Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Huskies, Oregon Ducks and UCLA Bruins all took care of business in the first slate of this week's Pac-12 games.
It was a very good night for the teams at the top of the Pac-12 standings as the three remaining teams that came into the weak undefeated in conference play all remained so. On the other hand, three teams that desperately need to find answers soon, Utah, Colorado and Oregon State all dropped another game and pushed themselves further into the cellar.
Washington State 75 Utah 65
Washington State used a scorching hot game from Mike Ladd (22 points, 5-8 for 3) and some tough defense to get their first conference win of the season with a comfortable win over the Utes in Pullman. The Cougars controlled throughout despite a slight run by the Utes halfway through the second half.
It was a must-win for the Cougars who desperately needed their first win and unfortunately for Utah the loss keeps them still yearning for their first taste of in-conference victory.
Washington 64 Colorado 54
C.J. Wilcox stayed hot and so did the Huskies, who once again won a lower scoring game with tough defense from Aziz N'Diaye and a patient offense. The Huskies controlled early with a 8 point lead in the second half and kept it comfortable throughout, led by Wilcox who finished with 25 points.
It was another good win for the Huskies who are now 4-0 in conference and their first at home in Pac-12 play. For the Buffs, it was another tough loss, as they fall to 1-4 in Pac-12 play despite a very promising start.
UCLA 74 Oregon State 64
Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson once again why they might be the best freshman duo in the country as Muhammad led the way with 21 points and Anderson chipped in with 17 point and 9 rebounds to give the Bruins a convincing win over the Beavers. The Bruins came out swinging and gained control early and never let up.
The Bruins improved to 5-0 in conference play, setting up a showdown with Oregon on Saturday and the Beavers continued to disappoint as they still search for their first conference win.
Oregon 76 USC 74
The Trojans were close, but just couldn't pull off an upset of the twenty-first ranked Ducks in Los Angeles. The Ducks were led by a balanced effort with E.J. Singler and Damyean Dotson each getting 14 points and withheld a late run by the Trojans as Dewayne Dedmon missed a potential game-tying shot with just seconds remaining.
The Ducks stay undefeated in conference play with the win and have a chance to make another statement with a win at UCLA on Saturday and the Trojans missed out on a chance to start the post-Kevin O'Neill era on a very positive note, but none the less, still played very well.