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Archive for December 2010

Zags win fifth straight

As promised, I've posted my game story that will run in Saturday's S-R. Gonzaga won its fifth straight, in surprisingly easy fashion, 73-52 over Oklahoma State, handing the Cowboys' just their second loss.

Check back tomorrow for a day-after post and preview of Sunday's Wake Forest game.

Vandals steamroll La Tech

It got out of hand early at Cowan Spectrum, though there were just a smattering of Vandal fans at Cowan Spectrum to enjoy it. Idaho blasted a Louisiana Tech team that clearly appeared out of gas, winning 77-47. Our game story is below.

Zags thump Oklahoma State

Gonzaga put together some of its best stretches of basketball of the season en route to a convincing 73-52 win over Oklahoma State on Friday.

Elias Harris scored a season-high 22 points, Rob Sacre had a double-double (16 points, 15 rebounds) and Steven Gray added 10 points and six assists for the Bulldogs, who won their fifth straight. GU improved to 9-5 overall.  

Marshall Moses paced Oklahoma State (11-2) with 17 points.

Gonzaga outrebounded the Cowboys 44-32. GU made 45.3 percent of its shots while holding OSU to 36.2 percent. 

Game story in about 1:45 minutes.

WSU leaves LA 0-2


It will probably be a while until my story is up on the web, but I thought I better put up a post before I brave the freeways back to my hotel. Read on for more on Washington State's 60-56 loss to USC on Friday.

Monninghoff sidelined for OSU game

Gonzaga continues to keep the training staff busy. Steven Gray (back spasms) is participating in pre-game drills, but freshman forward Mathis Monninghoff is in street clothes watching. He apparently injured his ankle during Wednesday's win over Lafayette, though exactly when the injury occurred wasn't known. He had a swollen ankle with limited movement Thursday.

Monninghoff had 12 points and six rebounds in Wednesday's win.

Reminder: head over to for in-game updates. Come back here after the game for a quick game recap and then a full game story by about 10:45.

Eastern loses heartbreaker to UNC

The driving layup attempt by Eastern Washington's Glen Dean was blocked at the buzzer by Northern Colorado's Elloitt Lloyd, giving the Bears a 75-73 Big Sky Basketball win over the Eagles at Reese Court on Friday afternoon.

Eastern's four guards — Dean, Jeffrey Forbes, Clff Colimon and Kevin Winford — combined bor 60 points, but it wasn' t enough to save the Eagles.

Check back later for more on the game.

WSU trails 26-22 at half


Bad crowd watching bad basketball. Is that too mean? It seems appropriate to me. Most people here are spectators, not fans, which makes it awfully quiet and dull. But what the hay, the teams aren't giving them much to cheer about. Except DeAngelo Casto, the focus of our story this morning. He's come to play and he's controlling the paint on both ends. That should mean good things for the Cougars, but the guards aren't doing their part on the offensive end. The three starters and Faisal Aden are 4 of 22 combined. Good USC defense? Physical, but not spectacular. It's the Cougars, standing around, not cutting, not working hard on that end, making them easy to guard. If that continues, they'll lose. On the other end, playing mainly zone, WSU has been pretty effective. USC has missed some open looks, but the Cougars have gotten hands up and into most shots. USC is shooting 43.5 percent. We'll be back after the game.

Some pregame musings at USC


By this time of the season, basketball is simple. You do what you do and the other team tries to stop it. There are few secrets. Oh, an occasional entry you've held back that works against a zone or man or whatever. But the basics of who you are have been established. For example, Washington State isn't going to start jamming the ball inside on every possession and overpower you. Some games, sure, the Cougars will attack inside-out more often, but they will never be a post-oriented team. And that leads us to our thoughts on today's game with USC. Read on.

Zags roll, Bjorklund gets record

Shoutout today for Tennessee's all-time leader in 3-pointers - Spokane's own Angie Bjorklund, above in a Knoxville News-Sentinel photo and the Stanford women.

Where does the time go? The plan was an early morning women's basketball post and then start the long weekend. Started the long weekend, thanks to unexpected company and a wonderful morning visit. Then the afternoon bike ride, now a little slice of work. That probably doesn't help those who do their internet reading while at work. Sorry. But there is plenty of news.

View from OSU

Several game previews/features from Oklahoma newspapers, including Stillwater News-Press, Daily Oklahoman and Tulsa World, the latter calling this a bigger game for GU than Oklahoma State.

One more day in LA for WSU


With the first week of the Pac-10 schedule spread out all over the calendar and football still going on – How many of you had the Huskies in their bowl pool? You in the back, with the glasses, I have your pool sheet right here. Put your hand down. – there is a lot to get to this morning, so read on.

Chiefs face Americans

The Spokane Chiefs head down the road for their annual New Years Eve battle with the Tri-City Americans. Herald writer Annie Fowler has a look at the game, which should be a dandy, though it marks just the first second of the second half of the Western Hockey League schedule for the Chiefs.

Chiefs captain Jared Cowen and Team Canada face their toughest test today at the World Junior tournament. Sure makes you wish you had that cable channel.

Finally, it's put up or shut up time in Everett, which leads us a good discussion point. On the heels of the Portland blockbuster trade, with the trade deadline near, what woud you do if you were in charge of the Chiefs?  The Chiefs, who also have a big game on New Year's Day, are home next weekend and we'll have a thought on the Chiefs' possibilities before that.

Happy New Year. Be safe.

USC up next for WSU


We took some of the thoughts from the blog this morning and converted them to an advance of the game tomorrow. You can read it on the link.

Zags line up against Big 12 foe again

For the third time this season, Gonzaga will take on a Big 12 opponent. This time it's Oklahoma State, which visits Gonzaga on New Year's Eve. GU is 1-1 against the Big 12, losing to Kansas State and beating Baylor.

My preview, which will run in Friday's S-R, here.

Shock trade two, add WR Holmes

Spokane was busy Thursday, signing former Cleveland Gladiators receiver Brent Holmes, who returned a kick for a touchdown in the closing seconds to beat the Shock early in the 2010 season.

Holmes, who will be entering his fourth AFL season, had 110 catches for nearly 1,300 yards last season. The Shock have nine receivers on their roster, not including former Milwaukee Iron standout Nate Forse, who has yet to pass his physical but is expected to join the team.

The Shock also traded DL Torrey Davis and QB RJ Archer to Kansas City to improve their claim order position.

More on Spokane's moves here.

Eags outlast Sac State in overtime

Eastern Washington University opened its Big Sky Conference men's basketball season Wednesday night with an 88-79 overtime win over Sacramento State at Reese Court.  It was an ugly affair that saw 64 fouls called.

You can read the game story that appeared in Thursday morning's S-R here, and you take a look at what EWU's sports information department posted about the game here.

Day after Lafayette

The shoveling is done, now time for my day-after post following Gonzaga's 83-55 win over Lafayette. The links: S-R game story, A.P. photo of Kelly Olynyk,and A.P. gamer

Read on for more, and check back later for a preview of the Oklahoma State game on New Year's Eve.

UCLA loss, the day after for WSU


The long and winding road for Washington State continues tomorrow afternoon at USC, but before we get to the Galen Center – I wonder if the windows on the north side will have sunlight streaming in at that time of day? – let's touch on last night's second-half debacle at UCLA. There's more, so read on.

Notre Dame pulls away from Gonzaga

Gonzaga faded down the stretch in its battle with No. 16 Notre Dame in Seattle Wednesday afternoon. We ran the Associated Press story. The Seattle Times had a story by Jayda Evans with a sensational photo of Courtney Vandersloot and the South Bend Tribune was there with this take. The Bulldogs, who are 0-4 in the big games on their schedule this year, face Seattle tonight at 7, after Notre Dame plays Loyola Marymount.

Also tonight, Eastern Washington is home against Willamete with Kyla Evans on the verge of breaking the school's 3-point record and Idaho is at Portland.

Another 3-point record should fall tonight - at Tennessee, with local product Angie Bjorklund (University) entering the game with Rutgers' tied for the Lady Vols mark with 267. Dan Fleser of the Knoxville News-Sentinel writes that records aren't what motive Bjorklund.

Katie Baker (Lake City) was named to the All-Tournament team as host Montana won its own gathering. … Alyssa Green (Mead) had 21 points as Carroll College thumped visiting Whitworth. … LC State is 2-0 on a trip to California and tonight play at The Masters, which will put the Warriors' Loree Hill (Central Valley) opposite the Masters' Zoe Scott (University). Hill is averaging a couple points and a couple rebounds in 10 minutes for 12-1 LC, ranked third nationally.  Scott is averaging almost nine points and three rebounds in 20 minutes for 10-2 Masters.

WSU’s poor second half leads to 80-71 defeat


For a team that came in giving up 61.8 points per game, giving up 51 in the second half to a UCLA team that only was averaging 74 was a shock. You could see it afterward. We have some thoughts, so read on.

Johnson hattrick keys Chiefs romp

Tyler Johnson scored his third career hat trick and moved into second in the Western Hockey League scoring race (both goals and points) to highlight the Spokane Chiefs 8-2 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds before 5,816 fans at the Arena Wednesday night. (The long box is below, it took a while to sort out the late penalties, had to wait until after deadline.)

The T-Birds, shut out by the Chiefs in Seattle 2-0 the previous night, struck first, just 2:19 into the game. It took the Chiefs until 18:28 to tie it and then they scored five goals in the second while out-shooting Seattle 22-4. Johnson scored three in the second.

Three stars 1, Tyler Johnson   2, Tanner Mort   3, Steve Kuhn . Back in about an hour with the game story.

Vandals can’t keep up with NMSU

Idaho had its chances — just like the past three games, all of which have gone down to the last few minutes. Unfortunately for the Vandals, they are now 1-3 in those nail-biters. UI tumbled late to New Mexico State in its WAC opener, losing 74-69 in front an announced crowd of 503 at Cowan Spectrum. You can read our game story below (also see the bottom of the story for an update on Idaho JC transfer Djim Bandoumel).

