Washington looks for triumphant return vs. Seattle

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  • Mike Hopkins
    American basketball player-coach

After a three-week break because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the program, Washington is scheduled to return to the court Saturday night when it plays host to city rival Seattle University.

The Huskies haven't played since an 82-74 nonconference loss against visiting Winthrop on Nov. 27.

Since then, the Huskies (4-4) have rescheduled their Pac-12 Conference opener at No. 8 Arizona, forfeited their home game against No. 4 UCLA and canceled last Sunday's trip to Spokane, Wash., to face No. 5 Gonzaga.

"For the kids, it's disappointing," Washington coach Mike Hopkins said on his weekly radio show on KJR-AM. "You practice hard to get opportunities like this to play such an incredible schedule against great teams."

Seven Huskies players reportedly entered the protocol on Dec. 1. A school spokesperson told The Seattle Times the entire team and staff was fully vaccinated before the start of the season.

"The COVID thing is real," Hopkins said. "You get a really good perspective when stuff like this happens. For us it was obviously disappointing for the games, but we were just lucky that the people who do have COVID that they're OK. That was the first concern. A really tough time, but the kids are pretty resilient and have been really positive and hopefully get a chance to play at some point."

The Redhawks (8-3) snapped a two-game skid with a 73-51 victory against visiting UC San Diego on Sunday. Darrion Trammell scored 29 points and Riley Grigsby added 17 for Seattle.

"Our defense came back," Redhawks interim coach Chris Victor said. "We struggled the last two games, we weren't us on defense. We weren't following our principles and weren't playing Seattle U. basketball on the defensive end. (Sunday) looked a lot more like us and we need to continue to do that day in and out."

The Huskies hold a 32-4 advantage in the all-time series against Seattle U. and have won 16 in a row. The last Redhawks' victory in the series came in 1978.

--Field Level Media