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Archive for February 2009

Hats off to Bullpups and Tigers

They took the hard road, but both Gonzaga Prep boys and Lewis and Clark girls are headed to state. That means the GSL won’t suffer the ignominy of not have a boys team there for the first time in memory and the Tigers have kept intact a string now at seven trips - which means I avoid the “what happened to LC” questions.

Both teams had to win three straight games this weekend to advance and both did so. That is what is known in the sports world as a gut check

Vandals earn road split

Nothing on the road seems to come easily for Idaho. The Vandals nearly gave up an 11-point lead but held on for a 71-68 win at Fresno State on Saturday night. Idaho moves to 14-14 overall, 7-7 in the WAC.

Senior guard Trevor Morris was a catalyst yet again for UI. Morris started the year in a terrible shooting slump, but he’s posted two productive games in a row. He had a team-high 14 points Saturday, while point guard Mac Hopson had 13 points and 10 assists.

For more on the game, click here. Idaho’s win comes at the end of another wild day in the WAC. Nevada upset league champion Utah State, and Boise State fell at Louisiana Tech. You can find more here on all the WAC action here.

PSU puts end to Eastern’s season

Portland State put an end to Eastern Washington’s Big Sky Tournament hopes and season Saturday night by posting a 66-62 overtime win over the Eaglesa at Reese Court.

You can read an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Sunday’s  S-R below.

 

 

Bulldogs ride defense past USD

It looked a lot like the last game between Gonzaga and San Diego. Gonzaga led this one 26-18 at half; GU led the January contest 27-18. Gonzaga won this one 58-47; the previous outcome was 64-47.

Gonzaga shot 44.4 percent, compared to 42.9 in Spokane. USD made 37.2 percent, compared with 33.3 percent at the MAC. The end result was another grind-it-out victory for the Zags, who capped a 14-0 run through the WCC. Read on for more in my unedited game story.

 

 

Rochestie’s shot lifts WSU

COUGARS

I ran into one of the Cougar coaches in the Beasley Coliseum halls after the game. He was smiling. Mostly because WSU is playing the type of basketball the staff envisioned before the season. Three freshmen contributing and combining with the senior group to give WSU enough on both ends of the court to compete in the Pac-10 and beyond. With their second consecutive win over ASU, it looks like the Cougars will be playing beyond. Whatever the tournament, the improving Cougars may be a tough out for anyone. Click the link for the unedited version of our game story.

Zags wrap up unbeaten WCC campaign

Gonzaga joined some select company — including the 2004 and 2006 Zags — as it put the finishing touches on an unblemished WCC season with a 58-47 win over San Diego at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Saturday. Only three others (Pepperdine in 1982 and 1992, and Loyola Marymount in 1988) have gone unbeaten in conference since the current eight-team alignment in 1981)

The 17th-ranked Bulldogs (23-5, 14-0 WCC) led by as many as 15 in the second half, then turned back a Toreros rally sparked by former Mt. Spokane and CCS guard Matt Dorr’s three 3-pointers. USD closed within seven on Dorr’s last 3, but GU pulled away with Matt Bouldin’s 3-pointer with 2:40 left hiking the lead to 55-43.

Bouldin led Gonzaga with 15 points. Jeremy Pargo had 12, Josh Heytvelt and Micah Downs 11 each.

San Diego (15-15, 6-8) will be the fifth seed in next week’s WCC Tournament.

More in about 2 hours.

 

Zags up 8 at half

Gonzaga scored 16 of the last 19 points to take a 26-18 lead over San Diego at halftime.

Josh Heytvelt hit his first three shots in the first 2:45 to give Gonzaga an 8-3 lead. The first non-Heytvelt field goal came with 7:49 left in the half when Jeremy Pargo scored on a dunk. The Zags were 0 for 8 from the field (minus Heytvelt’s 3 of 3) until Pargo’s dunk. Pargo made another steal and layup seconds later to even the score at 15.

Matt Bouldin scored the next five points and a couple of Pargo buckets in the final two minutes helped Gonzaga to the 8-point lead at half. San Diego scored one field goal in the last 10 minutes. Like GU, San Diego’s main scoring threat was its post, Gyno Pomare, who made 4 of 7 shots and scored eight points, but he also picked up two fouls. Outside of Pomare, USD is 4 of 18 from the floor.

Heytvelt went to the bench with his second foul with 6:56 left. 

More after the game.

 

WSU holds off No. 14 ASU in OT


COUGARS

Taylor Rochestie’s 28-footer. That’s what you’ll remember from the Cougars’ 51-49 victory. But there was more. Any defensive-minded coach preaches offense comes and goes. Your defense has to hold you in close games. You know you’ve heard Tony Bennett say it more than once. But it was never more true than Saturday – for both teams. The Sun Devils have a sure-fire NBA top 10 pick in James Harden and they struggled to score. The Cougars, well they don’t have any sure-fire first round picks but they have been executing well offensively recently. Not Saturday. But with the game on the line, it was Rochestie who came through. We’ll be back in a couple hours with the game story.

ASU leads by three at half


COUGARS

So what did you expect from the two teams that sit atop the Pac-10 shooting percentage defense statistic? An offensive shootout? Well, you would have been sorely disappointed. And not too smart. These are teams that play the same type of defense, just one in a matchup zone and the other in a pack man-to-man. Usually the difference would be James Harden, who leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 21 points a game. But the Cougars have shut him down – he has three points – at the expense of giving up open looks from 3 – ASU is 5 of 8 from there. Still, with the halftime score 23-20, you have to believe both teams feel good about their defense. One prediction: Harden will not finish with six points. He’ll get his shots and points in the second half. By the way, WSU trailed by three at half in Tempe. We’ll be back at the end.

WSU trying to survive


COUGARS

I don’t know if this will be as shocking as Darwin’s theory of evolution, but the next two WSU games are going to be a survival of the fittest. And, in the basketball sense, I’m not sure the Cougars can survive. Read on.

Senior Day at WSU


COUGARS

As Taylor Rochestie and Aron Baynes and Caleb Forrest and Daven Harmeling prepare to play their final game on Friel Court in an attempt to win the 79th game in the past four years, we prepare to put up our 347th post of the basketball season. Nowhere near a record for either, but both quite an accomplishment. Read on.

Senior Night at EWU important in many ways

Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team closes regular-season play at home tonight against Big Sky rival Portland State, needing a win to keep its slim post-season hopes alive.

Tonight’s game also marks the final appearance at home for four seniors on EWU’s roster.

You can read the S-R  story on those seniors and how they are approaching Senior Night here, and you can get more details on tonight’s game and what else needs to transpire for the Eagles to play on into the postseason here.

In addition, I’ve included these game notes supplied by PSU’s sports information department.

 

 

All this for GSL rematches

Greetings from Kennewick. Just got done with Gonzaga Prep-Wenatchee at 11 p.m. - LC vs. Walla Walla got over about half an hour earlier. And what do we get? A rematch between the Tigers and Bullpups at 1 p.m. Winner then plays at 7 for the third state berth.

Same, same the girls where Mead lost a gut wrencher to Moses Lake. They dominated the boards, but couldn’t get the ball to fall through the hoop in the fourth quarter, losing a 7 point lead and the game 48-47. The Chiefs Jordan Loera (prounounced Lo-etta) took over the game in the second half for 15 of her 22 points and 6-foot-5 Carly Noyes scored with 8 seconds left for the win after Tifa Puletasi fouled out. Puletasi had done a great job on defense and getting her hook shot over Noyes, but wasn’t there to stop the last ditch shot. Taylor Ingebritsen’s shot as time expired hit backboard and front of the rim but missed.

So the Panthers play LC at 11 a.m. with the winner also playing at 7 p.m. for state.

It’s Moses Lake vs. Pasco in girls, Eisenhower vs Wa-Hi in boys for the regional title.Last time no GSL boys were in the title game was 2004, for the girls it was 2003

 

Gonzaga goes for perfect WCC mark

Gonzaga has one more obstacle — San Diego, coached by ex-Zag assistant Bill Grier — in its quest for a 14-0 WCC record. Game time is 4:30 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Read an unedited game preview below.

 

WSU seniors will say goodbye

COUGARS

Arizona State will enter Beasley Coliseum tomorrow coming off a tough loss in Seattle, a loss that possibly cost the Sun Devils a shot at the Pac-10 title. So how will they respond? And how will the Cougars deal with the emotions of senior day? We’ll find out, of course, in less than 24 hours. Until then, you can read our advance for tomorrow’s S-R. Read on.

Santa Clara A.D. issues apology

Santa Clara just posted an open letter from athletic director Dan Coonan addressing the behavior of a couple of students who threw objects on the floor during the GU-SCU game Thursday.

Here’s the letter.

Krause honored, WCC seeding scenarios

Gonzaga director of basketball operations Jerry Krause caught an early flight Friday morning to be on hand for Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at Northern Colorado on Friday night. Krause (pictured on the right with GU’s staff from several years ago — that’s USD coach Bill Grier on the left) was an assistant coach on the 1965-66 team that will be inducted. More here.

There are a 16 seeding scenarios depending on Saturday’s outcomes. Gonzaga is locked in at No. 1 and it appears Pepperdine will be No. 6. Saint Mary’s and Portland are battling for Nos. 2 and 3. San Diego and Santa Clara are trying to settle Nos. 4 and 5. Here’s a link to USD’s release, which has the scenarios listed on page 5 (the teams in CAPS at the top of each scenario designate Saturday’s winners).

 

Arizona win, the morning after


COUGARS

Good morning. A little celebrating by the neighbors last night around the apartment complex, or was it just a typical Thursday night in Pullman? Whatever, the noise didn’t die down until late, or early, depending on your perspective. Mine is in the shut-the-heck-up-and-go-to-bed-it’s-after-midnight category. Anyhow, here is our morning post, with links and some more comments. Pardon any typos. I’m still asleep. Read on.

Day after Santa Clara

Strange things happen when Gonzaga and Santa Clara meet at the Leavey Center. Last year Brody Angley fouled GU’s Steven Gray 65 feet from the basket with less than a second remaining. Gray made two free throws and sent the game to overtime where Gonzaga won in two extra sessions.