Eastern turns back Hornets in OT

Cliff Ederaine scored a career-high 22 points and teammate Jeffrey Forbes added 21 as Eastern Washington opened Big Sky Conference play with an 88-79 overtime  victory over Sacramento State at Reese Court Wednesday night.

Eastern (4-8 overall, 1-0 in the Big Sky) also got 12 points from Laron Griffin, who sat out the first half of the game for unexplained reasons, and 11 from Glen Dean in a game that was uglied up by 64 fouls that resulted in the disqualifications of five Sac State players.

We'll be back with a link to the game story in a little bit.




WSU leads 37-29 at half


For about 14 minutes, the guy in the 27th row was sound asleep. He woke up late in the second half to scream at the Bruins, saying “this is as bad as last year.” He was exaggerating, but for a quick stretch late in the half, not by much. The Bruins were putrid on offense and Washington State, like it can, scored 13 points in a blink. It went from being 22-18 UCLA to 33-22 WSU in less than 4 minutes. … Klay Thompson, guarded tightly by Malcolm Lee, put the ball on the floor more often than I can remember in the past three years. He finished the half with 14 points, six on free throws (driving) and six on 3-pointers in transition. … Faisal Aden come off the bench to score nine. … The strangest stat of the first half was rebounds. WSU has 20, UCLA 12. Coming in, the Bruins were plus-5 in margin and WSU? Well the Cougars, they were in the negative category by one. Josh Smith has three fouls, the last on a charge when DeAngelo Casto took a page out of Matt Howard's playbook – or his own – and hit the floor hard on a post move. … Lee has 13 for UCLA, hitting the only two 3-pointers. … We'll be back about an hour after the game is over.

Johnson hattrick keys Chiefs romp

Tyler Johnson scored his third career hat trick and moved into second in the Western Hockey League scoring race (both goals and points) to highlight the Spokane Chiefs 8-2 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds before 5,816 fans at the Arena Wednesday night.

The T-Birds, shut out by the Chiefs in Seattle 2-0 the previous night, struck first, just 2:19 into the game. It took the Chiefs until 18:28 to tie it and then they scored five goals in the second while out-shooting Seattle 22-4. Johnson scored three in the second.

Three stars 1, Tyler Johnson   2, Tanner Mort   3, Steve Kuhn . Back in about an hour with the game story.

Gonzaga wins fourth in a row

 Four players scored in double figures as Gonzaga pulled away from Lafayette 83-55 on Wednesday.

 Elias Harris had 14 points, Kelly Olynyk and Demetri Goodson 13 and Mathis Monninghoff 12 as the Bulldogs led by 15 at half and cruised in the second half.Lafayette's Jim Mower had 17 points in the first half and that's where he finished. He missed his only shot attempt in teh second half.

 Gonzaga shot 48.3 percent and limited the Leopards to 33.3 percent.

 UPDATE: Here's my game story:

Some pregame thoughts from Pauley


There is a lot of construction around Pauley Pavilion, with mud everywhere – it's been raining like Noah around here recently – and fences hiding an arena slowly being remodeled. Is that a metaphor? Read on.

Gray suited up

I counted 15 cars that had slid off the road on my drive in for tonight's game (a couple of those appeared to be helping out those who were way off the road). It usually takes 25-30 minutes; this trip took 50 minutes. Can't wait for that drive home!

Senior guard Steven Gray (back spasms) is suited up and he's expected to play. He'll probably see time in short spurts. He has been limited at practice and didn't do much during GU's walkthrough earlier today. He was riding the stationary bike to loosen up before joining the rest of his teammates for pre-game drills.

I'll be at for in-game updates.. Check back here for a quick post at the buzzer and then roughly two hours later for a full game story.

Chiefs win 2-0, rematch tonight at Arena

The Spokane Chiefs and goalie James Reid posted their second-straight shutout, winning 2-0 at Seattle, before 6,125 fans. (long box is below) The rematch is tonight at the Arena. Remeber, before Christmas break the Chiefs won 8-2 in Seattle then lost a lead to lose at home in overtime.

Saw in transactions this morning that former Chief Jared Spurgeon was sent back to Houston in the AHL from Minnesota in the NHL. I knew Gregg Drinnan (go there to read about Portland's big trade with Vancouver) would have the important info: The NHL’s Minnesota Wild has re-assigned D Jared Spurgeon (Spokane, 2005-10) to the AHL’s Houston Aeros. He had two penalty minutes in 12 games with the Wild. He averaged 12:09 in playing time during those games. Alan Caldwell also has a reaction to the Portland move.

Also yesterday, Chiefs captain Jared Cowen had a goal in Team Canada's romp at the World Junior Tournament in Buffalo.

Local duo come up big in win; GU faces No. 16 Irish in Seattle

Due to a breakdown in communications in the communications business, the women's basketball notebook didn't get posted. But in addition to adding that link, we've got a few others for you.

The focus of the notebook is Portland State's two seniors from Spokane, who open Big Sky Conference play next weekend at Eastern Washington. Kelli Valentine (No. 22, Mead) had a memorable night and Lexi Bishop (No. 33, Shadle Park) a clutch game as the Vikings rallied past Portland and Tara Cronin (G-Prep), who had 14 points, by two last night. More notes follow.

On the way to WSU’s game at UCLA


Well, this day has already been an adventure. We are at 30,000 feet finally en route to Seattle, as our flight out of Spokane left more than an hour late. That means will miss our LA connection at SeaTac and the rest of the travel itinerary to tonight's game should be interesting. We're trying to get our links up, so read on.

Bulldogs get back to work

Gonzaga gets back to work after taking a couple of days off over Christmas. The Zags begin a busy stretch against Lafayette College tomorrow night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The East Coast has been pounded by snowstorms, but Lafayette, located in Easton, Pa., altered its travel schedule. They traveled Sunday to Pittsburgh by bus, flew out Monday morning and arrived in Spokane on Monday afternoon. They were originally supposed to leave from Philadelphia on Monday morning. 

A short game preview below.

Ready or not, Eags open league play on Wednesday

Eastern Washington University, which has battled injury problems throughout the early part of the men's basketball season, opens Big Sky Conference play at home on Wednesday night against Sacramento State.

You can read the related story that appeared in Tuesday morning's S-R here, and you see the game notes posted by the EWU sports information department here.  I've also included this link to what Sac State's sports information department has on the upcoming game, and this link to the weekly Big Sky basketball notes published by the league office. 

Chiefs’ rival makes big trade

The Portland Winterhawks have made a major trade to strengthen their position as the top team in the Western Division. They picked up Craig Cunningham, a 20-year old fixture in Vancover, for a pair of player and two draft picks. The Vancouver Sun story is below. No doubt there will be more reaction to this.

What does it mean for the Spokane Chiefs, the closest team to Portland, thanks to winning the last three matchups between the teams? What should the Chiefs do? Consider this from Gregg Drinnan's blog: From Jim Matheson’s Hockey World, in the Edmonton Journal, “Most scouts feel Team Canada’s No. 1 junior team centre Brayden Schenn won’t be going back to the Brandon Wheat Kings. They’ll trade him to ­either Saskatoon or Portland, the two best Memorial Cup candidates in the WHL.” Which, no doubt, will be news to the Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs, not to mention the Kootenay Ice and Red Deer Rebels. The part about the two best Memorial Cup candidates in the WHL, that is.

The Chiefs resume the Western Hockey League season tonight in Seattle and play the Thunderbirds at home on Wednesday.

Notes and links from WSU for Tuesday


One more day before Pac-10 basketball begins, though the story behind that is pretty interesting. For more on that and other happenings around Washington State and the conference, read on.

Vandals set to open WAC play

When the Idaho Vandals open the WAC season against New Mexico State on Wednesday, it will mark the earliest start of their conference schedule since joining the WAC in 2005. It's also the earliest WAC starting date Don Verlin can remember in his time at Idaho and Utah State. This doesn't work out particularly well for the Vandals. For some reasons why, read our story below.

Pac-10 play starts for WSU this week


As we start a new week, the first week of Pac-10 basketball play, we take a little time to look around the conference and see what's what. For more, read on.

Williams key to Eagles’ success

Eastern Washington's defensive line coach Ryan Sawyer is convinced the No. 1-ranked Eagles would not be playing for a national championship without the contributions of junior defensive end Renard Williams.

You can read the feature story on Williams that appeared in Sunday morning's S-R right here. And check back during the week for more EWU stories as the Eagles return from their short holiday break to get back to preparing for their Jan. 7 matchup against Delaware in the NCAA Division Championship game in Frisco, Texas. 

Spokane skater finding niche with Seattle

The Spokane Chiefs start the second half of the Western Hockey League season in a couple of days with a home-and-home series with the Seattle Thunderbirds. We took the opportunity to get to know Spokane native Tyler Alos, a second-year center with the T-birds who sees his role explanding. Included are a bunch of notes that point out how hot the Chiefs were heading into the Christmas break, getting their with a milestone win for coach Don Nachbaur and goalie James Reid.

WSU struggles after halftime, loses


Washington State ended the nonconference portion of its schedule on a down note, struggling in the second half on both ends of the court and falling to Butler, 84-68 in the finals of the Diamond Head Classic. We have our game story on the link.

