A great crowd. A great atmosphere. A great game. But Idaho couldn't come up with one last shot — or one last rebound — against its border rival on Saturday night. The Vandals fell 67-66 to Washington State, and we have a recap from UI's perspective below.
Gonzaga's usual formula of 3-point shooting and a guard-driven, efficient offense needed some help Saturday.
It came in the form of Sam Dower Jr. (22 points), Gerard Coleman (21 points), rebounding (45-30 edge) and tenacious defense (keeping New Mexico State to a shooting percentage in the 30s until the latter stages of the game). It all added up to an 80-68 Gonzaga victory over the Aggies.
GU dealt with injury before the game (Kevin Pangos was a game-time decision because of a sprained toe) and during the game (Gary Bell Jr. exited early in the second half with a right hip injury). Bell said he hopes to be able to play Tuesday at West Virginia.
My unedited game story is below. I'll have a day-after post in the morning.
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the EWU's defeat of South Dakota State 41-17, at home in Cheney, Wash., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Check out his big picture story!
From Pullman — The Washington State football team again practiced indoors today, meaning that we reporters were not privy to what happened after the first 15 minutes. After practice we spoke with defensive line coach Joe Salave'a, however.
Read the Q&A after the jump.
There aren't many college teams with frontcourts taller and bigger than GU's 7-1, 296-pound Przemek Karnowski and 6-9, 243-pound Sam Dower Jr., but one is visiting the McCarthey Athletic Center tonight. New Mexico State, with 7-5, 355-pound Sim Bhullar and 6-10, 265 Tshilidzi Nephawe, takes on GU at 8 p.m.
Bhullar is one of four NMSU players from Toronto, including guard Daniel Mullings, who was teammates with Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos for Canada at the World University Games last summer. According to northpolehoops.com, there are 104 Canadians playing D-I basketball.
The Aggies haven't defeated a ranked opponent since knocking off Nevada in Jan., 2007.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
On this anniversary of the day that changed the world, we should all take some time to remember those whose lives were irrevocably altered that Sunday morning 72 years ago. Then we can move on to lesser things like sports. Read on.
The over/under on today's Eastern Washington-South Dakota State playoff game: 11, and I didn't get that from the boys in Vegas. That comes from the guys at the National Weather Service. A high today of 11, with a wild-chill factor of minus-5. Here's my game preview, plus the official preview from Eastern, which also made warm gesture this week. Meanwhile, here's everything you want to know about South Dakota State. … Two former Eagles won recognition from the Big Sky Conference. … Meanwhile, it'll be even colder in Missoula, where the Grizzlies know that weather alone doesn't win football games. … Stay warm, my friends.
From Pullman — The Pac-12 championship game is today. Because the winner is going to the Rose Bowl either way, it does not really matter who you root for as the game should have no impact on WSU's bowl situation. Maybe a Stanford win would be a bit better as Oregon is more likely to jump Arizona State than Stanford in the BCS standings … But WSU fans should root for Texas today … We've got an update on WSU's bowl situation in today's paper … Boise State's interim coach is a WSU alum … Micaela Castain of the WSU women's soccer team has been named a second-team All-American.
We'll have a live chat at noon to talk about Pac-12 football and WSU's bowl situation.
Links from around the conference, after the jump.
It seems a distant memory, but seven weeks ago the Spokane Chiefs had the best winning percentage (.833) in the Western Hockey League. Following Friday night's 7-3 loss to Seattle, the Chiefs are 4-5-0-2 in the last four weeks. Read story
From Pullman — Tied with Oregon State and Arizona for seventh in the Pac-12 conference, Washington State will likely be competing with those programs for a place in the New Mexico Bowl, which selects last among the Pac-12 affiliated bowl games. The other two teams will have to hope for a spot as an at-large team in a bowl game affiliated with a conference with an insufficient number of eligible teams.
But there is another possibility for the Cougars. They could end up playing in the Fight Hunger Bowl, which picks a slot before the New Mexico Bowl. Find out how, after the jump.
From Pullman — The slow march towards Sunday's bowl announcements took another step forward on Thursday, as the Cougars returned to practice for the first time since the Apple Cup. It was a skeleton coaching staff, however, as all the coaches but head man Mike Leach and defensive coordinator Mike Breske are still on the road recruiting. With the basketball team not playing until Saturday, “dead week” seems to be an appropriate term for what's (not) going on at WSU right now. We've got our practice report up on the blog, and a story about what the Cougars have been up to for the past week … Will you be traveling to a bowl game if the Cougars are invited? The folks at CougCenter want to know.
If you're itching for more info, on Saturday we'll have a morning chat to talk about the bowl situation, the Pac-12 championship game and who knows what else.
Links from around the conference after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED: 8:15 A.M.
We had something all set to write about this morning, then breaking news gets in the way. And it's about the University of Washington and the Seattle Mariners of all places. Read on.
A special player? That would be Eastern Washington special teams standout Bo Schuetzle, an all-Big Sky selection and the subject of this feature story. We also had a live chat yesterday, and here's a partial transcript. … A public service announcement: it's getting even colder, and the wind-chill factor will put Saturday's game at about zero, so please dress warmly. Eastern will open Reese Court at halftime for those who need a break from the cold; Eastern also has this official preview of the game.
From Pullman — The Cougars practiced inside their indoor practice bubble for the first time this season, meaning that us reporters were unable to see what happened after the first 15 minutes. We did see players tricking out of the facility throughout practice, however. Find out why after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
We are only a couple of days removed from the NFL's most recent “Game of the Century.” And just a couple of days from the next one. Read on.