Last night, the Bulldogs took Santa Clara’s best shot and were building a small lead when a plastic pop bottle was tossed onto the court, apparently from the Broncos student section. SCU was called for a technical foul. The home team was hit with another technical foul a couple minutes later when what appeared to be a hot dog wrapper, bound up to about the size of a golf ball, was tossed on the floor. Matt Bouldin hit all four free throws on the technicals and Gonzaga went on to an 81-73 victory.

More below in our day-after post.

 

Bulldogs move to 13-0 in WCC

Back with an expanded game story from Gonzaga’s 81-73 victory over Santa Clara on Thursday. The unedited version is below. Check back Friday for a day-after post, as well as a preview of the San Diego game.

 

GU holds off SCU 81-73

I’m headed to the interview room. Read below for a short story on GU’s 81-73 win over Santa Clara.

WSU explodes in second half

COUGARS

Sorry this took so long, but … OK, I have no excuse. I just took a long time to write it. It’s ready now, so click the link. You’ll find the unedited story along with some web-only notes.

Road woes continue for Vandals

Bty now, it’s more than a trend. The Idaho men have been surprisingly steady at home and woefully inconsistent on the road. Such was the case Thursday night, when the Vandals let a double-digit first-half lead slip away in a 72-64 loss at San Jose State. It was Idaho’s 11th road loss of the season and it came against a bottom-tier WAC team that UI had beaten at home less than two weeks ago.

Missing an inconsistent post presence with Marvin Jefferson struggling and in foul trouble, the Vandals (13-14, 6-7) were outrebounded by a whopping 43-18 margin.

You can read more here. On Saturday, Idaho will take on Fresno State, which upset Nevada Thursday.

Zags up 36-35 at half

Gonzaga is shooting the lights out again against Santa Clara, but this time so are the Broncos.

Gonzaga made its first five shots and 9 of its first 12. The Bulldogs built an early nine-point lead only to see Santa Clara respond with a 16-6 surge to take a 24-23 lead on John Bryant’s layup with 7:18 left.

The Bulldogs rattled off eight unanswered points (six by Josh Heytvelt) to move in front 36-30 with 4 minutes left, but they had three late turnovers and didn’t score again. Meanwhile, Santa Clara closed within 36-35 at the break on James Rahon’s bank shot and a pair of Bryant free throws.

Gonzaga, which shot 55.4 percent in a 95-43 win over the Broncos in Spokane, made 14 of 25 shots (56 percent). SCU was in the mid 50s for much of the half before finishing 14 of 29 (48.3 percent).

Heytvelt has 13 points and two steals. Matt Bouldin added nine points and Jeremy Pargo chipped in six points and three assists. Kevin Foster leads Santa Clara with 13 points. Bryant picked up two fouls and played just 10 minutes. He has eight points and five rebounds.

More at the final buzzer.

 

WSU defeats UA, 69-53


COUGARS

The looks were there in the first half, the ball just didn’t go in. Call it the curse of the east basket. The Cougars made them in the second – on the west side. And, because they shot the lights out (68 percent in the second half at the west basket), WSU earned its seventh Pac-10 win Thursday, but only its third at home. The Cougars, who trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, built a lead of 17 points and held off the Cats down the stretch. This was a game WSU’s 4s, the power forwards, dominated offensively. Caleb Forrest hit a career-high nine free throws and scored 15 points. DeAngelo Casto added a career-high 11 points, four coming on layups from the high post in which he went to the hole uncontested. Taylor Rochestie and Klay Thompson combined for 33. We’ll be back in a couple hours with the game story.

WSU trails 29-26 at half


COUGARS

Though the numbers don’t show it – they are bad, but not Stanford bad – this was the worst offensive first half of the season for the Cougs. They are shooting 29 percent, including just 3 of 13 beyond the arc. The real problem is most of the shots have been great looks, not tough shots taking under duress. That’s what’s so poor about the half. Oops, almost forgot the nine turnovers, including five (officially, I have him with six) by Klay Thompson. But Thompson hit a 3-pointer as time expired and despite all the problems, WSU was down by just three. The key stat tonight: WSU is dominating the boards, with a 20-13 edge, including 8-1 on the offensive end. That’s giving the Cougars more attempts (28 to 21) despite the turnovers. If it wasn’t for Nic Wise, with 15 points, the Cougars would be up. In fact, besides Wise, Chase Budinger (eight) and Jordan Hill (six) – UA’s big three – no one else wearing a blue uniform has scored. Caleb Forrest leads WSU with nine, seven from the line. … Before we go to halftime, there’s one thing I don’t understand. When a player is on the floor with the ball and another player dives on top of his back, trying to tie him up, why is that not a foul? If they both were standing up, and player two dove on player one’s back, it would be a foul, right? Doesn’t make sense to me. It happened again – I think I’ve seen it at least a half-dozen times this season – in the first half and the official called a jump ball, despite the player on the court having his chest ground into the floor. Just saying. … We’ll be back at the end.

WSU has to stay aggressive


COUGARS

There’s one given tonight. It’s the one thing WSU has to do if it wants to win. Read on.

WSU hopes to sap UA’s power


COUGARS

Woke up this morning to a loud buzz, and it wasn’t the alarm clock. It was the microwave resetting itself after a power outage. Since then there have been three more, as my part of Pullman tries to deal with the heavy snow that fell overnight. Yep. Snow. Big flakes. Just in time for the guys from Arizona to catch it. Though, seeing that the high is expected to be 36 today, it probably will all be gone by the time the Wildcats start moving around. But the links I found will still be here. Read on.

WSU’s Harmeling has learned this season

COUGARS

Saturday, five seniors will be on the court for the last time as a Cougar: Daven Harmeling, Taylor Rochestie, Aron Baynes, Caleb Forrest and walk-on Ryan Bailey. For tomorrow, I’ve written about the one who has had the most challenging senior season. For the unedited version of tomorrow’s story, read on.

Heytvelt honored, players booted, GU-SCU preview

Several items below on Gonzaga’s matchup with Santa Clara Thursday, but first this note on Josh Heytvelt and two GU women’s basketball players, Jami (Bjorklund) Schaefer and Janelle Bekkering earning All-WCC academic honors. More here.

Forbes.com puts Mark Few on its list of top 10 college coaches. More here.

And, Santa Clara will be without Decensae White, a transfer from Texas Tech. San Diego’s Trumaine Johnson is no longer a Torrero. USD entertains Gonzaga on Saturday.

Read on for more on Gonzaga-Santa Clara.

Eagles former OC lands at Fresno State

Joe Wade, who served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Washington last fall, has taken a new job as running backs coach at Fresno State.

You can read an unedited version of the story — which also includes Coach Beau Baldwin’s comments about winter conditioning and a note on the start of spring practice — that  will appear in Thursday morning’ s S-R below.  And I’ve included this link to additional details on the Killin feed that annually marks the end of spring practice and the role Michael Roos is playing in this year’s event.

 

Big weekend for NIC men

The North Idaho College men’s basketball team is in a position to capture the Scenic West Athletic Conference title and host the Region 18 tournament.

Click the tab below to read more.

Post Falls boys to state

The Post Falls boys basketball team stunned Lewiston at Lewiston to capture the 5A Region I championship and state berth. Coeur d’Alene stayed alive by knocking off Lake City. Here’s a link to my game story.

NIC, McGoldrick seeking titles

North Idaho College wrestler Tim McGoldrick is thankful he received a second chance when he landed in Coeur d’Alene. He and his teammates are seeking national titles at the NJCAA tournament beginning Friday. Read about McGoldrick here.

And try to get a headline with WSU in it


COUGARS

You know what’s really difficult? Coming up with this paragraph every day. Heck, two or three times on some days. Trying to figure out a few words that will entice you into reading what’s on the link and making sure those words tie in all the elements we cover on said link. The length is important as well. Too short and it looks like we mailed it in. Too long and it covers your entire computer screen, forcing you to scroll down before you go inside. Think it’s easy? Whatever. It’s done for another day. Read on.

Redhawks finish off Eagles in OT

Eastern Washington University shot the ball horribly and executed poorly down the stretch in both regulation and overtime play Tuesday night, suffering a 63-59 overtime loss to Seattle University at Reese Court.

You can read an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Wednesday’s S-R below.

 

Mixed bag Tuesday for GSL in hoop playoffs

After watching Tuesday night’s basketball game at Gonzaga Prep and reading some other results, my suspicion that the Greater Spokane League wasn’t that good seemed confirmed. Then Lewis and Clark produced a 75-73 double overtime win in Pasco and it seemed to show further how unpredictable basketball has become.

GSL champ Gonzaga took it on the chin against Columbia Basin Big Nine No. 4 team Richland 54-45. The No 2 Tigers beat the CBBN No. 3 in 4A. Mt. Spokane was eliminated by Sunnyside in 3A 51-45. Fourth time proved a charm for Rogers which ousted North Central 55-43 after losing to the Indians three times during the year.

No. 1 Mead’s girls won easily over No. 4 Eastmont 49-27, but No. 2 LC was beaten 70-52 by CBBN No. 3 Walla Walla and Darcy Weisner’s freshman daughter Jamie (28 points, 19 rebounds). In 3A, North Central shocked East Valley to advance with its third win this year. Mt. Spokane lost 60-63 in a heartbreaker to Hanford in Richland.

4A teams play Friday and 3A on Saturday. Buy a Spokesman-Review for teams and times.

 

Shock add QB

Spokane has signed 6-5 quarterback Casey Hansen, from Norfolk State. More here.

The Shock also made the top 10 list of greatest all-time af2 teams — twice. More here.

WSU deals with quarterback’s arrest


COUGARS

An interesting day around Washington State today, with the fallout from Marshall Lobbestael’s weekend arrest and a coach emeritus visiting basketball practice. Read on.

We’ll see how we fare, Regional begins

The Lewis and Clark-Pasco boys basketball game concludes tonight’s first round of the regional basketball playoffs, but it could be a litmus test for our chances when the CBBN 6 take on the GSL 2.