WSU trails 40-38 at half


A back-and-forth first half ends with Sheldon Mack driving and scoring his 15th point, giving Butler a 40-38 lead. The Cougars got hot late, after starting off with some struggles, but a 4-minute stretch without a miss keyed a nearly 50 percent (15 of 32 shooting) half. The last miss was from Klay Thompson, who was 5 of 9, but took a 3-pointer on an out-of-bounds play with 18 seconds left and WSU having a chance for the final shot. Thompson, who has 15 points, is 4 of 4 from the free throw line, 4 of 4 inside the 3-point line and just 1 of 4 outside. … Butler was having little trouble getting good shots against WSU's 2-3 zone midway through the half, but had to work a bit harder at the beginning and end against the Cougars' man. The Cougars will probably have to rely on their man in the second half or stretch the zone a little bit. … Matt Howard, who has 9 points, is indispensable on the offensive end, setting screens, getting rebounds and hitting shots. He also is good at drawing fouls, including one on Brock Motum when Motum put an arm-bar in his chest and Howard acted like he was shot. … Though Thompson is WSU's top offensive option, all but Abe Lodwick, who played just 4 minutes due to two fouls, has scored among the eight who have played. … We'll be back after the game with our story.

WSU has another battle before conference


One more nonconference game awaits the Washington State Cougars tonight. One more chance to make a mark. One more chance to fine-tune their game before the Pac-10 wars begin on Wednesday night. But that's for tomorrow. For tonight, let's look at Butler and what the Bulldogs offer in the way of an opponent. Read on.

Some WSU Christmas thoughts


It is Christmas Eve. As always, we're not shy with our thoughts. Read on.

WSU shows what its made of in 77-71 win over Baylor


The way Washington State was dismantling the Baylor Bears on Thursday, it seemed as if the only question left was how high the Cougars should be ranked next week entering Pac-10 play. Then they a hit a bump in their road to national recognition. Read on.

WSU leads 39-26 at half


Washington State is playing like Syracuse, the good Syracuse teams. The Cougars are sticking with their 2-3 matchup zone, allowing 15th-ranked Baylor to fire away from the perimeter. And so far that philosophy is working well as the Bears are 0-12 from beyond the arc. LaceDarius Dunn, who came in shooting 50 percent from 3, is 0-8 from there today. … The key stat, we thought before the game began, was the rebound numbers. The Bears have 10 offensive rebounds for 15 points (more than half their total). But the overall number is 20-15, which isn't all that bad for WSU. … The key stretch of the half came after A.J. Walton made two free throws with 8 minutes, 57 seconds left. In the Bears next six possessions, they missed four shots and turned the ball over twice. The result was an 11-0 run for WSU, giving the Cougars a 35-19 lead. When Baylor then put together a 7-0 run, WSU answered with four DeAngelo Casto points to end the half. … The Cougars are shooting 53 percent from the floor and have hit five of their eight 3-pointers. Baylor is shooting 28 percent. More after the game and on Twitter.

More honors for Sherritt and his EWU teammates

Geeze, you take a day off and come back to find Eastern Washington's J.C. Sherritt has been named to another All-American first team. This time, the Eagles' senior linebacker and all-time leading tackler was honored with a spot on elite FCS team announced on Wednesday by The Sports Network/

You can read more about Sherritt and teammate Chris Powers, a junior center who was also named to the first team here.



No. 15 Baylor next up for WSU


As we sit through the end of Mississippi State's easy win over San Diego, we have one thing to say about Washington State's game with Baylor, which will probably start about 20 minutes late. Size matters today. At least for WSU it does. As the Cougars get ready to play the Baylor Bears in the semifinal round of the Diamond Head Classic, we have some thoughts, so read on.

Day after Xavier

I have one more present to buy, so we'll move quickly through the day-after Xavier post. Those 8 p.m. starts really limit post-game interviews but we checked in with Gray, Sacre, Harris and Few.

First, the links: S-R game story, S-R photos and Cincinnati Enquirer gamer. (Note:One fix to my gamer: Halftime score was 34-23, not 34-26.)

Read on.

Gonzaga-Xavier game story

Back with my expanded game story from Gonzaga's 64-54 win over Xavier on Wednesday. You can read it here.

Check back tomorrow morning for a day-after post.

Gonzaga vs. Xavier

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Zags beat Xavier 64-54 Wednesday night in McCarthey Athletic Center.

GU holds off Xavier

Quick recap below. I gotta run to get quotes for a write-thru.

Gray not suited up

Gonzaga's Steven Gray isn't suited up while his teammates go through pre-game drills for tonight's showdown with Xavier at 8. Gray left Saturday's win over Baylor with back spasms and didn't practice Monday or Tuesday.

No starters listed on the scoreboard as of 7:15.

WSU makes a statement in Hawaii


Washington State went into the Diamond Head Classic hoping to make a name for itself nationally. The second half of its first game, a 83-57 whipping of Mississippi State, should have done that. And the Cougars will have an even better chance Thursday, when they face 15th-ranked Baylor in the second round of the tournament. Read on for more.

MSU leads 40-39 at half


Washington State had an opportunity to put Mississippi State away early, but missed free throws – WSU was 4 of 10 for the half – and some defensive lapses out front kept the Bulldogs within range early. WSU lead 25-17 with 9:05 left before intermission on Klay Thompson's last 3 of the half. MSU cut it to 32-27 with nearly 5 minutes left, then scored 8 of its last 13 points from the line. DeAngelo Casto has three fouls - including a T - and Reggie Moore has two - including a phantom intentional - as WSU was called for 11 fouls, five in the final 4 minutes. Kodi Augustus is MSU's offense with 13 points as Ravern Johnson, with Marcus Capers or Klay Thompson shadowing him in the man and WSU's 2-3 zone finding him on the perimeter, has just three. Thompson has 17, Faisal Aden eight off bench. More later.

WSU set to face Mississippi State


Before Washington State tips off against Mississippi State, we have some notes and some links to pass along, so read on.

View from Xavier

A couple of links prior to the Gonzaga-Xavier game: Previews in Cincinnati Enquirer and S-R, and a Blanchette column on Marquise Carter.

Sounds like Steven Gray wasn't able to practice Tuesday. He sat out Monday, too.

Lots of news in women’s basketball

It’s a fun time in women’s basketball with Spokane on the edge of the excitement, three months before two weekends of the NCAA Tournament is going to be here.

The UConn juggernaut continues to roll … winning its 88th straight on Tuesday, led by Maya Moore, who squared off against the Spokane Stars several times a few summers back.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is likely to win her 800th game tonight … and mentioned one of the memorable wins came in Spokane.

U-Hi grad Angie Bjorklund could become Tennessee’s all-time leader in 3-pointers tonight … she’s four short of the record.

And Gonzaga (and Claire Rapp in the Colin Mulvany photo above) is finding its form … rolling feature league rival BYU 91-64 on Tuesday. As junior forward Kelly Bowen said, “I think we’re nearly there. Coach said that’s the best he’s seen us play. … If we’re not there right now, we’re pretty close.”

There’s more.

Gonzaga rolls BYU

Gonzaga buried BYU in the second half, letting their future conference foe know who is the top dog in the West Coast Conference. The final was 91-64. Check the photos out here.

“I know we need to go through them to win a championship so we'll be focused on that,” long-time BYU coach Jeff Judkins said, referring to the Cougars leaving the Mountain West Conference to join the WCC next year while their football game goes independent. “That's what I told my girls, this is the team we'll be fighting for the conference with.”

Vandals down Ducks in Eugene

The Vandals' final nonconference game before WAC play turned out to be a noteworthy tuneup. Idaho withstood Oregon, 69-65, in the Ducks' final nonconference game at McArthur Court. This was Vandals' first victory over a Pac-10 team since December 4, 2002, when UI beat Washington State under Leonard Perry.

Brandon Wiley led the Vandals with 14 points, six rebounds and five blocks. They also got strong play from their two point guards, Deremy Geiger (nine points) and Landon Tatum (11 points and five rebounds). Idaho is now 6-5 as it heads into its WAC opener, Dec. 29th vs. New Mexico State at Cowan Spectrum. The game will tip at 7 p.m.

WSU looks forward to MSU matchup


Washington State opens the Diamond Head Classic – see the link for one coach's definition of a “classic” – tomorrow against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs will be missing a couple of players. Read on for our advance.

Zags, Musketeers meet in the MAC

Gonzaga faces Xavier in yet another tough non-conference match Wednesday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Here's my preview that will run in tomorrow's S-R.

Cougs hope schedule yields

Getting ready to watch a pair of 8-3 women's basketball teams with combined 11-game winning streak … right now it's just a sometimes rival in the west but next year it's going to be a WCC rivalry when Brigham Young joins Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference. … When that happens it's likely to be the most important game. … Back with the game story later.

Also for tomorrow, a little peek at the Pac-10, which opens league play next week. In the weekly notebook, Washington State coach June Daugherty hopes the growing pains of her young team pay off in the next couple months.

And congratulations to UConn for winning 89 straight games, a NCAA Division I basketball record.

AP releases all-state football team for Washington

Here is a link to the Associated Press all-state football team for Washington.

Recruit switches from Idaho to Beavers

When I spoke with Robb Akey a week after the season, he mentioned the Vandals were competing against a Pac-10 school for a recruit. “That’s not an everyday occurrence,” he said. But it now appears Idaho has lost out on that player — partly because of the uncertainty with the WAC. Read on for more.

South Dakota dumps Eastern

Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team gave up a seven-point second-half lead and lost to South Dakota 78-72 in Vermillion Monday night.  You can read more here.

Eagles easing into title game preparations

Coach Beau Baldwin and his top-ranked Eastern Washington football team will get in a couple of practices prior to taking a brief break for the upcoming Christmas holiday.  And once the Eagles return, they will begin all-out preparations for their Jan. 7 showdown against Delaware in the NCAA Division I Championship game that will play out in Frisco, Texas.

You can take an early look at the practice-plan story that will appear in Tuesday morning’s S-R here, and you get more details on how to buy tickets for the title game here.


Just enjoy UConn’s streak

It’s been interesting as the UConn women’s basketball team neared, has now tied, and will soon pass the record of 88 straight wins achieved by the UCLA men’s team when I was young enough to be influenced into becoming a sports writer.

