So far this week, everything is going swimmingly. Arizona went into Pullman and beat the Cougs handily; they advanced to 9-1 in conference play and since they played on Wednesday, they even get an extra day off to relax and enjoy the Seattle sights! (or they get to fly home, then fly right back to Seattle sometime today, which seems a little cruel). Regardless, the Wildcats will be overflowing with confidence as they face what has turned into an unlikely bigtime conference showdown against the Washington Huskies.
The very same Huskies who just squeaked by the Sun Devils last night, 68-64. In spite of how much I wanted to watch this game, an 8pm start time was too rich for my blood. But, I woke up bright and early to read the highlights, and boy did that game sound like it lived up to the billing!
Noah Dickerson – on his birthday no less! – had 21 points and a whopping 16 rebounds to lead the way. Jaylen Nowell had 15 points, 9 boards, and 3 assists in an otherwise quiet night for him. David Crisp had 12 points, including a couple clutch baskets towards the end to seal the deal. And Matisse Thybulle chipped in 9 points and 6 steals, becoming the all-time single-season Husky steals leader, which is outstanding considering we have at least 10 more games to go. He might put the record out of reach when it’s all said and done!
The Husky defense, again, was on top of it, particularly from long distance, holding the Sun Devils to 26% shooting from beyond the arc, on 5/19. We weren’t all that much better, on the offensive side of the ledger, but we outrebounded them, dominated in steals, and hit 15/18 of our free throws (they only hit 11/17). All told, it was a tough, gritty win for an up-and-coming ballclub.
Now, we need a couple things. We need the Sun Devils to go on a nice little winning streak the rest of the way, to ensure they make the Tourney and to ensure this remains a quality win on our resume. And we, of course, need to go on a nice little winning streak of our own the rest of the way.
I seem to have a knack for getting super-excited right before the rug is pulled out from under the team I’m rooting for, so this post couldn’t be more perfectly timed as Arizona comes to town tomorrow night. If I were a betting man, I’d say that by writing this post at all – when I normally reserve my Husky basketball posts for Mondays, so I can cover the whole weekend’s worth of games – I am jinxing the Huskies to the moon and back, and I’d bet the Taylor Family Farm on the Wildcats winning tomorrow night. So, let’s hope for once I’m not the fucking Bad Luck Guy!
We’re at a really critical point in this Husky season: beat Arizona, and we pretty much write our ticket to the Big Dance. Lose, and quite frankly we’re still in pretty good shape. This isn’t a MUST win, but it would be a HUGE win.
There’s another big game on Saturday as well, as UCLA hosts USC. The winner of that game will do a lot of good for their cause, and as a Husky fan, I’m rooting for USC, because I want that win over the Trojans to keep looking better and better.
Who knows? Maybe by Monday morning we’ll be talking about a nationally ranked Husky basketball team! Wouldn’t that be something?