“Pasco is a horrible matchup for us and we’re a horrible matchup for Pasco,” said coach Jeff Norton.

New football coach at U-Hi has credentials

The first of the vacant GSL football coaching positions has been filled by a high profile name. Bill Diedrick, longtime college and professional assistant coach and coordinator is coming home to take the reins at University High.

Lewis and Clark’s job will be posted soon and activities coordinator Jeff Norton said it will be opened up outside, although he anticipates interest for the position within. Process is on-going at North Central.

There’s palpable excitement at U-Hi in the hiring of the Spokane native and Rogers high coach in the late 1970s. Diedrick is a storied name in town and it sounds like a lot of former Titans assistants - dating back to the Dave Holmes era - are excited enough to want to re-up.

“I’m excited,” said U-Hi activities coordinator Ken Van Sickle. “We had a great pool of candidates. Withhis experience and backround, it is great for our community to have someone like him take over our program.”

Diedrick, during his college career mentored 12 quarterbacks who played in the NFL, helped coach a Grey Cup champion in the Canadian Football League, was part of a national champion Montana State team and worked for coaches like Tyrone Willingham, Dennis Erickson and Jim Lambright.

Eags test Seattle before Saturday’s big game against PSU

Eastern Washington will have a difficult time not looking past Seattle University tonight when the two teams square off in a non-conference men’s basketball matchup.

Still, Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine insists he is focused on the Redhawks rather that the Portland State Vikings, who will invade Reese Court on Saturday night for a game that will, in all likelihood, determine EWU’s fate as far as qualifying for the six-team Big Sky Conference Tournament is concerned.

You can read the notes supplied by Eastern’s sports information department on tonight’s game here, and  be sure to check back later tonight for an early read on the unedited game story that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R.

 

A rare Tuesday with WSU news

COUGARS

For once there is a Tuesday morning with some linkable stories. Some from basketball, some from football. Read on.

Decision time coming for Sacre

Media day today and we checked on Gonzaga’s walking wounded. The first item in the unedited notebook below is on Robert Sacre, who faces a tough decision in the near future. He’s elgible for a medical redshirt, but loses that if he plays in any of GU’s remaining games. (Sacre is pictured above in the GU-WSU game in December).

Also below, there are updates on Austin Daye and Ira Brown. Not mentioned below is the fact that Demetri Goodson, who was battling the flu during Saturday’s game against Pepperdine, was still feeling under the weather, but he practiced Monday and showed no signs of fatigue as he pursued every loose ball.

Read on.  

Hopson voted WAC Player of the Week

Mac Hopson, Idaho’s standout point guard, earned WAC player-of-the-week honors today after leading the Vandals to wins over Boise State and Cal State Northridge. The Washington State transfer has been the catalyst for Idaho’s turnaround — the club is 13-13 after going 8-21 last year.

You can read more about Hopson’s honor here.

Shock-Vipers ArenaCup voted top game

The Spokane Shock’s 56-55 loss to visiting Tennessee Valley in the 2008 ArenaCup was voted the top arenafootball2 game in the league’s 10-year history.

More here and here. (Pictured above is Spokane’s Kyle Young leaving the field after the ArenaCup).

Idaho: Boys postseason

Postseason tournaments continue this week for North Idaho boys basketball teams, while wrestlers head to state, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena.

Click the tab below to read more.

Vikings victorious

I had computer issues Saturday and couldn’t post my story about the Coeur d’Alene High girls basketball team defending its 5A state title.

So here’s the story here.

Pictured above are CdA teammates Whitney Heleker and Kama Griffitts hugging and teammates in the background celebrating after Heleker’s dramatic shot.

GU 17th in both polls

Gonzaga remained 17th in the A.P. Top 25 and moved up three spots to No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. More here.

Pac-10 going to the birds


COUGARS • UPDATED 11:30 A.M.

If you are a classic movie buff, and by that I don’t mean you remember the original Friday the 13th, you might recall a scene in “The Birds” in which Tippi Hedren et al walk by a schoolyard. There are thousands of birds on the playground equipment, the fence, the power lines, everywhere. If you remember that scene, you understand the view out my front window today. We have a robin infestation. And as I watched all of them peck around the trees, fight over the little holes in the snow full of water and avoid the squirrel that’s ticked off by their presence, I thought of the Pac-10’s basketball standings. Read on.

UPDATE: Taylor Rochestie’s career-best 33-point performance in Saturday’s upset of UCLA earned him the Pac-10 player of the week award. … Also, Marshall Lobbestael was cited by the Pullman police on Sunday as a minor exhibiting the signs of having consumed alcohol. We’ll have a brief in tomorrow’s paper. You can see the unedited version on the link.

Day after Pepperdine

Back with the day-after post following Gonzaga’s 92-58 victory over Pepperdine. Read on.

 

UCLA win, the day after


COUGARS

It’s the morning after WSU’s upset of the Bruins in Westwood, something that’s happened just once before in Cougar basketball history. And it came less than 48 hours after they sleepwalked through the first half of a loss at USC. We have our usual next-day post, with links to all the Pac-10 winners and some quotes that didn’t make the story. Read on.

Bulldogs claim WCC title outright

Gonzaga rolled to a 92-58 win over Pepperdine on Saturday, clinching the outright WCC title. Read more below in my unedited game story that will run in Sunday’s S-R.

 

Idaho snags third straight win

The Vandals blew most of an 11-point lead but held on for a 78-75 victory of Cal State Northridge on Saturday night at Cowan Spectrum. Idaho won its third straight and moved to 13-13.

It’s playing pretty good basketball but the fan support continues to be spotty. The announced attendance was 2,202, yet it looked closer to 1,700 to me.

Keep reading for my unedited game story.

Bulldogs crush Pepperdine, 92-58

Read on for an unedited game story on Gonzaga’s 92-58 win over Pepperdine on Saturday. Check back in about an hour for an extended game story with quotes.

Eags keep hopes alive by edging UNC

They are tearing down the press courtside press tables at Reese Court, and the power had bee n shut off, but I still wanted to post the story on Eastern’s important 60-59 win over Northern Colorado on Saturday night.

You can read an unedited version of the gamer that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R below.  And I would love to hear what those of you in attendance thought of UNC coach Tad Boyle’s meltdown over an officials call near the end of the game.

WSU makes believers out of UCLA

COUGARS

The clean up crews are working their way through Pauley Pavilion, picking up the debris left by 10,392 who probably couldn’t believe the Bruins lost today to Washington State. If they were in denial, they aren’t alone. It was hard for WSU to believe. Read on for the unedited version of my game story. I would write more but I have to get to the airport for my flight home.

WSU upsets UCLA, 82-81


COUGARS

It’s been since 2004. And that was the only time ever. When Washington State won in Pauley. The first year of Dick Bennett’s coaching tenure the Cougars took a 55-48 win back to Pullman. Now they have two, but it wasn’t easy. Riding the clutch play of Taylor Rochestie, the Cougars upset the 20th-ranked Bruins to salvage their fading postseason hopes. Rochestie had 33, Klay Thompson, who came out on fire, had 15 and WSU won despite losing Aron Baynes to fouls after scoring 13 points. We’ll be back in a couple hours with the game story.

UCLA, WSU tied at 42 at half


COUGARS

Washington State has suffered through some scoring droughts before. Lots of times this year in fact. But the problems the Cougars have had scoring have usually been cause by either their offensive ineptitude or a stellar defensive effort. Not until Saturday was it caused by a lack of weapons. With Aron Baynes and Caleb Forrest saddled with foul trouble – I’ll let you comment on the correctness of Michael Greenstein’s whistles – the Cougars lost their inside presence, along with Forrest’s ability to hit the 15-footer. Baynes left with two fouls at the 9-minute mark and WSU leading by eight. He returned 4 minutes later with the Cougars leading by two. He helped them build it back to four, then picked up his third with 1:40 left. Though the score is tied, WSU has outscored the Bruins by 11 from the field, with Klay Thompson putting up 15 (he hit his first five shots) and Taylor Rochestie 12. The 42 points in the first half is a season-high for WSU as is UCLA’s total for an opponent. WSU shot 68 percent in the first 20 minutes - hitting 8 of its first 9 shots - while UCLA shot 62 percent. We’ll be back.

Deer Park will repeat, 9 finalists for GSL

Deer Park put all its wrestlers in the finals today - Blake Adams, Drew Acorn, Billy Rhoads, Brandon Leliefield, Cody Miller and Shawn Burton - to wrap up its second straight State 2A championship in convincing fashion. As coach Matt Jorgensen said yesterday, it’s all about putting people through the front door and when you have six it’s pretty hard to lose. The Stags have doubled the score in the field and will approach last year’s 167.5 point total before it’s done.

 

WSU battles Pauley’s ghost

COUGARS

Understatement of the decade: Washington State doesn’t have much luck in Pauley Pavilion. OK, now that’s out of the way, let’s look at today’s game. Read on.

No. 1s on same regional side

Greetings from Tacoma. Survived the first day of wrestling and gymnastics thanks with help from Doug Drowley who works with The Tacoma News-Tribune. I’ll get back to the Tacoma Dome later. First it’s about basketball. Tuesday’s regional for 4A was thrown into a cocked hat when Lewis and Clark’s girls and Eisenhower’s boys, both previously unbeaten, were upset in their respective finals. That means the Tigers are on the same side as Columbia Basin Big Nine assuming both reach next Friday’s semifinals. and the Cadets are on the same side as GSL No. 1 Gonzaga Prep. Don’t know if that’s good or bad news, although it could be an advantage, particularly for GSL girls, giving both Mead  and LC better odds to win for an all-GSL final. Of course it could also work the other way. Say Prep beats Ike. That puts the Cadets in the loser’s bracket and if LC drops down, the Tigers will have their work cut out for a state spot.

One more game in LA for WSU


COUGARS

The last time WSU and UCLA got together in Pullman, the Bruins prevailed by a couple points, mainly because Nikola Dragovic went nuts from beyond the arc in the first half. But all week WSU coach Tony Bennett kept telling his team they were going to have to be tough, because playing the Bruins was like going to be the most physically challenging game they would play all year. Now, reading what UCLA coach Ben Howland had to say this morning in the LA Times advance, we know that sentiment occurs on both sides. For more links, read on.

