(1090 The Fan) — The Washington Huskies will have their first true road game on Saturday when they face the 24th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs at SDSU’s Viejas Arena.
The schools have only faced each other two times, with Washington winning both contests — the last win was eight years ago by a score of 98-69.
Since that December 7, 2005 matchup, both programs have remained competitive forces in their respective conferences: The Aztecs, of the Mountain West Conference, have made five NCAA tournament appearances in that span under the leadership of veteran head coach Steve Fisher, making it to the Sweet Sixteen during the 2010-12 campaign. The Huskies have four tournament appearances, making it to the Sweet Sixteen twice, including the same season the Aztecs did.
The Aztecs’ starting five features senior Xavier Thames, a former Washington State Cougar, who has been hard to contain from behind the arc so far this season, going 17-30 (.567) — he also leads the team with 122 points on the year (17.4 per game). The guard was named the MWC Player of the Week and the national player of the week by cbssports.com and nbcsports.com on Monday.
For the Huskies to be successful, they will have to tame the Aztecs’ high-flying offense. Thames and company have come out swinging in 2013; SDSU has outscored its opponents 256-188 in the first half.
But SDSU’s defense will be put to the test too. Huskies senior C.J. Wilcox set the UW school record for 3-pointers made after nailing a three against Long Beach State University to push his career total to 233, passing Ryan Appleby’s record of 2006-08. Wilcox has been averaging 22.6 points per game this year on top of nailing roughly 45 percent of his field goal attempts.
Scoring has been coming from all over this year for Washington with at least five guys reaching double figures in four of seven games — that only happened four times last season.
Getting to the line is another key to a Huskies’ victory as the team’s free throw percentage is 76.6 this season, marking their best under head coach Lorenzo Romar.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)