What we have here is a bunch of fruits comparing apples and oranges.

Gonzaga notebook

Media day today and I put together a notebook, with the first item an update on Steven Gray’s back, that will run in Tuesday’s S-R.

Gray was in good spirits after Monday’s practice (he was a spectator, not a participant), but he’s still dealing with a tender back. If I had to guess, I’d say he doesn’t play in Wednesday’s game against Xavier but he does have youthful healing powers that I didn’t have when I had back problems!

The best pain reliever for Gray was witnessing Gonzaga pull out a victory over Baylor on Saturday. “To have so many different guys step up and gut out a win was huge for this team,” Gray said.

More here.

WSU’s win over Santa Clara, next-day look


Let’s see. The Cougar men’s basketball team will be taking the long flight to Hawaii today, where it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 degrees when they disembark. Here in Eastern Washington, more snow fell over night, which will mean more shoveling and more slogging through to get the Christmas shopping done. Read on.

WSU overcomes Santa Clara in OT


We’ve put together a report out of the Cougars’ come-from-behind 85-79 win at Santa Clara tonight in the first contest on a 14-day, six-game road trip. Read on for more.

WSU trails 35-29 at half


Foul trouble. Turnovers. Average shooting. It all adds up to Santa Clara building a 35-29 lead at halftime. The Broncos have hit the offensive glass hard, with a 7-2 lead in second-chance points. But the biggest Santa Clara edge in the first half? The Broncos hit 12 of 12 free throw attempts. The Cougars have just three attempts and have hit one. DeAngelo Casto has three fouls, Klay Thompson two, both coming in the first 3 minutes. He did play the final 10:46, though, without picking up a third. He leads WSU with seven points. Kevin Foster has 14 for the Broncos, who have a 20-16 edge on the glass. More at the end of the game.

UConn, Tennessee get big wins

Took Saturday off and fell way behind. Waiting for a game or two to end so I can do my Top 25,  some links.

Eastern Washington (Kyla Evans continues her blog) and Washington State lost big on the road on Saturday. In a pair of TV games on Sunday, Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) played a big role as Tennessee edged Stanford in overtime. UConn’s streak is now 88.

WSU set to face Santa Clara


We’re going to be monitoring the Washington State game tonight from Spokane and, like a lot of you, I’ll be listening to Bud Nameck and following gametracker. Then I’ll be putting together a writeup for tomorrow’s paper. We have some thoughts, so read on.

Busy Saturday among preps

Click the tab below to see a roundup of prep sports from Saturday.

Cowen alternate captain for Team Canada

Back from a day off and a Christmas party to real news - Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen named an alternate captain for Team Canada in the upcoming World Junior Tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., beginning the day after Christmas.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw brought home a winner at the Arena, the Chiefs headed to Christmas break with a 4-0 win over Vancouver. On Friday, all the Chiefs’ streaks, power plays, games with points, ended in a 2-0 loss at Everett, a tough break for backup goalie Mac Engle trying to get his first win.

Day after Baylor

The Zags have been searching for a so-called ‘resume win’ and they landed one Saturday in Dallas, edging No. 9 Baylor 68-64, to end a nine-game losing streak versus ranked teams.

We’ll start the day-after post with the links: S-R gamer, Dallas Morning News photos and column.

Read on.

Vandals lose gut-wrencher to Griz

Boy, was this game different than the first time Idaho and Montana met in late November. Idaho followed up a 42-point loss to the Griz with a near-upset of the solid Big Sky team. The Vandals fell 64-63 at Cowan Spectrum, and you can read about it on the link.

Huskers put big hurt on Eags

Any momentum Eastern Washington’s struggling men’s basketball team might have picked up from its 95-91 home win over Seattle University last Wednesday might have been smothered Saturday night when the Eagles suffered a 72-42 road loss to Nebraska.

You can get the game details supplied by EWU’s sports information folks here, and you can get an early look at the game story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R here.

I’ve also included this link to the AP story that appeared in the Omaha World Herald, and this link to the gamer posted by the Lincoln Journal. 



was smothered  

Vandal, Griz tied at half

It was a much more encouraging performance for the Idaho Vandals in the first half against Montana compared to the last time they faced the Griz three weeks ago. UI and Montana are tied 27-27 at Cowan Spectrum thanks to a balanced — and much better shooting — offensive performance. The Griz walloped Idaho 75-33 on Nov. 22 — the Vandals’ worst loss since 2000. The Vandals, after going 6-of-50 (12 percent) from the field at UM, was 10-of-26 in the first half. Kyle Barone leads the team with six points.

You can follow along on Twitter at @SR_JoshWright.

Expanded GU-Baylor game story

Let’s see. If you told me Steven Gray would play just 15 minutes and leave in the first half with an injury, Elias Harris would foul out with eight points in 18 minutes, point guard Demetri Goodson would turn the ball over seven times, GU would shoot just 41.5 percent and Baylor would attempt 33 free throws, I would have guessed, what, Baylor wins by maybe 20, 25?

Honestly, what would you have guessed?

Despite an avalanche of adversity, Gonzaga found a way to knock off No. 9 Baylor 68-64 on Saturday. Here’s a link to the S-R recap (you’ll notice a couple of statistical changes from previous posts as a result of the official box vs.’s).

Read on below for an A.P. article on the game.

WSU’s Capers comes into his own


Washington State’s basketball team left a snowy Eastern Washington today, headed for California and a date with Santa Clara tomorrow night in the Bay Area. Lucky sons of guns. After facing the Broncos, it’s off to Hawaii and the Diamond Head Classic in the islands. Lucky sons of guns. To get you Cougar fans ready, we have a story on the unsung hero in WSU’s 7-1 start. Read on.

More on Eags’ semifinal win over Villanova

Back a little later than I had hoped, but, as promised, I’ve provided some links below to stories related to Eastern Washington’s 41-31 win over defending national champion Villanova in Friday’s semifinals of the FCS playoffs.

Read on, but before you do, check out this link to the day-after notebook that will run in Sunday morning’ s S-R.

Zags grind out win over Baylor

Gonzaga overcame a steady dose of adversity — major foul trouble, Steven Gray’s injury, a pro-Baylor crowd at the American Airlines Center in Dallas — and pulled out a 68-64 victory over the ninth-ranked Bears.

Marquise Carter made 5 of 6 free throws in the last 43.8 seconds as Gonzaga registered its first win over a ranked foe in five tries this season. GU had lost nine straight to ranked opponents.

Robert Sacre had 17 points, Carter 13 and Sam Dower 10. Elias Harris scored eight points before fouling out. Kelly Olynyk chipped in seven points, including a key 3-pointer that gave Gonzaga the lead for good, 61-59, with 1:45 remaining. Gray (back spasms) didn’t play in the second half.

Perry Jones III scored 19 points to lead Baylor. LaceDarius Dunn was just 4 of 14 from the field and finished with 17 points.

More in about 90 minutes.

GU up 29-27 at half

Gonzaga leads Baylor 29-27 at half, despite playing the last five minutes without Steven Gray, who left with back spasms. It appeared he tweaked his back while picking up the ball after Demetri Goodson drew a charging foul.

More below.

View from Texas

I’m watching it snow like crazy, so i’m obviously not in Dallas, but I went there via the Internet to find a couple of links for today’s GU-Baylor game. Here’s a preview and a feature on Bears’ star LaceDarius Dunn.

I’ll be tweeting during the game (, so head there for updates.

EWU beats Villanova

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Slideshow: Eastern Washington Eagles beat Villanova University 41-31 Friday night on Roos Field in Cheney Wash,

Check out game story on Eagles’ historic win

You can get an early look at the game story on Eastern’s 41-31 FCS semifinal playoff win over Villanova that will appear in Saturday morning’s S-R here.  And check back tomorrow for additional links to other related stories, along with more comments from the players and coaches involved in Friday night’s game.



G-Prep edges North Central

It was an entertaining Greater Spokane League boys basketball game at Gonzaga Prep as the Bullpups held off the North Central Indians 51-50. Here’s a link to my story and a GSL roundup.

Gonzaga pounds Idaho

The Gonzaga women’s basketball team won the Inland Empire title with a 93-62 win over Idaho Friday night after earlier beating Eastern Washing by 27 and Washington State by 18. The Bulldogs distributed the ball well, shot better, dominated the boards and took advantage of every Vandal miscue in winning their sixth straight. The big three of Courtney Vandersloot, Katelan Redmon and Kayla Stadish were unstoppable. Next up a home game against BYU on Tuesday.

Eagles earn berth in FCS title game

Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns Friday night, leading Eastern Washington to a 41-31 win over Villanova in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs at Roos Field.

The Eagles will play the winner of Saturday’s Delaware-Georgia Southern semi in the NCAA Division I Championship in Frisco, Texas, on Jan. 7. 

Zags take on No. 9 Baylor

Gonzaga returns to the court Saturday against No. 9 Baylor in Dallas. Here’s a link to my game preview.

Boese lost for rest of season

Received an e-mail from Shadle Park boys basketball coach Tim Gaebe this afternoon. He was relaying bad news, that the Highlanders have lost junior standout Brett Boese for rest of the season due to a fractured foot. A screw will be inserted next week.

Day after LCSC

Even with the benefit of instant replay, I’m still not completely sure where Steven Gray dinged his right big toe last night. More on Gray and the Zags in my day-after post below.

(I’ll post my GU-Baylor preview early this afternoon).

Eagles brace for semifinal showdown

Defending national champion Villanova and No. 1-ranked Eastern Washington University clash tonight at Roos Field in the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Kickoff is set for 5, and the matchup promises to be entertaining.  You can read the game advance tha appeared in Friday morning’s S-R here, and you take a look on the feature story I did on Villanova’s do-everything senior wide receiver Matt Szczur here. I’ve also included some addition links to related stories below.