Coeur d’Alene in title game

The Coeur d’Alene High girls basketball team will play for the 5A state championship for a fourth straight year.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Lakeland rally falls short

The Lakeland High girls basketball team rallied but fell short in the State 4A semifinals.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Viewing EWU’s woes from afar

Stuff happens.

Usually when I’m on vacation — which was the case once again last week when all hell broke loose at Eastern while I was busy carving out an 85-86 golf win over one of my closest friends on his home course in Fort Worth, Texas.  I even used his clubs.

But now I’m back, trying to catch up on the NCAA sanctions that soiled EWU’s football program while I was away.

Read on.

A long look at WSU’s future


COUGARS

Though there are still at least five games left this season, we decided to look down the road a little bit today. As the season is winding down, the Cougar freshmen are slowing showing signs of being able to contribute more and more next season and beyond. The consistency isn’t there yet – they are freshmen, after all – but the flashes are. Klay Thompson, of course, has shown his ability most of the season. But DeAngelo Casto and Marcus Capers have stepped up more often recently, contributing on the defensive end and occasionally on the offensive end as well. For the long version of our advance of tomorrow’s UCLA game, read on.

GU prepares for Pepperdine

Gonzaga entertains Pepperdine at deadline-unfriendly 8:30 on Saturday night. Read on for an unedited preview and a couple of links.

Day after Loyola Marymount

Gonzaga rolled to a 91-54 victory over Loyola Marymount on Thursday, clinching no worse than a share of the WCC title for the ninth straight year. Read on for links and my day-after post.

State girls basketball

The Coeur d’Alene and Lakeland girls basketball teams got off to good starts Thursday and Lake City, despite losing, played well. Not so much for Bonners Ferry and Timberlake.

Here’s a link to me 5A story and here’s a link to my 4A/3A story.

Camille Reynolds, pictured above, led Lakeland with 18 points and five assists Thursday.

USC loss, the day after

COUGARS

For the first time in the Tony Bennett era at WSU, the Cougars have fallen to the .500 mark. They hit that point last night, losing 61-51 to USC in a game that wasn’t that close, then was, then wasn’t. The loss, WSU’s seventh in its last nine games, also dropped it to 5-9 in Pac-10 play. For our usual day-after post, read on.

WSU’s slips help USC to victory


COUGARS

As we write in our game story – the unedited version of which you’ll find on the link – this WSU team can’t afford many lapses. And the Cougars had a big one in the first half Thursday. The result was a 61-51 loss at USC, dropping the Cougars to .500 overall and 5-9 in the Pac-10. Read on.

Gonzaga thumps LMU 91-54

Back with the game story from Gonzaga’s 91-54 victory over Loyola Marymount on Thursday. Read the unedited version below and check back Friday morning for a day-after post.

 

USC stops WSU, 61-51


COUGARS

There was an impressive rally in the second half. But the 15-point deficit WSU built with its almost 8-minute first-half scoring drought was just too much to overcome. The Cougars, behind Taylor Rochestie and DeAngelo Casto, cut USC’s lead to one (45-44) on Casto’s 3-point play. In fact, when DeMar DeRozen missed on the other end, WSU had a chance to take the lead. But Rochestie couldn’t get a 3-pointer to drop with 7:05 left, and Dwight Lewis hit a baseline jumper on the other end. Three empty possessions later, USC was up six and the Cougars would never get closer than four after that. Rochestie led WSU with 16 while Caleb Forrest, who kept the Cougars close in the first half, added 12. Taj Gibson paced USC most of the night, scored 16, with Dwight Lewis, who didn’t play in USC’s Pullman win, adding 17. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with the game story.

USC’s big run gives Trojans a 29-21 halftime lead


COUGARS

It wasn’t the triangle. It wasn’t any one player, though Taj Gibson was a load, with eight points and a couple rebounds. This first half score was a result of domination by USC’s defense of a WSU offense that seemed unable to score – and for 7 minutes, 38 seconds of the first half did exactly that. In that stretch USC built what’s going to be a tough-to-overcome lead, breaking out of a 6-6 tie with a 15-point run. That WSU is still in the game can be attributed to Caleb Forrest, who scored the Cougars’ first six points – he was the only WSU player to hit a shot in the first 13:33 of the game – finishing the half with 10 points, and Taylor Rochestie, who snapped USC’s 15-0 run with a three-point play and ended the half with seven points. WSU was 8 of 24 from the floor, including missing all eight 3-point attempts. USC was much better, hitting 12 of 25 and its only 3-point attempt. We’ll be back after this one is over with a quick summary.

Gonzaga captures another WCC title

Gonzaga took control early and cruised past Loyola Marymount 91-54 on Thursday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The 17th-ranked Zags (20-5, 11-0 WCC) earned at least a share of their ninth straight conference title and they will be the No. 1 seed in the WCC Tournament next month.

Steven Gray made five 3-pointers and led GU with 23 points Josh Heytvelt had 18 points, Micah Downs 16 and Austin Daye 13. Heytvelt and Daye combined for 21 points in the first half as Gonzaga led 41-22, despite giving up a four-point play to Corey Counts (3-pointer and free throw) in the closing seconds.

Game story in about two hours.

WSU tries to stop USC


COUGARS

What does Washington State need to do tonight to avenge the two-point loss to USC in the Palouse? A couple of things. Read on.

Shock make trade, release receiver

Spokane continues to refine its roster. Click here for the latest moves.

No surprises in 3A basketball

The favorites moved on as expected in the Greater Spokane League District 8 seeding tournament. Top seeded Shadle Park beat Mt. Spokane and North Central ran off 15 straight points to beat Rogers in boys. The Indians are at the Highlanders tonight at 7:15 p.m. Shadle’s girls host East Valley in the 5:30 opener. Shadle beat North Central and the surging Knights, whose Morgan Manchester has averaged 21.5 points over her last four games topped Mt. Spokane.

Rogers host Mt. Spokane in a game for third and fourth and Mt. Spokane girls host NC. Regional begins next week.

Also tonight, Lewis and Clark is at Gonzaga Prep for the District 8 4A championship and Ferris is at Mead. Winner of second game plays loser of first Friday for the second regional berth. Mead’s girls are at LC for the district title and University is at CV for the right to move on, winner facing the Mead-LC loser for regional. It also begins on Tuesday.

The world’s oldest and greatest sport

More than 130 wrestlers from this area converge in Tacoma for the extravaganza that has become Mat Classic. In it’s 31st year in the Tacoma Dome, there will be six tournaments going on simultaneously (with state gymnastics going on nearby). And I get to spend two 12-hour days attempting to keep track of it all. So rasslin’ fans bear with me this weekend. It is hectic and tough to follow. But we’ll do our best on little sleep and lots of adrenalin.

Here’s a preview story on Deer Park’s Cody Miller, as he and the Stags chase second 2A state titles. There’s more on all the classifications in today’s The Spokesman-Review

 

Frahm joins Reno of NBA Development League

Former Zag Richie Frahm has joined the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League. More here and here.

Idaho preps

Good morning from Boise. I arrived at 8:15 after taking the oh-dark-30 to cover the girls state basketball tournaments.

I’ll see three games today involving local teams.

Click the tab below to see more.

In the photo above, Coeur d’Alene girls coach Dale Poffenroth received a confetti shower after the defending state champion Vikings secured a state berth recently.

Lot riding on WSU, USC tonight

COUGARS

Even Tim Floyd knows it. “Outside of UCLA, no team has given us more trouble than Washington State,” Floyd told the Los Angeles Times this week. Which makes tonight’s matchup at the Galen Center all that more interesting. The Cougars want to play in the postseason, any postseason. And the Trojans, who have lost three straight, want to make the NCAA tournament. A loss tonight might just kill those hopes – for either. Read on.

WSU heads into Pac-10 stretch run


COUGARS

The final five games of the Pac-10 season come against teams in the conference’s top six. That sixth-place team is USC, the Cougars’ first opponent on this weekend’s trip to Los Angeles. Washington State has been pretty successful against the Trojans in Tony Bennett’s tenure, but this one won’t be easy. For the unedited version of our advance, go ahead and read on.

So much for Boise State’s guarantee

Idaho rallied from a 13-point deficit to shock Boise State on Wednesday night, winning 56-54 at the Broncos’ Taco Bell Arena. The Vandals knocked off BSU for the second time this season after Marvin Jefferson snapped a tie with a putback with 4.3 seconds left.

After Idaho beat BSU in Moscow last month, Bronco junior guard Anthony Thomas emphatically guaranteed he wouldn’t lose to UI the rest of his career. But Thomas once again struggled in comparison to rival point guard Mac Hopson, who had 18 points. Thomas finished with 10.

You can read more here.



Bouldin in line for WCC player of year?

Gonzaga has won (or shared) the last eight WCC player of the year awards. With four games remaining in the WCC season, Matt Bouldin is in position to make it nine straight Bulldogs.

More on Bouldin and the other WCC awards, GU’s Thursday night matchup with Loyola Marymount and a note from Thursday’s Four Corners page below.

Idaho: State girls basketball

Click the tab below to see team-by-team capsules of each team in the Idaho high school state girls basketball tournaments.

Katie Baker of Lake City is pictured above.

WSU picks up another junior tackle


COUGARS

We’ve got a lot for you this morning, so we’re going to get right at it. There is a ton of basketball stuff, of course, along with another football commit for 2010. Read on.

Prep-LC; LC-Mead in district championships

There wasn’t a surprise on the second night of Greater Spokane League district basketball play. League champions Gonzaga Prep boys and Lewis and Clark girls earned the right to play for regional berths. Their opponents, third-seed Lewis and Clark and girls second-place finisher Mead respectively. The Bullpups easily handled Ferris’ youthful boys team, the Tigers scrapped past Mead 59-55 in a game that personified the type of year the GSL had. LC had lost to Mead earlier 55-42, falling behind by nine points in the first quarter and never getting back into it. This time Mead trailed by a 11 after a quarter and although they did get back into the game, couldn’t get over the hump, going 6-for-13 from the free throw line.

