Tigers face tall task in clash with 16th-ranked Huskies

Dec 17, 2014 - 3:25 PM Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Facing their second straight opponent from the Pac-12 Conference, the Grambling State Tigers pay a visit to the 16th- ranked Washington Huskies on Wednesday night.

Grambling took on Oregon State in Corvallis on Monday, and the team suffered a 71-43 loss to fall to 2-6 on the season. It was the Tigers' fifth loss in the last six games, the lone triumph coming in a 74-64 decision against visiting Selma on Dec. 6. All six of the squad's setbacks have come on the road.

At 8-0, Washington is off to its best start since beginning the 2005-06 campaign at 11-0. The Huskies were most recently in action on Sunday, when they got past visiting Eastern Washington in an 81-77 final. EWU became the first opponent to score more than 70 points against Washington this season. UW is 3-0 at home this season, and this game puts the wraps on a three-game homestand as the team heads to Las Vegas next to take part in the MGM Showcase against nationally-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday.

This bout marks the fourth meeting between these two schools on the hardwood, with Washington having won the previous three. The last meeting took place in Seattle on Dec. 7, 1986.

Grambling put forth an absolutely dreadful shooting performance in Monday's blowout loss at Oregon State, coming up with all of nine field goals on 32 attempts (.281). If not for a 23-of-28 effort at the foul line, the outcome would have been even more lopsided. Mark Gray converted all eight of his free throws to tally 14 points, while Richard Freeman came off the bench to chip in with 10 of his own. The Tigers, who committed an eye-popping 26 turnovers, were nearly as inept at the defensive end as they allowed the Beavers to drain almost half of their total shots, which included an 8-of-19 effort from 3- point range.

Grambling is the lowest scoring team in Division I, averaging a mere 47 ppg due to sub par shooting efforts that rank the team at or near the bottom of the national standings as well. At the other end, foes are generating well over 70 ppg, and the team is being badly beaten on the boards, while committing nearly 16 turnovers game. A'Torri Shine is the only player averaging double figures for the season, as he nets 12 ppg. He was held scoreless on Monday night though.

Robert Upshaw scored a career-high 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked six shots in a superb effort off the bench for Washington in its recent win over Eastern Washington. Three others joined him in double figures, as Nigel Williams-Goss added 19 points, Andrew Andrews 18 and Mike Anderson a dozen for the Huskies, who made good on 46.4 percent of their field goal attempts and scored 24 points at the free-throw line. Conversely, the Eagles were held to 36.8 percent field goal efficiency while coming up short in the battle on the boards, 42-35.

With a perfect record, it's no surprise that the Huskies have performed well at both ends of the court, as they generate 71.5 ppg while yielding just 60.0 ppg. Williams-Goss (15.3 ppg), Andrews (13.3 ppg) and Upshaw (10.4 ppg) are the unit's double-digit scorers, although Shawn Kemp, Jr. (9.1 ppg) is close to joining them. Washington's defensive prowess has resulted in foes shooting just 34 percent from the floor, which includes a woeful 26.1 percent showing from beyond the arc.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!