Zags win easy, Gray says he’s fine

Back with my game story from Gonzaga’s easy win over Lewis-Clark State College. Talked with Steven Gray afterward and he said he basically stubbed his toe and he expects to play Saturday against Baylor.

He sounded and looked completely unconcerned.

Anyway, here’s the game story link. Here’s a link to S-R photo gallery. Check back in the morning for a day-after post.

Gonzaga vs. Lewis-Clark State

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Zags beat Lewis-Clark State 103-61 Dec. 16, 2010.

Zags roll past LCSC

Gonzaga put six players in double figures, led by Elias Harris’ 19 points, and cruised past visiting Lewis-Clark State College 103-61 Thursday.

Mathis Monninghoff made five 3-pointers and scored 15 points. Kelly Olynyk had 14 points, Rob Sacre 13, Sam Dower 12 and David Stockton 10.

Gonzaga made 12 3-pointers and 37 of 61 field goals overall (60.7 percent).

More in about two hours.

Thursday Prep Page

Click the tab below to see this week’s Prep Page menu.

Reacting to WSU’s JC signings


We’re sort of housebound this week as we deal with our health, but that doesn’t stop us from reacting to news. In fact, with time to think between treatments, we actually are doing even more reacting. You could even call me reactionary. Read on.

Report: Moscow police investigating UI football players

Several University of Idaho football players are being investigated by Moscow poice for possibe battery after a 20-year-old Lapwai, Idaho, man reported being the victim of an unprovoked attacked at a Moscow party last weekend, the Lewiston Tribune reported this morning. Read on for details.

More from media day

Back with some leftovers from media day, but these are the good kind (like Thanksgiving). Actually my notebook in today’s paper ran so long with items on the schedule and 3-point defense that I couldn’t fit in these two.

So read on for Kelly Olynyk’s early season struggles and a note on Finals Week.

EWU vs. Seattle University

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Slideshow: EWU wins 95-91 over Seattle University in Cheney Dec. 15, 2010

Chiefs fall in OT

With 45 seconds left in overtime, Travis Toomey collected a drop shot between the circles and beat James Reid to give Seattle a 5-4 win over Spokane, ending the Chiefs’ six-game Western Hockey League winning streak. The Chiefs still picked up a point in the 12th straight game, but they also blew a 3-0 lead. Former Chief Burke Gallimore had three goals and assisted on the game winner. Other stars were Mitch Holmberg, with a goal and two assists, and Brenden Kichton with two goals. Long box below. Here is the story.

Eags get first D-I victory

Eastern Washington squandered most of a 20-point second-half lead at Reese Court Wednesday night, held to edge visiting Seattle University 95-91 for its first victory over an NCAA Division-I opponent.

You can get an early look at the game story that will appear in Thursday morning’s S-R here, and you check out what EWU’s sports information department posted about the game here.


Cougars sign two JC linemen

From WSU sports information office

Offensive linemen Rico Forbes and Taylor Meighen have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Washington State University, Cougar coach Paul Wulff announced Wednesday. Both are expected to enroll in classes at WSU for spring semester, beginning Jan. 10.

GU faces LCSC before schedule toughens again

I put together a notebook, instead of an advance of Thursday’s Lewis-Clark State College game, that deals with Gonzaga’s tough non-conference schedule and its 3-point defense. Here’s a link.

A few other items from Tuesday’s media day. Keegan Hyland remains a spectator at practice following his concussion last month. He said he’ll be visiting the doctor again this week in hopes of being cleared.

Also, Gonzaga’s Demetri Goodson ranks ninth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.88).

Eags’ Baldwin finalist for Coach of Year award

Eastern Washington’s Beau Baldwin, who has his No. 1-ranked Eagles in the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, has been named one of five finalists for the esteemed Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year Award.

More details here

AP honors Eags’ Sherritt, Jones

Eastern Washington’s senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt and junior running back Taiwan Jones have both been named to the first team of the Associated Press FCS All-America Team.

You can read more here, and get the details of Sherritt also being named to the Walter Camp All-America team here.



Lewis and Clark handles Shadle

I saw two of the better 4A and 3A girls basketball teams last night, and in time I think they will prove they’re two of the best teams in the state in their respective classifications. Here’s a link to my game story.

Taylor Howlett of LC and Chelsea Chandler of Shadle are pictured above.

Bubba doing just fine

I caught up with former Lakeland multisport standout Bubba Bartlett (pictured above), a starting tight end on the Carroll College football team. Carroll plays in the NAIA national championship game Saturday.

Here’s a link to the story.

Cowen on Team Canada, Chiefs romp

It’s official, Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen is named to Team Canada for the World Junior tournament.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs hammered Seattle last night (box score below) with a rematch in the Arena tonight. There was some fisticuffs so it might be interesting to see how tonight’s game goes if the Chiefs get a big lead. Remeber, after this weekend there are 9 days off for Christmas and the first two games back - a home & home with the Thunderbirds. Not sure Seattle will react kindly to seeing a five-point deficit jump to 13 in such a short period of time. The emphasis for Spokane is team, eight players scored in the 8-2 romp … but it’s a perfect coach Nachbaur romp, it was close until the 5-goal third period, which gives him a chance to keep his team’s attention.

Dean’s return takes point pressure off Winford

Glen Dean, after missing EWU’s first seven men’s basketball games with a stress fracture in his left foot, has returned to handle the Eagles’ point-guard chores, and teammate Kevin Winford is as pleased as anyone to have Dean back.

You can get an early look at the story about Dean’s return that will run in Wednesday morning’s S-R here.



EWU’s Brown set to step in for Taiwan

Eastern Washington’s true freshman Mario Brown is experiencing all kinds of different emotions as he prepares to fill in for injured teammate Taiwan Jones as the Eagles’ starting running back in Friday’s FCS semifinal-round playoff matchup against Villanova at Roos Field.

You can get at early look at the story on Brown that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R here

Harrell rejoins Shock

Fullback Clay Harrell, a starter on the Shock’s ArenaBowl championship team last year, has re-signed with the club. To make room for Harrell, Spokane released DE Nekos Brown.

More here.

Elsewhere, former Shock wide receiver Quorey Payne has signed with the Cleveland Gladiators.

Former CV star couldn’t be happier

Heidi Heintz decided to play college basketball a long way from home but it too a move - not closer - for the former Central Valley star (above in a photo by Wayne Tilcock of the Davis Enterprise) to find a home. That’s the topic of our women’s basketball notebook for this week.


Sauter lands comfortably in Boise

Former Spokane Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter has found a new home in Boise with the Idaho Steelhead. We touched bases with Sauter, above in a Steelhead photo by Jeff Foley,  last week for a story in this morning’s newspaper

Go to Dubnation and hit the link for magazine for some good reading about the WHL, including a story about Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen. The red-hot Chiefs are at Seattle tonight with the teams squaring off at the Arena on Wednesday. They also play a home-and-home next week on the matching days.

Chiefs hot on offense and defense

I knew the Spokane Chiefs were hot, a 10-5 win over Kamloops ran their winning streak to five and before that they handled league-leading Portland 9-3. But I didn’t know they were quite that hot. Keep

Women’s basketball weekend roundup

We’re here to catch you up on the weekend’s women’s basketball news, which includes this week’s Top 25 vote.

Updated with honors for Kayla Standish (No. 32, left, in photo), Kate Loper and Angie Bjorklund. And as long as we’re stumbling around, here’s tons of information on the Tennessee at Baylor game, with the UT site including an video interview with Bjorklund.

Monday morning links from WSU


It was really nice to have a slow weekend following Washington State’s win in Spokane on Friday night. We’re back at it a bit today with our usual morning post, plus some news at the end, so read on.

EWU’s Jones out with broken foot

Eastern Washington’s No. 1-ranked football team will be without the services of all-American running back Taiwan Jones for Friday night’s FCS semifinal playoff matchup against visiting Villanova.

According to EWU’s head athletic trainer Brian Norton, x-rays taken on Sunday showed that Jones suffered a fracture to the base of the 5th metatarsal in his left foot in Saturday’s 38-31 overtime playoff win over North Dakota State.  According to Norton, Jones will consult with an orthopedic specialist on Monday to see if surgery is necessary.

Norton added therer might be a slight chance Jones could return for the FCS championship on Jan. 7 — provided surgery is performed, and the Eagles make it past Villanova at Roos Field on Friday night.

Day after Notre Dame

Good morning. You know the routine. First, the links: S-R recap, Chicago Tribune gamer and South Bend Tribune gamer and column.

Read on for my day after Notre Dame post.

EWU to host Villanova on Friday

Top-ranked and fifth-seeded Eastern Washington will entertain defending national champion Villanova in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs at Roos Field on Friday. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m., with the game being televised on ESPN2.

You can get more details here.


Looking back on Eags’ stirring playoff win

There were far too many big plays and outstanding individual performances during Eastern Washington’s 38-31 overtime FCS playoff win over North Dakota State to fit into Sunday’s S-R, so I’ve cobbled together some additional post-game quotes and links to related stories below.

Read on. But before you do, check out these game photos shot by S-R photographers.


Eags survive in OT, advance to FCS semis

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EWU used a late-game 90-yard drive to tie North Dakota State and then knocked off the Bison 38-31 at Roos Field on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs, where they will host defending national champion Villanova next Friday or Saturday.

You can get an early look at the game story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R here, and you can see what EWU’s sports information department posted about the game here.  I’ve also included this link to what the Big Sky Conference office had on the game.

And be sure to check back tomorrow for more links to related stories, along with some additional comments from players and coaches involved in Saturday’s quarterfinals thriller.