LC girls jumped on University early and won 54-35 as Emily Travis scored a season high 17 points. Mead put Central Valley away late to win 64-44.

So the winners meet for the district championship and a regional berth. The losers play Thursday as well with that game winner going against the loser of the title games for the second spot to regional.

My stories:

 

 

WSU’s big week and more on NCAA rules


COUGARS

This week is, according to WSU basketball coach Tony Bennett, a life lesson. “The test will be, a lesson of life, can you dust yourself off and get back up and try and finish strong,” Bennett said Tuesday, looking back to the Cougars second-half collapse against Oregon State last Saturday. For more on basketball and the unedited version of our story on the role of the compliance office at your local university, read on.

Tuesdays with WSU


COUGARS

The last couple days have been somewhat thin on WSU news around the web. But we’ve found a couple things to pass on. You can find them on the link.

Zags 17/20 in polls

Gonzaga climbed a couple notches to No. 17 in the Associated Press top 25. The Bulldogs are No. 20 in ESPN/USA Today’s rankings. More here.

Day after San Francisco

I’ve traveled home, had the requisite number of computer issues, so I’ll take another stab at getting this post off the ground. Lots of stuff to get to after Gonzaga’s 78-73 win over San Francisco. Read on for the day-after USF post.

 

Oregon State, the morning after

COUGARS

It was that kind of day in the Pac-10. WSU did what it did, blowing a lead and losing to Oregon State. Stanford blew even a bigger lead – 22 points – and lost to Cal. Arizona dominated UCLA, which a week ago looked like an Elite Eight team at the very least. Only Oregon remained consistent. Heck, the Ducks might be the only reliable team in the Pac-10 right now. They play, they lose. Read on for our usual postmortem.

Gonzaga improves to 10-0 in WCC

Back with an expanded game story. The unedited version is below. Check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

 

Idaho pockets comfortable win

The Vandals looked shaky early, but had little trouble posting a 74-66 win over San Jose State on Saturday night. The game, or second half at least, wasn’t as close as the final score suggests.

Read on for my game story from Moscow, where only 1,697 watched inside Cowan Spectrum. I have to think the crowd would have been at least a little bigger had Idaho played in the afternoon. After all, it is Valentine’s Day.

Local wrestlers advance to state

Regional wrestling is over. Next up is Mat Classic XXI in Tacoma Feb. 20-21. How did teams fare? Pretty well actually. East Valley in 3A, Deer Park in 2A and Republic in B appear to be the teams most likely to contend for state titles.

The Knights qualified eight to state and had six finalists in a region that included perennial power Sedro Woolley. The Knights won 169.5 to 168, so that bodes well. Neighbors Deer Park and Riverside combined for 19 state berths and with those numbers can be among the placers Republic had five champions and another finalist in a tough region which should stand them in good stead at state.

It seems, however, that most of the eastern regions sort of shared individual wealth. During 4A, things were pretty spread out. Moses Lake, with 10 qualifiers and its share of finalists and champions is returning to its glory days. University had seven qualifiers, three of them champions, but will be hard-pressed to challenge Lake Stevens. And Lakeside, with five champions at the 1A regional, is in the hunt, but might need more depth. Five state titles, however, is worth 150 points or so. And that’s pretty good ammunition.

 All told, 135 area wrestlers will converge on the Tacoma Dome next weekend.

State girls hoop pairings

The final play-in games and final berths were nabbed Saturday as the pairings for the Idaho state girls basketball tournaments were finalized.

Click the tab below to see the pairings.

GU holds off USF 78-73

Here’s a quick game story that I’ll update in about an hour. Read on.

 

Zags up four at half

Gonzaga shot it well, rebounded it well, but turned the ball over frequently, which pretty much kept the Bulldogs from grabbing a bigger lead against San Francisco.

GU leads 41-37 at half after making 17 of 26 shots (65.4 percent) and holding a 19-10 rebounding edge. But the Bulldogs started the game with turnovers on their first four possessions and finished the half with 12 TOs. USF converted those miscues into 18 points.

Freshman guard Demetri Goodson came off the bench to score 12 points. He made 5 of 6 shots, including the first two 3-pointers of his career. His previous season high was eight points against Utah. Josh Heytvelt added eight points and Matt Bouldin 7, but he connected on just 2 of 7 shots.

Dior Lowhorn started 1 of 5, but made 5 of his next 6 shots. He has 15 points at half.

 

WSU cut to the bone by OSU in second half


COUGARS

In some ways maybe it was fitting. Oregon State frittered away a nine-point second-half lead in Corvallis and lost in overtime. Washington State returned the favor and even more so Saturday afternoon, giving up a 13-point, first-half lead with a strikingly lackadaisical second half and losing 54-52. On the link you’ll find the unedited version of my game story, along with some web-only notes. Read on.

Downs back in starting lineup

A couple of notes with four minutes to tipoff.

Senior Micah Downs is expected to start tonight against San Francisco. He lost the starting job to Steven Gray prior to the Tennessee game in Knoxville on Jan. 7, but Gray has struggled in three of the last four games. Gray had just three points against Saint Mary’s, five against Memphis and zero against San Diego. Gray scored 14 against Portland.

Downs had 13 points vs. Memphis and four points and three boards against the Gaels.

Also, the Zags are wearing the black uniforms they debuted on Thursday in Moraga.

More at half.

WSU blows lead, loses to OSU, 54-52


COUGARS

Washington State’s postseason hopes may have melted away in an almost 9 minute stretch of the second half Saturday, when the Cougars couldn’t get a shot to drop, couldn’t get a stop and, in effect, ensured they couldn’t get a win. WSU squandered all of a 12-point lead, fell behind by as many as six (with 5:41 to go), rallied but still lost to Oregon State. At home. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with our story. Till then …

WSU leads 32-20 at half


COUGARS

It’s easy to see the fruits of a defensive effort like WSU had in the first half today. When the opposition is shooting 38 percent and has scored just 20 points, it’s pretty obvious the Cougars are doing pretty darn well on the defensive end. But what is harder to measure is offensive efficiency, though there are stats for that. The true test is not in points scored (32 in the first 20 minutes) or points per possession (WSU only came up empty on 12 in the first half) but in how a team is attacking the opposition, and what the defense does to react to the attack. In this, the Cougars have been quite efficient. When OSU uses its 1-3-1 trap, they’ve attacked through the elbows and corners, getting open looks. When it has been the 2-3 matchup, the attack has been through ball screens on the wings. The looks have been good against that as well. The Cougars are shooting 56.5 percent, have turned the ball over just five times – including one on Aron Baynes as time ran out – and have 11 points off the bench. They lead by 12 despite just three points from Baynes and none from Taylor Rochestie, who has taken just one shot. We’ll be back when it’s over. Till then …

WSU ready for Beavers


COUGARS

If you watch Aron Baynes works on his right-handed jump hooks on one end and Caleb Forrest and Charlie Enquist their 15-footers on the other, as I am right now, you would understand how WSU will be attacking Oregon State this afternoon. For more on the Pac-10 matchup, read on.

We (heart) today … right


COUGARS

There’s something scary about Valentine’s Day. And this year more than ever. Think about it. Friday the 13th, then Valentine’s Day? Coincidence? I think not. Anyhow, any day that’s symbol is a heart and the mascot shoots arrows, well that scares us old guys. So let’s concentrate on the basketball. That will take our mind off any type of worry about a card or … crud, forgot to get a card. Well, let’s get this post done and go find one. Read on.

Bulldogs visit struggling Dons

Gonzaga will try to keep its WCC record unblemished when it faces San Francisco at 8 p.m. Thursday.

No. 19 Gonzaga is 18-5 overall, 9-0 in the WCC. USF is 9-16, 1-9.

Read on for my unedited game preview.

OSU will try to spread out WSU

COUGARS

As Washington State rolled through its defensive strategies for the Beavers and their Princeton-style offense, the emphasis was on communicating. Letting your teammate know what you are doing and knowing what he’s doing. Coach Tony Bennett emphasized more than once that the pack wasn’t going to work unless the Cougars talked. We’ll see how well that lesson sunk in about 24 hours from now. On the link you can find the unedited version of my advance. Read on.

Day after Saint Mary’s

Back with the day-after post from Gonzaga’s 72-70 win over Saint Mary’s on Thursday, played out before a loud and packed McKeon Pavilion.

“It was nuts,” GU reserve center Will Foster said. “It was nuts.”

Yes it was. More below. I’ll post my GU-San Francisco advance later today.

 

Oregon, the day after

COUGARS

An interesting night in the Pac-10. Not only do the Cougars throttle Oregon, the Huskies win to move back atop the conference standings when UCLA fades late in a loss to Arizona State. And Arizona continues its roll, getting past USC at home. With its win, WSU is all alone in seventh place in the conference with Oregon State, a game back at 4-8, coming in Saturday. Read on.

Zags hold off Gaels, 72-70

Gonzaga used a 7-0 run to break away from a 60-60 tie, but the Bulldogs couldn’t seal the deal at the free-throw line. Five misses in the last 43 seconds gave Saint Mary’s a couple chances at the lead, but the Gaels turned the ball over once and Carlin Hughes’ 3-point attempt from 40 feet was off the mark as time expired.

The Bulldogs held on for a 72-70 win in front of a sellout crowd of 3,500 at McKeon Pavilion.

Read on for an unedited game story, and check back in the morning for a day-after post.

 

Oregon perfect medicine for WSU


COUGARS

Of course the Ducks were winless in the Pac-10 coming in. Of course they were 6-17 overall, hadn’t defended well, had been worked by just about every conference foe. But, as Taylor Rochestie said, Washington State, after having dropped three consecutive games and five of six, needed a win. Didn’t matter who it was over, where it was played, how it happened. The Cougars wanted a W. They got it. Read on for the unedited version of my game story.

Aggies show their mettle at Idaho

IDAHO BASKETBALL

Once again, the Vandals had a chance to make a big splash in WAC play. But poor rebounding and too many big plays from Utah State resulted in a 62-53 loss at the Cowan Spectrum.

Keep reading for my game story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R. 

