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Women's Basketball Game Preview: Washington State Cougars to Host the Huskies

In the first of two games, Washington heads to Pullman

NCAA Womens Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The #21 Washington State Cougars will host the Washington Huskies for UW's first ranked opponent of the season. This is also their first P6 team of the season and will be their only P6 non conference opponent other than Louisville.

The stakes are high as this could be the last Apple Cup series we see for a bit. Obviously, it's a different beast scheduling basketball non conference games with the addition of B1G teams, but it could still be in the cards. For now, no word has been given, so let's hope the Washington Huskies show up.

The game, set to take place Sunday, December 10 at 1PM, will feature WSU -- the owner of a 10-1 record and UW (9-0). All season, WSU has remained ahead of UW in rankings, but this remains somewhat illogical as the teams are more similar than this notion suggests. Furthermore, the offensive production Washington has put out has created more of a separation in the direction of purple.

Early season, there should be more of a focus on threes as this implies accuracy and separation between the offense and defense. WSU has the numbers of 75-231 through 11 games which is just under 7 made 3's per game. This accuracy of 32.5% isn't particularly stellar but it's worth noting that with a slip, Washington holds at 32.5% with 65-200 3PTs made.

With the recent slide in efficiency as well, Washington climbs ahead of Washington State losing 14.3 turnovers a game compared to their opponents 13. The Huskies barely outclass them by two in rebounds a game.

So what is it?

Stripping away P6 opponents from WSU's schedule, they're giving up 59.3 points per game. Washington? 46.1 points per game are given up and defensively, Langley keeps her identity true. AP has shown that the ranking that one team is in the beginning is where they remain ahead of the other team if schedules and records are similar. However, Washington has the edge as a team. And even though WSU's resume includes a win over a weaker Maryland, the loss to Green Bay is a massive blemish.

The prediction remains a closer but decisive Washington victory.