And, along with this link

Chiefs rout Kamloops again

Spokane Chiefs, behind Dominik Uher’s hat trick and six points from acting captain Tyler Johnson, beat Kamloops 10-5. It’s the second straight trip to Spokane the Blazers give up 10. Uher and Johnson were the first two stars, Brady Gaudet, a 16-year old D-man for Kamloops, who had a hat trick in the second period, was the third star. Here is the game story, long box is below.

Gonzaga drops to 4-5

Back with an expanded game story from Gonzaga’s 83-79 loss to Notre Dame, which you can find here.

Read on for an A.P. article that has some Notre Dame quotes.

Mistake-prone Vandals fall at Seattle

Idaho’s four-game winning streak came to an end in a 66-56 loss at Seattle University. The Vandals committed 20 turnovers and were just 3-of-14 from the 3-point line. UI is now 5-4, with a week off before a rematch with Montana next week in Moscow. The Grizzlies thumped Idaho 75-33 in Missoula on Nov. 22. Read below for more.

Zags rally, but fall short

Gonzaga staged a late rally, but it came up short as Ben Hansbrough hit 4 of 4 free throws in the final 11.6 seconds to lift No. 23 Notre Dame to an 83-79 victory in South Bend, Ind.

GU (4-5) dropped its third straight. Notre Dame improved to 9-1.

Gonzaga trailed 73-62 before Manny Arop hit a 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining. After a Notre Dame turnover, Steven Gray hit a 3-pointer and GU was down 75-70 with 1 minute left. The Irish made just 4 of 8 free throws as Gonzaga closed within 79-77.

Hansbrough made two free throws to make in 81-77. He added two more free throws with 2.7 seconds left after Marquise Carter’s layup had trimmed the lead to two.

More in about 90 minutes.

Gonzaga beats Cougars

Katelan Redmon had 26 points, Kayla Standish had 22 while filling up the stat sheet and Courtney Vanderloot had a double double with 13 points and 14 assists as Gonzaga beat Washington State 93-75 in women’s basketball Saturday afternoon before 3,908 fans.


WSU-GU square off again

Washington State and Gonzaga have a rematch in women’s basketball this afternoon. The first one in Hawaii was a two-point thriller won by the Zags.

Saint Martin’s is at Eastern Washington tonight after the Eagles’ football playoff game.

Friday night Portland whipped Montana State, with sophomore Sarah Kliewer (Lewis and Clark) coming off the bench for a career high 14 points. That’s more than the two GSL alums, both seniors, combined, MSU’s Lyndi Siedensticker (LC, 8 points) and UP’s Tara Cronin (G-Prep, 5). … Think I missed posting Thursday’s news, another big game for freshman Kate Loper (Post Falls) in Hofstra win.

Chiefs win shootout; Jared Spurgeon getting noticed

It was teddy bear toss in Vancouver, spoiled  by the Spokane Chiefs when Blake Gal was the only one of six shooters to score in the shoot-out. That’s four wins in a row for the Chiefs heading into a home game tonight against Kamloops.

A year ago Jared Spurgeon was playing hockey for the Spokane Chiefs and fighting for his professional life. He had been drafted by wasn’t signed. He had a great season, got a free agent try-out with Minnesota, was invited to camp, signed a contract and sent to Houston in the AHL. He’s already in the NHL and getting noticed, as this story by Kent Youngblood of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests.

Meanwhile, the Tri-City Americans made a big trade.

WSU’s start bodes well


After eight games this season, Washington State is 7-1. That’s a simple statement that makes it clear the Cougars are playing pretty good basketball. But let’s put it into perspective. How many times in the past 20 years other than this one has WSU started 7-1 or better? The answer is five. And in four of those years, the Cougars made the postseason – 1991-92 (NIT), 1993-94 (NCAA), 2006-07 (NCAA) and 2007-08 (NCAA). In that time span, only in 1996-97, under Kevin Eastman, did WSU start 7-1 and not make a postseason tournament. That team lost 8 of its last 10 and finished 5-13 in the Pac-10. Read on for more.

WSU powers through to 74-52 win

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If you like your basketball not-so-pretty, you would have loved being one of the 4,382 in the Spokane Arena on Friday night. Within its friendly confines, the lackluster turnout was treated to a lackluster game. For more, read on.

WSU vs. Texas-Pan American

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WSU beats Texas-Pan American 74-52 in the Spokane Arena Friday, Dec. 10, 2010.

WSU leads 36-24 at half


I tweeted this earlier, but there is a distinct lack of energy in the Spokane Arena tonight – in the stands and on the floor. But only with the guys in white. Only a 12-2 run near the end of the half allowed them to open any kind of a lead. The lack of patience and resulting shot selection helped keep Pan-Am in the game for most of the half. … Yes, Pan American’s defense – the Broncs are playing harder – had a role in that, but when the Cougars started moving the ball later in the half, they went on a 19-5 spurt that gave them the 12-point halftime edge. … The WSU defense started to tighten up in the last 10 minutes as well, holding the Broncs to 2-13 in the final 11 minutes. We’ll be back after the game, but remember, we are on Twitter at vinceg55.

WSU, Pan Am a study in contrast


As I write this, the Spokane Arena floor is being overrun by mites. As in mighty mites. It’s full of youngsters going through a clinic with the women’s basketball team, which will play Gonzaga in the McCarthy Athletic Center tomorrow afternoon. Tonight they are working with boys and girls, turning while coach June Daugherty is talking with their parents. For more on the game that follows the clinic, read on.

Shock sign ex-Coug, Seahawk Bumpus

Spokane has signed former WSU and Seattle Seahawk receiver Michael Bumpus.

Bumpus had 195 career catches with the Cougars. He played in four regular-season games with Seattle in 2008, making one start. He finished with five receptions.

And a couple of days after losing RJ Archer to Minnesota’s practice squad, the Shock found a backup quarterback in arena football veteran Andy Collins.

Another tough matchup for Zags

Back with my game preview of Saturday’s GU-Notre Dame contest. Click here for the version that will run in Saturday’s S-R. Here’s an article on Gonzaga’s problems in the South Bend Tribune.

Eags face another built-to-run opponent

For the second-straight weekend, the Eastern Washington’s defense will be geared up to stop the run on Saturday when the No. 1-ranked Eagles play host to North Dakota State in the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

You can click here for an early look at the game advance that will appear in Saturday’s S-R.

Eags’ Dean cleared to practice

Eastern Washington’s sophomore point guard Glen Dean, who has missed the Eagles first seven games of the season with a stress fracture in his foot, was cleared to practice earlier this week and could be available for Sunday rematch against San Jose State in San Jose, Calif.

In addition, EWU coach Kirk Earlywine also expects to have junior guard Cliff Colimon (ankle) and junior forward Rashano McRae back (concussion) after both missed several games with injuries.

You can read more here.

Baldwin keeps it going at Eastern

In only his third season as Eastern Washington University’s head football coach, Beau Baldwin has the Eagles in the FCS playoffs for the second straight year and poised to advance to the semifinals for only the second time in school history.

This story on EWU’s successful young coach ran in Friday’s morning’ s S-R. And check back on Saturday for an early look at the game story from tomorrow’s quarterfinal-round showdown between the Eagles and North Dakota State..

Lewiston tops Coeur d’Alene

In a rematch of last year’s Idaho 5A state girls basketball championship game, Lewiston stopped Coeur d’Alene 55-48 in overtime.

Here’s my game story.

WSU set to play in Arena tonight


Good morning from the fine city of Spokane. A light snow fell last night, giving the neighborhood a Christmas look, which is probably darn appropriate for Dec. 10. Washington State has a basketball game here tonight, which is also darn appropriate for Dec. 10. We have some more on that and the going-ons in the Pac-10 on the link, which is also darn appropriate for our morning post, so read on.

WSU in Spokane to host Pan American


Washington State is already in Spokane and going through practice tonight at the Spokane Arena. Tomorrow the Cougars will host Texas-Pan American before taking more than a week off for finals. The next game on the schedule is Santa Clara on Dec. 19 before the trip to Hawaii – without yours truly. Read on for more on tomorrow night’s game. But before you do that, check out this football link. …

Chiefs add depth on defense

With captain Jared Cowen headed off to Toronto for Team Canada tryouts for the World Junior tournament after Friday’s game in Vancouver and young D Reid Gow slated to be gone after Christmas for a prospects tournament in Canada, the Chiefs picked up a defenseman on Thursday, Davis Vandane, who has played for the Saskatoon Blades. If Cowen makes the team, and he did last year - losing the gold medal game to teammate Tyler Johnson and Team USA - he could miss nine games. The Chiefs have won three in a row after Wednesday’s 9-3 rout of Portland. They are at the Arena on Saturday against Kamloops, a 10-1 loser here in their last visit.

Idaho buries Montana in second half

A little women’s basketball news to catch up on, starting with a nice comeback win for Idaho over Montana on Wednesday night. On Tuesday, South Dakota State got the Cougars.

Basketball Youth Day at the Spokane Arena:  June Daugherty and the Cougars will join Ken Bone and the men’s basketball team for Cougar Basketball Youth Day on Friday at the Spokane Arena. The clinic begins at 4 p.m. and is open to all kids ages 8-14. The clinic will precede the men’s basketball game vs. Texas-Pan American at 7 p.m. 

For Gonzaga fans, has a story on Saint Mary’s senior Louella Tomlinson, who has the NCAA blocked shots record until Britney Griner passes her.

Speaking of Griner, Tennessee and Angie Bjorklund (University) are at Baylor on Tuesday, which is an ESPN 2 game, along with the Lady Vols’ game the following Sunday against visiting Stanford.  Tipoff for both are 4 p.m.

Akey reflects on season, much more

Earlier today we did a postseason wrapup interview with Idaho football coach Robb Akey, who talked about how “aggravating” it was to be so close to another bowl bid — the Vandals finished 6-7 — and what UI is doing to position itself amid all the conference reshuffling.