GSL suspense takes suspense out of pairings

Two suspenseful games took the suspense out of the post-season pairings in Greater Spokane League boys basketball. Mead scored at the buzzer to beat Shadle Park and Lewis and Clark scored near the buzzer to beat Rogers.

That means that Mead (11-9) is District 8 4A No. 2 seed behind Gonzaga Prep (18-2) and Lewis and Clark (11-9) is No. 3. Ferris (10-10) and Central Valley (10-10) play each other Monday to complete the field.

Saturday Rogers (8-11) is at Mt. Spokane (7-12) to determine the Nos. 3 and 4 3A positions and who plays Shadle Park (16-4) or North Central (11-9) in district games for regional seeding.

Again, the pairings:

WSU blows out Oregon, 67-38


COUGARS

Is there any better way to start a game against a team that’s lost 11 consecutive conference games than with a 19-2 lead? From that point, 10 minutes, 29 seconds into the game, the only thing to wonder about was the final score. Of course, there were some interesting moments until that score was decided, but there was little danger WSU would throw the lead away. The Cougars were led by a defense that blanketed the Ducks, forcing them into 17 percent shooting from the floor 28 minutes into the game – Oregon hit just 1 of its first 12 second-half shots. Offensively, Klay Thompson supplied the outside shooting with 23 points while Taylor Rochestie added 16. The much-needed win moves WSU to 13-11 overall and 5-7 in the Pac-10. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with the game story. Till then.

Zags, Gaels even at half

Gonzaga trailed by as many as nine, but the Bulldogs rallied to pull even, 36-36, with Saint Mary’s at half.

Josh Heytvelt had 12 points and Matt Bouldin 11 for the 19th-ranked Bulldogs, who were sluggish offensively and made just 12 of 30 field-goal attempts (40 percent). Gonzaga was called for 12 fouls, forcing coach Mark Few to substitute liberally. Ira Brown has three fouls. Demetri Goodson, Micah Downs and Austin Daye each have two.

Jeremy Pargo committed three of Gonzaga’s six turnovers. Heytvelt had seven rebounds and was 5 of 6 at the foul line.

Wayne Hunter hit three 3-pointers and made all three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. He led Saint Mary’s with 13 points.

 

 

WSU leads by 14 at the half


COUGARS

Did that seem like a quick half to you? The Cougars came out on fire and built a 25-5 lead, which is their biggest in a Pac-10 game this year. The Ducks battled back and cut the lead to 12 at one point. But it’s halftime and WSU leads 29-15. The Ducks are shooting 5 of 22 from the floor, with the Cougars over .500 at 12 of 23. Klay Thompson has hit 6 of 10 shots and has 15 points. Taylor Rochestie has eight more, so that tells you the Cougar scoring isn’t spread out. By the way, Aron Baynes has yet to score. Freshman Drew Wiley, who had WSU on his short list last year, is keeping Oregon in it with eight points. By the way, Kyle Weaver is on Bud Nameck’s halftime show. We’ll be back at the end. Till then.

Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s pre-game notes

A couple of notes as McKeon Pavilion begins filling up for the 8 p.m. tipoff. Gonzaga is breaking out new black uniforms. The shorts are black with a thick blue stripe on the side. The players are still wearing their shooting shirts, so I haven’t seen the tops.

The lighting inside McKeon is much different than a year ago. Gone are the bank of lights that were pretty much in the line of sight for players attempting 3-pointers in front of the team benches. The lights are now centered over the court and it’s much brighter.

UPDATE: San Francisco, which entertains Gonzaga on Saturday, has suspended four players until further notice, according to a school release. The four are senior center James Morgan, senior guard Manny Quezada, junior center Hyman Taylor and freshman guard Chioke Walker. They were suspended for not complying with his instructions during practice.

Back at half with an update.

 

Countdown to Oregon

COUGARS

No one wants to be first. Not after 11 consecutive conference losses. No one in the Pac-10 wants to be the first team to lose to the University of Oregon. The Ducks are 6-17 overall to go with their 0-11 conference mark. But they’ve played the toughest schedule in the country according to basketball statistical mavens Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin. Though, for the life of me, I can’t figure how anyone who has UC Irvine on its schedule can be playing the toughest one in the nation. Oh well. So how do the Cougars avoid being the 1 in a 1-11 record? Read on.

Look at those Spartans

The Priest River boys basketball team is 13-0, 7-0 in the Intermountain League. Read about the Spartans in my column.

Also, Post Falls senior standout Jordan Schoening has had an MVP-type year. Read about her here.

Update: Post season upon us

I’M UPDATING THIS POST FROM EARLIER TODAY - Mike V.

Wrestling and gymnastics is into the next to last weekend of their seasons and basketball playoffs are in full swing with 1A, 2B and 1B teams vying for state.

Tonight marks the end of the regular Greater Spokane League season. As it stands right now,  Ferris coach Don Van Lierop thought that Lewis and Clark and Mead likely have the inside track to the No. 2 and 3 4A district seeds, even if they wind up in a four-way tie at 10-10 with Ferris and Central Valley. He bases his belief on the quality wins portion of the playoff criteria for ties. LC beat Gonzaga Prep and Mead beat Shadle Park, which neither of the other two teams did. 

By my calculations, if there’s a four-way tie it looks to me as if Mead will be No. 2 after sweeping Lewis and Clark plus a quality win over Shadle Park. That would put, the Saxons No. 3 because of its sweep over LC (Both the Panthers and Ferris would be 4-2 in games among the four. With CV finishing 3-3, splitting with the other three, and LC 1-5 it would make sense that they are No. 4 and 5 respectively and would face each other Monday. The caveat is that since CV and LC split and LC has that quality victory, they could be home team for the 7:15 p.m. loser-out contest. 

I guess the best thing to do is see how tonight’s games play out and see if it renders all this moot.

As for Districts:

 

Davis quits at Binghamton

Former Bulldog Theo Davis is now a former Binghamton Bearcat. More below.

Wulff’s thoughts on NCAA violations


COUGARS, EAGLES

Let’s change gears. As you probably know, the NCAA handed down its sanctions against Eastern Washington’s football program Wednesday for violations that occurred while current WSU coach Paul Wulff was in charge. Wulff was also hit with two penalties: missing the first three days of this fall’s practice and having to attend compliance seminars for the next three years. The news was well covered throughout the state. Read on.

Oregon invades Pullman tonight


COUGARS

We’re going to have two posts this morning. This one, concerned with tonight’s basketball game with Oregon and containing links to the same. The next one, which we will post soon, will contain links to the stories concerning Eastern Washington’s NCAA sanctions and how that relates to WSU coach Paul Wulff. It will also have Wulff’s comments from last night’s late conference call. Read on.

Dinner, and a WCC game

Made the trip to Oakland today and was greeted by a couple of downpours. The Zags were supposed to leave this afternoon and they have dinner plans with some guy named Ronny Turiaf.

The ex-Zag, who attended last year’s Loyola Marymount game when he was with the Lakers, is starting for the Warriors after an injury to Andris Biedrins. Turiaf (pictured above) had 10 points in a 144-127 home win over the Knicks on Tuesday. Golden State entertains Portland tomorrow.

Here’s a link to an article on Saint Mary’s defense and read on for my unedited game preview and other notes on Thursday’s GU-Saint Mary’s game.

WSU hopes season lasts a bit longer


COUGARS

I don’t know how many of you are caught up in the NCAA violations story, but we have to keep our eyes – at least one anyway – on the basketball season. Along those lines, we have a story for tomorrow’s S-R concerning the postseason possibilities for WSU basketball. You can read the unedited version on the link. Read on.

NCAA hits Eastern, Wulff


UPDATED: 4:10 P.M.

The NCAA has slapped Eastern Washington University with a postseason ban this fall and other sanctions for violations that occurred during now-Washington State coach Paul Wulff’s tenure. Wulff was also punished by the NCAA and will have to miss the first three days of WSU’s fall practice this year along with attending rules seminars for the next three years. You can read our story here.

UPDATE: Eastern Washington has issued a statement concerning the violations and the NCAA’s actions, with comments from acting president John Mason. You can read WSU’s release here. It contain comments from athletic director Jim Sterk and Wulff.

Coeur d’Alene girls on to state

The undefeated and top-ranked Coeur d’Alene girls basketball is headed to state. Read more here.

CdA coach Dale Poffenroff receives a confetti shower in the picture above.

Oregon dominates Pac-10 news

COUGARS

Though there isn’t a lot of links this morning, the ones out there are pretty darn interesting. They range from some Oregon football suspensions to the NIT … and beyond. Read on.

WSU hopes Oregon isn’t in payback mode


COUGARS

About five minutes ago I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to post anything new tonight. After reading through my notes on Tony Bennett’s press conference today and after observing practice in the afternoon, there wasn’t a whole heck of lot to relate other than the Cougars don’t want to be Oregon’s first conference win and were doing everything possible to avoid that fate. Then something popped up. Read on.

A traditional WSU Tuesday


COUGARS

Kind of scraping to find items for you, which is sort of a Tuesday tradition. We did, however, find a couple links. Read on.

Gonzaga drops to 19, 21 in polls

Gonzaga’s 68-50 loss to Memphis dropped the Zags one spot in the A.P. poll (from 18th to 19th) and three spots in the ESPN/USA Today poll (18th to 21st). Memphis soared from 14th to 8th in A.P, and from 15th to 10th in ESPN/USA Today.

More here.

Pac-10 now a Sunday product


COUGARS

Have a good Sunday, did you? Catch up on some sleep, dust the den, watch the Pro Bowl on the tube? Speaking of the Pro Bowl, did you see the quote we had on Page 2 of the sports section this morning? Someone asked Larry Fitzgerald if winning the Pro Bowl win eased the pain of losing the Super Bowl. “No, not one bit,” Fitzgerald said. Has to be one of the dumbest questions ever. Anyhow, lets move on to Pac-10 basketball. Read on.

