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Huskies and UCLA battle for top spot in Pac 10

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Washington and #13 UCLA square off this afternoon in Hec Edmundson in a battle for the top spot in the Pac 10 conference. The Huskies are coming off a hard fought win against USC and the Bruins are recovering after escaping Pullman with a two point victory.

The Bruin offense revolves around UCLA senior Darren Collison who is rated among the nation's top playmakers, averaging a team-high 14.6 points and 5.4 assists per game.

Swing man Josh Shipp who came oh so close to going to Washington is averaging 11.6 points and will match up against Quincy Pondexter.

Power forward Alfred Aboya is averaging 9 points a gme and 5.3 rebounds.

Nikola Dragovic mans the post position and had a career-best 20 points at Washington State, hitting 7 of 12 shots, 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Dragovic has come on strong lately and has started the last four games. Brockman should have a much easier time with Dragovic than he did with Taj Gibson on Thursday.

I give Washington the edge in this one because the Huskies are capable of controlling the boards against the Bruins. the Bruins will focus on trying to slow down Isaiah Thomas and Justin Dentmon who have been playing very well as a tandem this season.

As far as depth goes both teams are loaded but Washington may have a slight advantage based on the play of Matthew Bryan Amaning, Justin Holiday and Venoy Overton. All three are good enough to start and there really isn't any fall off when they enter the game.

Game notes:

Today marks the first time that Justin and Jrue Holiday have faced each other in an organized game. UW's Justin Holiday's little brother Jrue is a freshman at UCLA. Jrur has started all 18 games for the Bruin's and is averaging 9.5 points per game.

Romar said he attributed Jon Brockman's 0-for-8 game from the field and four-point total against USC on Thursday largely to the Trojans' defensive plan to take him out of the game, as well as the play of Trojans big man Taj Gibson.

The Bruins lead the series 89-35 but hold just a 31-28 edge in Seattle.