Gonzaga-Washington game called off as Huskies recover from COVID-19 outbreak

<p><p>Lingering COVID-19 issues at Washington have forced the Huskies to cancel Sunday’s nonconference game at No. 5 Gonzaga. </p></p><p><p>According to a Gonzaga press release, the game “will not be played as scheduled due to a COVID-19 related protocol within the Huskies’ program.”</p></p><p><p>The release indicated the schools are unlikely to make up the game later this season, but could reschedule for the 2022-23 season. </p></p><p><p>“This series is important to both schools and the administrations will begin working on an agreeable date for this game in Spokane next year,” the release said.</p></p><p><p>The cancellation means Gonzaga (7-2) will play just one game – tonight at home against Merrimack (6 p.m.) – in a span of 15 days. The Bulldogs last played on Saturday in Seattle, losing 91-82 to Alabama at Climate Pledge Arena, and now won’t play again until Dec. 18 against Texas Tech in Phoenix.</p></p><p><p>UW (4-5) hasn’t played since Nov. 27 against Winthrop after the Los Angeles Times reported seven players entered COVID-19 protocol last week, forcing the Huskies to postpone a Pac-12 opener at No. 11 Arizona and forfeit Sunday’s Pac-12 home opener against No. 4 UCLA.</p></p><p><p>During his weekly appearance on KJR radio in Seattle, UW coach Mike Hopkins said Tuesday the Huskies still hadn’t returned to practice since players entered a 10-day quarantine period. UW became the first Division I team this season to forfeit a game as a result of COVID-19, the Seattle Times reported.</p></p><p><p>Gonzaga and UW negotiated a four-year deal to extend their rivalry through the 2023-24 season, but the programs have now missed two consecutive games due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs have won the last six games in the series, as well as 13 of the last 14.</p></p>