UCLA vs Washington: GameNight

February 19th, 2009
Feb 19 2009 - 11:00pm

Preview & Prediction: By Fairway Jay






The Pac-10’s two top scoring teams play a key contest at Pauley Pavilion tonight.  #20 UCLA (19-8,8-4) looks to snap a 2-game losing streak after a pair of losses at Arizona and Arizona State.  The Bruins need a win tonight to have a chance to win their fourth-straight Pac-10 title.  #22 Washington (19-6,10-3) has taken over first place in the Pac-10 and a win tonight would give them a season sweep of UCLA and propel them towards their first Pac-10 championship.

A little surprised to see UCLA over an 8-point favorite tonight, but they do fit a solid home profile for winning games off back-to-back losses taking on another winning team.  The Bruins should be at their best in terms of effort tonight, but their strong senior forward is not at full health, as Alfred Aboya has not practiced this week while fighting the flu.  The Bruins star PG Darren Collison and freshman Jrue Holiday, along with senior swingman Josh Shipp should be a great match-up with Washington PG Isaiah Thomas and shooting guard Justin Dentmon.  Holiday has struggled in recent games with some erratic play, while Thomas has been one of the league's best guards in his freshman year with Dentmon playing to an all-league level in his senior season. 

Meanwhile, on the interior the Huskies are one of the nations top rebounding teams led by All-Pac-10 performer John Brockman and Quincy Poindexter.  Pondexter is finally playing to the high level expected of him when he came to Washington three season’s ago.  Washington won the first meeting 86-75 nearly a month ago, and while they have averaged 83 ppg in Pac-10 play, the Huskies failed to top 75 points in their two most recent road games and Stanford and California, two teams that are near the bottom in FG defense in league play.  The Bruins should bring their best on the ball and man to man defensive pressure tonight.   

Washington has just one win in their last 22 tries at Pauley Pavilion, and while this may be their best chance with strong supporting personnel, experience says that the Bruins should bounce back and perhaps get some key calls that eluded them last weekend at ASU.  A close, entertaining contest falls UCLA’s way.

Winner:  UCLA   Margin:  2-5 points





Editor's Early Preview

*Made on 02/06. Full preview by the GameNight staff coming soon!

First in the Pac-10 might be on the line here. Washington got the best of the Bruins in Seattle, but the venue will make all the difference on Thursday night.

Early Prediction: UCLA