California Dreamin’ before playoff push

OK. I admit to being remiss in my duties to this blog, but I plead my case. I spent the past five days in California watching my daughter, Linse play softball. Hard to believe it’s her senior year at Central Washington and I vowed to see as many of her games as work allows. Temperature was in the the high 50s and mid 60s. As we were walking into Pedretti Park (in Turlock) in shirt sleeves, the coach from Cal State Stanislaus wondered where we were from. She was headed back home for another layer of clothing. I admit, it was a bit brisk when we flew back into Spokane last night and seeing the snow was a bit disconcerting after a pleasant get away. Incidentally, Linse won two of three on the mound.

State-qualifying girls tourneys

We decide Idaho state qualifiers in area girls basketball tournaments this week.

Click the tab below to see a schedule.

Coeur d’Alene senior guard Amy Warbrick is featured in the picture above.

Day after Memphis

Been out of wireless range all day at one of my kid’s activities, but back now with the day-after post following the Memphis Tigers’ 68-50 dismantling of GU on Saturday night.

We’ll start with the links: Here’s my gamer, John Blanchette’s column, the Seattle Times’ Steve Kelley’s column, the Memphis Commercial Appeal game story and replay.

Much more below.

Cal loss the day after

COUGARS

It was one of the more entertaining games of the season, if only because neither team seemed able to get stops on a consistent basis. Because of that, the game had an NBA feel, with first WSU making a run, then Cal. Who would have the last one? Ah, that would be the Bears. An 11-3 run to be precise. Over the final 2 minutes, 50 seconds. Read on.

Hawaii turns tables on Vandals

A month ago, the Idaho men’s basketball team had no trouble discarding Hawaii inside the Kibbie Dome. But the Rainbow Warriors were a whole different beast at home on Saturday, throttling UI 71-49.

The Vandals’ worst WAC loss of the season coincided with a woeful performance from usually sterling point guard Mac Hopson. He finished with five points, three assists and six turnovers. The Vandals were outrebounded 33-18 and just a mere 1 of 13 from the 3-point line.

You can read more here.


WSU loses to Cal. Again


COUGARS

It’s late and I have a heck of a long walk ahead of me. Here’s the unedited version of my game story with some web-only notes. Read on.

Zags fall to Memphis for fourth straight year

Back with the game story from Gonzaga’s 68-50 pratfall against Memphis in front of 11,339 at the Arena and a national television audience on ESPN.

Read on for the unedited article below and check back for a day-after post on Sunday.

Eastern avenges earlier loss to NAU

Eastern Washington got physical with Northern Arizona at Reese Court Saturday night and dug out a crucial 54-50 Big Sky win.

You can read an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R below.

 

 

Cal pulls away late, stops WSU


COUGARS

In what was the best game of the season, regardless of the outcome, Cal pulled away from WSU in the final minutes again, winning 71-63. Both teams shot the lights out, with the Cougars hitting more than 60 percent of their shots until the final 2 minutes and Cal over 50 all night. The Bears, however, had a decided edge at the free-throw line, wher the hit 13 of 16 and the Cougars hit, well … they shot one. All night. More than anything, though, WSU had no answer for Patrick Christopher, again. He had been in a shooting slump but torched the Cougars for 20. Theo Robertson added 17 and Jerome Randle 20. Taylor Rochestie led WSU with 19 while Klay Thompson added 15, including back-to-back 3s that tied the game at 60. We’ll be back in about an hour with our story …

WSU leads despite long dry spell


COUGARS

Sorry this is a little late, but I got caught watching the first half instead of preparing this post. It was that good. First the Cougars made a run thanks to their 7 of 9 shooting. Then Cal rallied back as Tony Bennett subbed freshmen Mike Harthun, Marcus Capers and DeAngelo Casto. From 16-5 WSU, it was 20-16 Cal before Caleb Forrest, who had nine first-half points, hit a 19 footer to break a 15-0 run. Of course that wasn’t all, even though Cal built a seven-point lead. WSU hit six of its last seven shots – including a 25-foot Taylor Rochestie jumper at the 2.6 second mark – to take a 33-30 lead into the locker room. Rochestie had nine points, Klay Thompson seven despite a 8-minute stretch of Cal playing a triangle and two on them. Jerome Randle paced Cal with 10 points. The Cougars shot 66.7 percent - 5 of 7 from beyond the arc - and Cal 54.2 - 4 of 5 - in the first half. We’ll be back …

Zags no match for Memphis

Gonzaga’s nine-game winning streak came to an abrupt end Saturday as Memphis dominated the first 32 minutes, building a 26-point lead before holding off a late GU rally for a 68-50 victory at the Arena.

No. 18 Gonzaga had eight field goals and 11 turnovers while falling behind 40-23 at halftime. The 14th-ranked Tigers continued to pull away in the second half with a 7-0 spurt hiking their lead to 60-34 with 8:38 left.

With starters Jeremy Pargo, Matt Bouldin and Austin Daye essentially relegated to the bench, the Bulldogs scored 13 unanswered points to close within 60-47 with 3:35 left. Ira Brown’s three-point play made it 62-50 with 1:26 left, but the Tigers hit their free throws to seal their fourth win over GU in four years.

Micah Downs led GU with 13 points and Josh Heytvelt had 11. Tyreke Evans, an impressive freshman point guard, had 22 and Robert Dozier added 18 for the Tigers.

Game story in about two hours.

 

Will Cal rise above WSU again?


COUGARS

There’s a hard-to-shake image from the first game between WSU and Cal, that the Bears won 57-50 in Pullman. It’s immortalized (OK, that’s a little too much hyperbole) by the picture I ran with this morning’s post. Patrick Christopher cutting back door, rising above Nik Koprivica and Caleb Forrest and dunking the Cougars’ comeback hopes. So what does WSU have to do tonight to ensure such an outcome doesn’t happen again? Read on.

Morrison traded to Lakers

Adam Morrison is now an L.A. Laker. The former Gonzaga standout was traded Saturday. Is this a good fit for Morrison? Click here for the story. And here and here for more.

Gonzaga, Memphis game day

Some reading material for tonight’s GU-Memphis game at the Arena.

Here’s my game advance, John Blanchette’s column, and a preview, column and an update on the dismissal of freshman forward Matt Simpkins from the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Here’s Jay Bilas’  take on the matchup.

 

Christopher, Bears await WSU

COUGARS

As the Pac-10 basketball season winds down, each game takes on increased importance for those teams in the middle of the pack. Which, with the parity in this conference, means just about everyone. Seven of the 10 conference teams have records ranging from 6-4 to 4-6. So none of the teams in the middle muddle can afford a loss today. And there is one game where two of them match up: in Berkeley, with Cal (6-4) hosting WSU (4-6). Read on for links and thoughts.

Zags, Tigers hook up at Arena

Gonzaga and Memphis collide at the Spokane Arena tomorrow in what looks to be a dandy matchup of ranked teams. ESPN’s College GameDay will be on hand and fans are asked to wear black shirts. Much more, and my unedited game preview below.

Cal looms for WSU on Saturday


COUGARS

We’re done for this evening. We attended the Cougars’ practice and put together our advance for tomorrow’s game with Cal. You can read the unedited version on the link.

Day after Portland

These 8 p.m. starts aren’t real conducive to gathering post-game notes and quotes, but we did get about 10 minutes of interview time following Gonzaga’s 93-78 win over Portland on Thursday in an entertaining men’s basketball game.

Here are links to the Oregonian’s Ryan White and Jim Beseda, and the Portland Tribune’s gamer and column.  

Read on my day after post.

 

Somber Cougars can’t explain effort

COUGARS

Talking with the Washington State players after the 65-54 loss to Stanford on Thursday night, there was a grudging admiration of the way the Cardinal shot. Anytime a team hits a hair under 70 percent against you from beyond the 3-point arc, there has to be at least some acknowledgement that, yes, those guys were hot. But still, all three players we had time to talk with quickly pointed the finger at the crimson uniforms. Too many open looks. Too slow on rotations. Just all around too reactive on defense, according to coach Tony Bennett. As can be expected, it was a somber group of Cougars who trudged down the Maples Pavilion tunnel and out the door to their bus. Now they have to regroup, get refocused and get ready to play a Cal team that pounded the Huskies in the second half Thursday. Read on for links.

GU takes two-game lead in WCC

Back with my unedited game story from Gonzaga’s 93-78 win over Portland on Thursday. Read below for more, and check back Friday morning for a day-after post.

 

Defense lets WSU down


COUGARS

It’s getting late. Read on for my unedited game story.

Eags club Sac State behind big first half

Eastern Washington held Sacramento State to just nine first-half points and breezed to an easy 67-46 Big Sky Conference win at Reese Court on Thursday night.

I’ve attached an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Friday’s S-R below.

 

 

Stanford makes it look easy, 65-54


COUGARS

Washington State had no answer for Lawrence Hill. And, when Taylor Rochestie picked up his third foul with 17 minutes left and had to sit, the Cougars had little execution on offense. That combination, along with possibly the Cougars poorest defense effort of the season, proved too much for WSU in Thursday’s defeat. About the only offense the Cougars had for 30 minutes was supplied by Klay Thompson, who finished with 8 points. But that was more than offset by Hill’s 20, along with the 13 of reserve center Will Paul, most of those coming on pick and pops. Aron Baynes chipped in 16 points and pulled down his usual nine rebounds, but Rochestie struggled, with just seven points before fouling out with 1:13 left. And everyone struggled on the defensive end as Stanford shot 55 percent, including a season-best and hard-to-fathom 69 percent from beyond the arc. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with our game story. Till then …

Zags down 43-42 at half

Gonzaga’s Matt Bouldin and Portland’s Derek Raivio both wear uniform No. 15. They had something else in common Thursday: They lit up the scoreboard in the first half as the host Pilots took a 43-42 edge at halftime.

Bouldin poured in 18 points, hitting 5 of 6 shots, 3 of 4 3-pointers and 5 of 5 free throws. Raivio racked up 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, 3 of 5 3-pointers. The Pilots’ junior wing, the younger brother of ex-Zag Derek Raivio, played 13 minutes.

Both teams struggled to contain the other’s offense. Portland hit 10 of its first 16 shots before cooling off to 48.4 percent for the half. Gonzaga was 5 of 5 on 3s until Micah Downs missed from long distance under the 8-minute mark.

