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Arizona women’s basketball starts final road trip of the season at Washington

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 13 Women’s - Arizona State at Arizona Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Going into a game against a team that’s 0-10 in Pac-12 play can seem like a foregone conclusion. Arizona women’s basketball can’t fall into a trap of thinking that as they head to Seattle to face Washington, though.

“To me, honestly, the scariest teams to play are teams like Washington,” Arizona head coach Adia Barnes said. “There’s nothing to lose. They’re hungry for a win. And we’ve learned our lesson with Cal a couple years ago, so do not want to repeat that. So I think for us, it’s being focused. You treat everybody with respect and we know we can get beat by Washington, so we have to go in there and play well. And also we have to play well to get better to prepare for the next three games after that.”

The offense the Huskies run is familiar for Arizona. They won’t be seeing a lot that they haven’t already seen this season. The difference is that Washington plays four guard-like players. Barnes noted that 6-foot-1 Haley Van Dyke is playing the four, but the Arizona coach considers her more of a three than a four.

“They run a lot of chin and Princeton, which is what UCLA, Stanford, a lot of teams we faced this year run, so I think our matchups will be a little tough because of four guards,” Barnes said.

The size comes from 6-foot-9 Rice transfer Nancy Mulkey, who followed first-year head coach Tina Langley over when she took the job at Washington. Mulkey leads the league in blocks with 3.3 per game, but it doesn’t mean that the Huskies as a team are one of the top threats for blocked shots in the Pac-12. They are with Arizona near the middle of the conference in blocked shots. Washington sits at fifth with 4.6 blocks per game while the Wildcats are sixth at 4.4 BPG.

Van Dyke and Mulkey are the only two Huskies who average double figures in scoring. Van Dyke is averaging 10.8 PPG while Mulkey is at 10.4 PPG, but Lauren Schwartz isn’t far behind with 9.8 PPG.

The Huskies have come close to some big wins, but they have had difficulty closing the deal. They lost to Louisville by eight early in the season. They also have single-digit losses to Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, and UCLA on their record.

This will be the first time Arizona and Washington face off this season. The Huskies had to postpone their game in McKale at the beginning of the conference season due to COVID-19 protocols. At this point, it’s unlikely to be rescheduled.

No. 8 Arizona (18-4, 8-4) @ Washington (5-13, 0-10)

When and where: The game will tip off at 8 p.m. MST in Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, Wash.

TV: The game will air on Pac-12 Arizona.

Radio: The radio call by Brody Dryden will be on 1400 AM (KTUC). The broadcast can also be accessed online at The Varsity Network or on the station’s website.

Stats: In-game stats will be available at Arizona Live Stats.

Rankings and ratings: Arizona is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA poll. The Wildcats are No. 11 in the NET and No. 9 in Her Hoop Stats’ rankings.

UW is not ranked in either major poll. The Huskies are No. 118 in the NET and No. 182 in the HHS ranking.

Home and away: The Wildcats are 3-4 on the road. The Huskies are 4-6 at home.

Standings: UW is in last place in the Pac-12 with an 0-10 record. Arizona is third with an 8-4 record.

Projections: Her Hoop Stats gives the Wildcats a 92.7 percent win probability in Hec Ed. The model predicts 65.7 points for Arizona and 50 points for Washington.

How to follow: Follow us on Twitter @AZDesertSwarm or on our Facebook page for regular coverage during the week. For live tweets during games and other coverage, follow our deputy editor on Twitter @KimDoss71.