Read on.

WSU’s win over GU, the morning after


It was an interesting night in Pullman on Wednesday. With the Zags in town, the Beasley crowd of more than 10,000 was into it (the players were appreciative, as their comments show) and the Bulldogs were not, especially after halftime. We have more on Washington State’s relatively easy 81-59 victory on the link, so read on.

UPDATE: Washington State, which will play a non-conference game in Spokane on Friday night, will play two Pac-12 games there next season. The first conference home weekend, against the Oregon schools, will be at the Arena on Dec. 29 and 31. As you may know, AD Bill Moos wants to get the Spokane market more involved. With the students gone on Christmas break, the two games gives WSU a chance to have that Spokane presence. Now let’s see how many fans turn out for the Texas-Pan American game Friday. “It is vital to the growth of Cougar Athletics that we engage in the Spokane community and taking a conference basketball weekend to Spokane gives more fans the opportunity to see their team in person,” Moos said in a press release. “With students away from Pullman during the holiday break, it’s a great time to highlight Cougar basketball at one of the premier venues in the Pacific Northwest.”

Bison linebacker never doubted his return to football

When North Dakota State’s Matt Anderson lines up at his weak-side linebacker position in Saturday’s  12:30 p.m. FCS playoff game against Eastern Washington at Roos Field, he will do so with an ever-growing appreciation for the sport he loves.

Anderson, a 6-foot-2, 233-pound senior, whose junior year was cut short by a neck injury, has made it all the way back to become a major contributor, once again, to the Bison defense.  And you can read the story on his comeback that appeared in Thursday morning’s S-R here.

In addition, I’ve included this link to John Blanchette’s column on EWU’s senior two-time all-American J.C. (Jed Clampett?) Sherritt that ran in Wednesday’s S-R.

Day after WSU

Good morning. Let’s start with the links from WSU’s 81-59 humbling of Gonzaga: S-R gamer, Blanchette column, S-R photos. Here’s a day after post from WSU beat writer Vince Grippi.

Read on for my day after post.

Thursday Prep Page

Click the tab below to see the menu for this week’s Prep Page.

WSU routs Gonzaga, 81-59

WSU scored the game’s first eight points and led 25-6 with 7:15 left in the first half. Gonzaga rallied within six at half but the Cougars, behind Klay Thompson’s 21 second-half points, pulled away, leading by as many as 29 points before settling for a decisive 81-59 victory Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum.

Thompson stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, seven steals, six assists, six rebounds and a blocked shot. Faisal Aden added 14 points and Patrick Simon made three 3s and scored 11 points.

Gonzaga missed its first 10 shots and finished 19 of 48 (39.6 percent). Sam Dower led GU with 11 points. David Stockton and Mathis Monninghoff each had eight points.

The Bulldogs committed 25 turnovers, 14 in the second half.

Vince Grippi’s game story on the link.

Gonzaga vs. WSU

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Washington State University beat the Zags 81-59 Wednesday night in Pullman.

Chiefs crush Winterhawks 9-3

Chiefs roll to 5-0 lead in first period and whip first-place Portland 9-3. Stars are Brenden Kichton, Steve Kuhn and Mike Aviani. Box score reflects corrections, Vanscourt gets another assist and a goal, giving him a four-point night. Here is the story.

WSU leads 30-24 at half


Washington State used a near-perfect run of 3-point shooting to open a 19-point first half lead Wednesday, but the Cougars’ Achilles heel started to show as the half wore on. Read on.

It’s a numbers game at WSU


It’s time for our usual pregame post. Tonight’s post is dedicated to the number 1, and 2, and 3 and, heck, all of them. May they rest in peace on this Wednesday evening. Read on.

Trufant signs with Jets’ practice squad

Isaiah Trufant, a former Eastern Washington Eagle and Spokane Shock defensive back, is now a member of the New York Jets practice squad. He signed Wednesday.

Trufant was the UFL defensive player of the year for the 2010 champion Las Vegas Locomotives. More here.

WSU players charged in marijuana arrest


A quick post concerning an old story. The two Washington State football players who were arrested, and suspended from the team, in October have been charged in Whitman County Superior Court. Read on.

Shock sign OL, lose QB

Spokane has added offensive lineman Vladimir Richard, a former University of Tennessee product who was briefly with the Tampa Bay Bucs, but the Shock are in the market for a backup quarterback.

RJ Archer is leaving the Shock after being signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad. Archer was with the Vikings in training camp but was released. Now he’s back with the Vikings.

More on Archer here. More on Richard here.

Rogers boys trip up Shadle

If the Rogers/Shadle Park boys basketball opener Tuesday is a harbinger of what Greater Spokane League play will be like - and I think it is - it should be a fun roller coaster this winter.

Here’s a link to my game story. Rogers’ Deavon Daniels is pictured above blocking a shot.

WSU, Pac-10 notes for a Wednesday


As the nonconference basketball season hits its stride, we get a late start with our morning links. There are reasons, but they involve Pullman’s finest and we don’t want to go into it. So read on.

Zags, Cougs ready for 145th meeting

Gonzaga will make the 90-minute drive (weather permitting) south to face Washington State tonight. S-R Cougar beat writer Vince Grippi filed this preview. More previews in the Lewiston Tribune and Seattle Times.

Remember, in-game updates at

WSU, GU face off Wednesday


Gonzaga makes the trek down U.S. 195 to Pullman tomorrow, and with the Spokane weather report calling for sleet and ice, it may not be that easy. We have an advance of the big local non-conference game on the link, so read on.

GSL boys basketball

For those who want to follow along, I will be tweeting ( at the Shadle Park/Rogers boys game tonight.

So much for a transition between fall and winter!

Saint Martin’s seniors Zack, Mielke get home game at EWU

This week’s women’s basketball notebook is the second chapter catching up with seniors from the local Class of 2007. Though Dara Zack (University) and Roni Jo Mielke (Sprague-Harrington) didn’t end up at Division I schools, they have made a big contribution at Saint Martin’s and they’re coming home Saturday for a game at Eastern Washington.

Among the notes: The first NCAA statistics are out and Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot has resumed her spot atop the assists chart, averaging 9.1, almost two more than second place. She led the nation last year at 9.4. The senior All-American and two-time regining West Coast Player of the Year still manages to keep her teammates involved despite bumping her scoring average to 19.3, up from 14.1 last year.

Tonight it’s South Dakota State at Washington State. On Wednesday Montana is at Idaho.

Eags Sherritt, Jones named to AFCA All-Ameria Team

EWU’s senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt and junior running back Taiwan Jones have both been named to the College Football Coaches Association’s FCS All-American.

You get a quick read on the related story on the S-R’s website here;  you can see what Eastern’s sports information department posted about the awards here, and you can access the story on AFCA’s website here

Shock sign another defensive lineman

The Spokane Shock signed two defensive linemen last week, and they added another Tuesday. Former LSU Tiger Charles Alexander, who was with the Philadelphia Eagles before the season, has joined the Shock. More here.

All-Pac-10 awards announced


The coaches’ final All-Pac-10 team was announced this morning and there were no Washington State players on either the first or second team. With a 1-8 conference record that is not surprising. But there was one big surprise, to me anyway, so read on.

Chatting GU-WSU

Friend and colleague Ryan Collingwood, who covers WSU basketball for the Lewiston Tribune and runs the paper’s WSU basketball blog, sent me about a dozen questions on the GU-WSU game. 

He stuck my answers on the Trib’s blog, so I’m sticking them on my blog.

Here’s the link (though I admit I’m having some second thoughts on the prediction!)

GSL girls: Lewis and Clark favored

The Lewis and Clark girls basketball team is not only favored to win the Greater Spokane League championship, but the Tigers should make a strong run for a state championship. Here’s our preview story here. LC coach Jim Redmon is pictured above.

Here’s our GSL glance.

Here’s our Great Northern League boys and girls basketball glance.

Hoops takes the stage at WSU


Transition time. And by that, I mean it’s time to start the gradual transition from football news to basketball news dominating the morning posts. Like the slow transition from fall to winter – except this year when Mother N. decided to dump a foot of snow on the Inland Northwest in November. Thanks you old biddy. Anyhow, read on.

Gonzaga notes

Media day this afternoon at the MAC and I put together a notebook that will run in Tuesday’s S-R.

The first topic is GU’s 4-3 start, the worse season-opening seven-game record in Mark Few’s 12 seasons. That’s followed by a note on Steven Gray being the focal point of opposing defenses and lastly Elias Harris says his Achilles tendon is feeling better, thanks in part to a couple of acupuncture sessions.

Here’s the link.

(Watching UW-Portland and the Pilots were making a spirited comeback, but the Huskies are back up by 14.)

Vandersloot, Loper honored, EWU game changed

News today is shocking, I tell you, shocking. After averaging more than 30 points a game in easy road wins over the two supposedly best teams in the Big Sky Conference, Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot is the West Coast Conference Player of the Week.

Enough of the sarcasim, there is real news for you. Eastern Washington’s game on Saturday against D-II Saint Martin’s, which features a quartet of local players, has been pushed back to 7 p.m. because of the Eagles football playoff game.

Also, Hofstra freshman Kate Loper (Post Falls) honored again.

Vandals place one on All-WAC first team

Idaho punter Bobby Cowan was the only Vandal honored on the All-WAC first team, the conference announced this morning. Four other Vandals — Eric Greenwood, Shiloh Keo, Aaron Lavarias and Daniel Hardy — were second-team selections. Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick shared offensive player of the year honors, while Nevada coach Chris Ault was coach of the year.

Click below for a complete list of the honorees.

Gonzaga drops out of rankings

Gonzaga is no longer ranked in either of the two major polls.