The scored was tied eight times and there were 11 lead changes. Portland’s biggest lead was five; Gonzaga’s four.

Jeremy Pargo and Steven Gray each had eight points. T.J. Campbell had nine points and four assists for the Pilots.

  

Stanford up 29-28 at the half


COUGARS

You like fast-paced basketball? Then this isn’t the game for you, except maybe the final minute in which the Cougars surrendered all of a hard-earned first-half advantage. The pace of this game was so slow it only took about 35 minutes to play 20 as there were few possessions and only about a dozen whistles. WSU jumped out to a 9-2 lead, stretched that to 15-7, then started turning the ball over. With 4 minutes, 39 seconds left, the Cougars led 26-22. But then one of those stretches hit, and WSU went more than 4 minutes without a bucket, allowing Stanford to build a 29-26 lead. Only Aron Baynes’ follow in the final 25 seconds (Baynes was just 2 of 5 in the half with three turnovers as Stanford doubled him almost every time he touched the ball) kept WSU within one at intermission. Klay Thompson led WSU with 10 points, while DeAngelo Casto, who made his second start of the season, grabbed five rebounds. Lawrence Hill paced Stanford with 11 points, but it was the Cardinal’s outside shooting – 5 of 7 from beyond the arc – that kept them in it. If WSU wants to win this, it will have to tighten up the defensive end, with Stanford 11 of 22 at the half. We’ll be back after it’s over with a post for you to use to comment. Till then …

Casto will make second start for WSU


COUGARS

Another road game, another lineup. Yes, if there is one thing you can count on this season, it’s that WSU will adjust its starting lineup to fit the competition. And tonight the competition is Stanford, a team that usually starts three players 6-foot-7 and taller. Read on how the Cougars will counter.

Portland pre-game; Pargo a finalist

The student section is filling up — they’re directly across the court from Gonzaga’s bench — at the Chiles Center and there’s a much bigger turnout than I remember seeing a year ago. They’re receiving their instructions from a young man in purple body paint with a ‘P’ on his chest that I recognize from last year’s game. He’s shouting out instructions such as “Ira Brown was born in 1982” and they’re chanting “HEY” everytime a Pilot makes a shot in warmups.  

Anyway, the finalists were released for the Bob Cousy Award, symbolic of the top point guard in the country. Gonzaga senior guard Jeremy Pargo is one of 17 finalists. He’s joined on the list by Saint Mary’s sophomore Patty Mills. More here and here..

 

Tickets on sale Friday for Shock-Twisters

Tickets will go on sale Friday for the Spokane-Arkansas preseason game. The Twisters are coached by ex-Shock head coach Chris Siegfried and feature former Spokane QB Kyle Rowley. (The two are pictured above.) 

More here.

Eagles nearing important tipoff against Sac State

We’re still a few hours away from tipoff at Reese Court, where Eastern will be entertaining Sac State tonight in a matchup featuring the bottom two teams in the Big Sky Conference standings.

Eastern (9-13 overall, 3-7) is in eighth place, followed by the last-place Hornets (2-20, 1-8), who present some major concerns for Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine — even though his team beat Sac by double digits on the road earlier this winter.

I’ve included more details below, along with several links to other stories about Eastern basketball, so read on  

Coeur d’Alene girls cruising

A myriad of things to link to today. So click the tab below and follow along.

Stanford awaits WSU tonight

COUGARS

Another important weekend in Pac-10 basketball. Is there any other kind? And, lest we forget, some news on the football recruiting front. Yesterday was important for some reason. Read on.

Vandals hit homefront harder in recruiting

IDAHO FOOTBALL

The Vandals announced the signing of 22 recruits today, with six of them coming from Idaho and Washington. The key local recruit was linebacker Jared Heston of Lake City, who received plenty of praise from Idaho coach Robb Akey.

Keep reading for more.

Gonzaga gets defensive

All kinds of Zags’ stuff to post, with the main item an article on Gonzaga’s defense that will run in Thursday’s S-R (for that, you have to read to the bottom). This is a long one because we have to cut-and-paste, but read on.

 

WSU hits state, California hard in recruiting


COUGARS

We’re about to head to Northern California for this weekend’s two key Pac-10 basketball games. But before we go, we wanted to give you our letter-of-intent day coverage. On the link you’ll find the unedited version of our story that will run in Thursday’s S-R, along with some extra stuff. Of the 20 high school seniors WSU signed, 16 of them are from either Washington or California. Read on.

Eagles sign 33 football recruits

Beau Baldwin’s second recruiting class at Eastern Washington University is both big in numbers and loaded with talent.

The Eagles’ second-year coach, coming off a 6-5 season, announced the signing of 33 high school seniors to national letters of intent on Wednesday.  I’ve posted an unedited version fo the recruiting story that will appear in Thursday morning’s S-R below. And I’ve also included a complete list of recruits.

As promised, I’ve updated this post with this link to the recruiting story on EWU’s website, which includes additional information on all of the new signees and additional comments from Baldwin. Please read on, and feel free to leave your thoughts on Baldwin’s latest recruiting efforts here.

Sanders changes mind

Lake City tight end/defensive end Billy Sanders changed his mind again, opting to sign with the University of Miami on Wednesday after declaring last week he was headed to UCLA.

Sanders originally gave Miami an oral commitment a year ago, but then decided to go to UCLA.

I’ll post more here later.

Around the Pac-10 on signing day


COUGARS

A surprisingly quick post for this morning, in that there isn’t all that much to link. For what we do have, read on.

Pac-10 halfway through


COUGARS

A quick post for your Tuesday evening. We’ve got the unedited version of a basketball story for tomorrow’s S-R available now. Read on.

Shock sign DB Gray

Spokane has signed another defensive back, former Lubbock standout Virgil Gray. More here

The week begins again

Only two weeks remain in the league basketball season and very little has been settled in the Greater Spokane League. We know that Gonzaga Prep (15-2) is No. 1 among 4A schools and Shadle Park is a win away from being No. 1 among 3A teams. Behind them it’s anybody’s guess. Only team mathematically eliminated from post-season is University. East Valley kept itself slimly in the 3A hunt by beating the Titans and Mt. Spokane last weekend.

Also upcoming are district competitions for B teams. State 1B is just three weeks away. There’s no regional like last year. District 7 (Bi-County/Panorama Leagues) have four 1B and three 2B state berths. District 9 gets two and two.

State 4A eastern region has three state berths for boys and girls and 3A two this year. Great Northern League gets two teams to state (boys and girls). Northeast A combines with Caribou Trail League for three state spots.

 

Recruiting still center stage at WSU


COUGARS

Good Tuesday morning to you. The weather is fine here in Pullman, though there must have been a blizzard in the apartment complex Sunday. Wait, it’s just trash from Super Bowl parties. Well it hasn’t “melted” yet. Really, how far is it to the dumpster? Speaking of … you thought I was going to say trash, didn’t you, then refer to the links I’m giving you. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. We have some good links … and some others. Read on.

Pilots flying high

Gonzaga visits the red-hot Portland Pilots, winners of six straight since falling to the Bulldogs 67-50 on Jan. 10th, at the Chiles Center on Thursday.

I checked in Monday morning with Portland coach Eric Reveno, who talked about his team’s emergence in the WCC race for an article that will run in Tuesday’s S-R. The unedited version is below.

 

Shock entertain Twisters, Siegfried

Spokane will face Arkansas, coached by former Shock head coach Chris Siegfried and quarterbacked by Kyle Rowley, who piloted Spokane to the 2006 ArenaCup title, in a preseason game March 18th.

More here.

Hard work almost over for WSU coaches


COUGARS

Though basketball season is in full swing, we’re also in full football mode. That’s because Christmas comes Wednesday, better known as letter-of-intent day. Yep, it’s the first day of the signing period for football and WSU is looking forward to it. For a look at WSU built the class you’ll read about in two days, read on.

NIC’s winning shot

Here’s a link that shows Melvin Jones’ 81-foot shot in North Idaho College’s thrilling 69-66 win over College of Southern Idaho on Saturday at NIC. I paced off the shot - it was from 81 feet. The video isn’t great, but you’ll see the ball go through the net.

Gonzaga 18th in polls; Mills faces surgery

Gonzaga climbed a little in the A.P. poll and a lot in the ESPN/USA Today rankings. The Bulldogs (16-4, 7-0 WCC) are 18th in both polls — up two in A.P. and seven in ESPN/USA Today.

Saint Mary’s dropped out of both polls. In fact, the Gaels went from No. 22 to not receiving a single vote in the A.P. top 25. More here.

UPDATE: Gaels’ guard Patty Mills will have surgery to repair two broken bones in his right hand. Coach Randy Bennett hopes Mills can return for the final week of the regular season. More here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Saint Mary’s will entertain nationally ranked Utah State in a BracketBusters’ contest Feb. 21.

 

Eags’ skid continues

Eastern Washington dropped another men’s basketball game Saturday night, losing to Montana on the road.

I tried to post information on the game last night, but couldn’t.  So I’m back this morning with this link to the game story that ran in Sunday morning’s S-R, this link to the story published in the Missoulian, and this link to the game story posted on EWU’s website.

Now the Eagles return home for a Thursday night matchup against Sacramento State — which might prove to be the perfect cure for their current losing streak and the perfect way to jump start a crucial late-season stretch run.

What do you think?

 

 

Day after San Diego

It was apparent from the outset this one was going to lack style points. That was never more evident than seeing the scoreboard read Gonzaga 16, San Diego 9 — with 4:15 left in the first half.

Still, Gonzaga’s 64-47 victory showed the Zags can successfully adjust to the various styles and tempos they’ve seen from opponents. More below in my day-after post.

 

WSU not happy with split

COUGARS

You would think a split in the desert would have made the Washington State basketball team happy. You would be wrong. “We’re in a position where you can’t split anymore,” senior Daven Harmeling said. “We’ve dug ourself such a big hole, splits on the road it’s not good enough. It’s the kind of stuff that will let us have a spring break instead of playing postseason basketball. We don’t want that.” For more from Arizona, including all the links, read on.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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