You know its a bad sign when your leading scorer gets his first points with 12:57 left...in the second half. Yet that was the situation at Alaska Airlines Arena Saturday night when Washington's C.J. Wilcox, averaging almost 20 a game, was held scoreless for the first 27:03 of the game by a sticky, hustling Utah defense. The Utes used their defense and an efficient, patient, offense in upsetting the Washington Huskies 74-65.
Washington came into the day tied for second in the Pac-12 and only a half game behind UCLA for the top spot. Utah's successful upset bid, along with Oregon's win at UCLA, and the Huskies find themselves tied for third with Arizona and a half game up on Arizona State. For the Utes (1-5 in conference play) it was a mountain of a monkey off of their back.
Utah had leading scorer issues themselves. Guard Jerred Dubois came into the game leading the Utes with 13 points per game, but tallied only five points. Utah's front line mates Jason Washburn and Jordan Loveridge more than made up for it, tallying 18 and 17 respectively and repeatedly baling their team out of jeopardy at the end of the shot clock.
Utah led by 10 at halftime and remained in control throughout the second half. Wilcox, late start and all, actually led the Huskies with 14 points but about half of them were points scored when the game was competitively lost. Scott Suggs scored 12 points for the Dawgs but epitomized the Huskies futility from the field, connecting on only four of 14 shot attempts. As a team the Huskies shot only 36%, while yielding 60% to the visitors from Salt Lake City.
The Huskies will make their annual sojourn down Interstate 5 next week, playing at Oregon State Wednesday night and at Oregon Saturday night. It's a trip the Huskies must split and need to sweep if they are going to get another look at the top of the standings very soon.