highly anticipated matchup with No. 9 Gonzaga, a team from the other side of the state that, along with Washington, have consistently been the top two college basketball programs in the state for several years.
“Every coach is complaining about their team at this time, that’s why you play the preseason,” Hopkins said. “You wish you could be perfect, but we’re not. We’ve just got to get better.”
The Eagles of the Big Sky Conference (4-2) were picked to finish in first place in the league by its coaches back in October. It’s the first time in 15 years that Big Sky coaches favored EWU.
The Eagles have three starters back from last season, including two Big Sky Preseason All-Conference Team selections in senior forward Mason Peatling and junior guard Jacob Davison.
Davison is the team’s leading scorer at 16.2 points per game, with Peatling is averaging 11 points and almost six rebounds per contest. Junior forward Kim Aiken Jr. averages 14.2 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and has four double-doubles this season.
The Eagles have already been to Seattle once this month, winning 74-66 over Seattle University on Nov. 9. The Eagles are 1-15 all-time against the Huskies with an 11-game losing streak.
The only Eastern Washington win in the series came on Dec. 14, 2002.
“We love playing games in the state of Washington, and UW is going to be a lot of fun,” said Eagles coach Shantay Legans via the school’s athletics website. “They have some big, long players on that team and are very talented. … but like I tell our team, they have to put their socks, shoes, shorts and jersey on just the same as us. I always go heart over height. It will be a lot of fun to go over and play them.”
–Field Level Media