A sigh of relief reverberated up and down the rafters of the Alaska Airlines Arena last Saturday afternoon after freshmen sensation Dejounte Murray scored 25 points to lead the Washington Huskies(16-11, 8-7) to a much needed win over Stanford(6-8, 6-8) in a Pac 12 showdown between two teams seemingly heading in opposite directions. Stanford came in to the game with a two game win streak and one of those was an impressive Feb 13th 76-72 home victory over an 11th ranked and at the time conference leaders Oregon Ducks.
Washington stepped into Saturdays clash on a season long four game losing streak and looking at a once promising season quickly turning into another disappointing none NCAA tourney invite. Before the dreadful four game downfall, Washington was sitting as high as third place in the conference standings and a tournament lock according to prognosticators.
The Huskies downward spiral has been the result of teams not letting the young, quick and talented Huskies play their transition offense that is predicated on hard nosed tenacious defense. Pac 12 teams have been using a zone defense to slow the Huskies into half court play which resulted in indecision, poor shooting and turnovers on the offensive end.
Against the Cardinal on Saturday afternoon Murray was determined to stop the Huskies rot and made up for the off-day by Andrew Andrews and fellow perimeter shooters David Crispand Dominic Green. The three were a combined 0 of 18 shooting. Murray was 10 of 14 from the field and added nine rebounds.
Rosco Allen led Stanford (13-12, 6-8) with 20 points, but no other Cardinal scored in double figures.
The Huskies win keeps their slim hopes for an at-large berth and must put together a string of wins to gather momentum going into the Pac 12 Conference tournament.