Washington-Oregon St. Preview
Despite an ugly effort its last time out, Washington sits tied atop the Pac-10 standings as it begins the second half of its conference schedule.
A repeat performance seems unlikely against host Oregon State.
While looking to avoid back-to-back losses in league play for the first time this season, the 20th-ranked Huskies will try to continue their recent dominance of the Beavers on Thursday night.
Following an 87-80 loss at Washington State on Sunday night, Washington (15-5) stands at 7-2 in conference play for only the fourth time in the last 25 years, but leading scorer Isaiah Thomas isn't satisfied.
"A lot of teams aren't 7-2," said Thomas, averaging 17.1 points per game. "It's crazy because a lot of people feel like we're not doing as well, but we're at the top of the league tied with Arizona. We could be 9-0, but it is what it is.
"It's the midpoint, there's no awards, no championships given on January 30th or February 1. We've got a long way to go."
Thomas finished with 19 on Sunday, but struggled with his shot, making just 3 of 13 from the field. He also committed a career-worst seven turnovers and is looking forward to redeeming himself.
"I always tell my dudes, 'Man, just forget about it. Win or lose, you have to be ready to play the next day," Thomas told the Huskies' official website. "We're ready to work (and) be ready for Thursday."
Matthew Bryan-Amaning will also look to get back on track after scoring a season-low six points on 1-of-8 shooting. Washington is 1-4 when Bryan-Amaning, who is averaging 15.7 points, scores in single digits.
The Huskies, who average a Pac-10-best 86.7 points per game, are recording 22.9 fewer points on the road than at home. While Washington was held to 37.1 percent shooting against the Cougars, it shouldn't face too much difficulty Thursday.
Coach Lorenzo Romar's team blew out Oregon State 103-72 on Jan. 8 - its most lopsided conference win this season - for its eighth consecutive victory in the series. The Huskies have shot 51.1 percent over that span, which includes three straight road victories by an average of 25.3 points.
The Beavers (8-12, 3-6), meanwhile, are looking to avenge their worst loss of the season, but coach Craig Robinson knows that his team will be in for a challenge.
"On Thursday you're playing the best team in the conference," Robinson told the Beavers' official website. "They're supremely athletic; they shoot the ball well from the three-point line and are very physical...which is why they're ranked in the Top 25."
After starting 2-0 in Pac-10 play for the first time since 2004-05, Oregon State has averaged 64.4 points on 36.1 percent shooting en route to losing six of seven - including a 70-56 defeat at Stanford on Saturday.
Jared Cunningham, scoring a team-best 13.7 points per game, was held to a season-worst one. He could bounce back versus the Huskies, though, as he is averaging 18.0 points in his last two meetings with them.
Oregon State, which last defeated Washington 73-65 on Feb. 22, 2007, has lost 28 straight versus ranked teams since beating then-No. 24 Arizona 75-65 on Jan.12, 2006.