The Zags, 24th in last week’s ESPN/USA Today rankings, slid into the receiving votes category when the new poll was released Monday. Gonzaga had already tumbled from the A.P. Top 25 last week, prior to Saturday’s loss to Illinois.

GU (4-3) received five points. Washington State, the Zags opponent on Wednesday in Pullman, received one point. Gonzaga has lost to current No. 5 Kansas State, No. 15 San Diego State and No. 17 Illinois (ESPN/USA Today poll rankings). The Zags still have games remaining against No. 23 Notre Dame, No. 14 Memphis and No. 9 Baylor.

GU was No. 12 in the ESPN/USA Today preseason poll.

UPDATE:’s Gary Parrish still has GU 25th.

WSU’s football season is about complete


When you think about it, this could be the final day of an overflowing football morning post. It’s been almost constant since early August, when the hills outside were green and shorts were a constant apparel item. Now heavy jackets are de rigueur and the hills, well you can’t see them under the snow. Which will be the same for football stories after today. Basketball will start to take over the landscape. But for today, we have football, so read on.

Vandals sweep their own tourney

Three games, three wins. That’s what the Idaho men’s basketball team accomplished in its inaugural Basketball Travelers Classic at Moscow’s Memorial Gym. The Vandals improved to 5-3 with a 75-60 win over Eastern Michigan (1-6) in the tournament’s finale Sunday evening, their fourth straight win after a woeful performance at Montana. “We probably had one of the worst performances in Idaho basketball history at Montana, and to come back and win four straight is a credit to the guys on our team and their character,” coach Don Verlin said.

Point guard Deremy Geiger — in his first year at UI — was named the Most Outstanding Player of the event. The BTC was the first regular season tourney in Moscow in 21 years.

Wulff will return next year


Paul Wulff and Bill Moos met today and Washington State’s third-year head football coach learned he will get a fourth. For what Wulff told me today, read on.

Big wins for Zags, Cougs

Gonzaga and Washington State have impressive wins in women’s basketball on Sunday.

The Bulldogs romp at Montana as Courtney Vandersloot continues to be red-shot; the Cougars hand visiting Nevada it’s second loss.

Also, Angie Bjorklund (University) inches closes to Tennessee record for 3’s; Montana State gives UCLA a good run; Kate Loper (Post Falls) helps Hofstra to a win; and on Friday, Tara Cronin (Gonzaga Prep) had a game-high 17 to lead Portland past Hawaii.

Some upsets in the Top 25, which makes the weekly vote more difficult. But it’s done.

Day after Illinois

We’ll start out with the links. Here’s my game story that ran in Sunday’s S-R (a longer version can be found in my previous post), former S-R colleague Dave Boling’s column for the Tacoma paper, a gamer in the Seattle Times, and another in the Chicago Tribune. Here are A.P. game photos.

Onward. My game-day post is below. It’s a long one. Read on for more.

A look back at Eastern’s big playoff win

Eastern Washington’s 37-17 win over Southeast Missouri State in Saturday’s second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs moved the top-ranked and fifth-seeded Eagles into the quarterfinals, where they will host unseeded North Dakota State at Roos Field this coming Friday or Saturday.

I’ve included some links to related FCS playoffs stories below and will post a link later this evening to a day-after story on Eastern’s win over SEMO that will appear in Monday morning’s S-R.

Read on.

WSU’s Apple Cup defeat, the morning after


As you might expect, there is more to cover this morning than anyone post could possibly handle. But here at SportsLink, we’re used to dealing with supersized fries, supersized drinks and, yes, supersized posts. So read on for just about everything you need to know about the Apple Cup – except how to deal with that hangover.

South Bend plows over Colfax

Colfax had no answer to South Bend’s running game. Consequently, the Bulldogs fell in the 2B state football championship game for a second straight year.

Here’s my game story.

UW runs over WSU in Apple Cup


Washington State had its chances to end the season on a two-game winning streak, but UW had more – and took advantage of them. We have some thoughts and stories on the link, so read on.

Chiefs toss Winterhawks

The Spokane Chiefs out-worked the team with the best record in the Western Hockey League, recording a 4-3 win over the Portland Winterhawks at the Arena Saturday night, when 7,638 fans contribute more than 4,600 stuffed animals on Teddy Bear Toss night. The stars were 1, Steve Kuhn with two goals, 2, James Reid with 26 saves, and D Brenden Kichton. That ended a 10-game losing streak to Portland in Spokane.

The complete box is below. Here is the story.

Ferris 4A state champ

The Ferris Saxons broke through against the state power, topping the Skyline Spartans 24-16 in the 4A state final at the Tacoma Dome.

Here’s a link to my game story.

Back with link to EWU’s game story

As promised, I’m back with this link to the story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R about Eastern Washington’s 37-17 Roos Field win over Southeast Missouri State in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

And check back on Sunday for addition links to related stories.


Illinois handles Zags 73-61

As promised, here’s my game story from Gonzaga’s 73-61 loss to Illinois on Saturday. Check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

Read on.

Idaho women fall in Wyoming

Quick women’s basketball post as the puck drops.

Idaho falls at Wyoming. Gonzaga is at Montana on Sunday, Nevada is at Washington State.

Vandals edge SJSU in OT

The Vandals, after a stinging defeat in the final seconds last week, blocked a San Jose State field goal attempt to force overtime and scored the game-winning TD on a 23-yard connection from Eric Greenwood to Nate Enderle to win 26-23. Idaho closed the year 6-7, one win from bowl eligibility. It trailed 13-3 in the second half, then came back to take a 20-13 lead. After SJSU tied the game, it forced a Vandal punt and drove down the field in the last minute. But Thaad Thompson blocked a would-be game-winner and the Vandals scored the only TD of overtime.

UW leads 14-7 at half


A quick halftime post as we have to write part of our story. … UW has dominated this game, using its longest drive of the year – 16 plays, 98 yards, 8:31 – to go up 7-0, then spinning some trickery – punter Kiel Rasp hitting Jermaine Kearse for 30 yards – before Jake Locker scored to make it 14-0. But Locker waited too long to hit an open Devin Aguilar in the end zone and Deone Buccanon came up with an interception with 1:41 before the half. The possible game-saving play led to WSU’s best drive, 80 yards in seven plays. It was capped by Jeff Tuel finding Jared Karstetter from 7-yards out for the score. Tuel was 4-4 on the drive for 44 yards, and added 19 on scrambles. … Washington has 100 yards rushing (Chris Polk with 78 of those) while WSU has 56. The Cougars have 135 yards of total offense to UW’s 234. … It looks as if cornerback Nolan Washington (foot) and middle backer C.J. Mizell (ankle) won’t be back. The Cougars are thin at corner with Anthony Simmons injured and Terrance Hayward suspended this week for violation of team rules. … UW gets the ball to start the second half.

Ferris 14-0 at halftime

Well, Ferris’ defense has done its job and is getting some help from the offense.

Linebacker Cole Lemer is having a fabulous game with an interception and a couple of knock downs.  And Riley Stockton recovered a fumble that thwarted a Skyline scoring attempt.

Lemer’s interception set up the Saxons’ first touchdown, a 17-yard pass from Ben Goodwin to Jordan Tonani, who beat arguably the state’s best athlete, Kasen Williams, on the play.

Then Stockton hauled in a 17-yard TD pass from Goodwin, and Stockton beat Kasen Williams and another Spartans cornerback.

Skyline has 158 yards total offense. QB Max Browne 10 of 21 for 137 yards. Spartans have rushed for just 21 yards.

Ferris has 142 yards total offense. Goodwin has completed 7 of 13 for 46 yards. Saxons have rushed for 96.

Illinois punishes GU from 3-point arc

Illinois drained 12 3-pointers, many at critical junctures, en route to a 73-61 victory over the Zags in the 8th annual Battle in Seattle.

Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale each had three 3s. Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson and Billy Cole each had two 3s. The 20th-ranked Illini (8-1) made 12 of 23 3s after starting out 1 of 7.

Robert Sacre had 15 points and 10 boards for GU. Elias Harris cooled off in the second half, missing all three of his shot attempts. He finished with 12 points. Steven Gray scored 10 points on 3 -of-12 shooting.

Illinois had five players in double figures, led by Tisdale’s and Richardson’s 15.

More in about two hours.

Jones runs wild as Eagles advance

Taiwan Jones rshed for 168 yards and two touchdowns and Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 178 yards and two more scores at Roos Field Saturday aftenoon as No. 1-ranked and 5th-seeded Eastern Washington University turned back visiting Southeast Missouri State 37-17 in the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

The win moved EWU in the quarterfinals of the playoffs and set up another home game against North Dakota — a 42-17 winner over 4th-seeded Montana State — next Friday or Saturday.

Check back later tonight for a link to the game story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R.



Apple Cup pregame post


The students are starting to come in and the line, which stretches back to the library, is starting to snake into Martin Stadium. I wonder how many of them are lacking voices after last night? I know my ears are still hurting. For more about today’s game, read on.

Sharkey coach of year

Doug Pacey of the Tacoma News Tribune puts together an All-Classification All-State Team, and Pacey named Ferris coach Jim Sharkey (pictured above) as the coach of the year. A good call by Pacey. He also named Gonzaga Prep running back Bishop Sankey and Ferris safety Riley Stockton to the team.

Reminder: I’ll be tweeting from the 4A and 2B state football championship games. Catch the tweets at

Eags tied at haltime, thanks to Taiwan Jones

Defense is little more than a rumor at Roos Field on Saturday as Eastern Washington and Southeast Missouri State play to a 17-17 first-half tie in their second-round Football Championship Subdivision playoff battle.

The two team have 447 yards, with Eastern’s Taiwan Jones having already rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

SEMO tailback Henry Harris has 109 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries, but Redhawks’ biggest play of the first half was Joshua Jackson’s 10-yard interception return off a poorly thrown pass by EWU’s Bo Levi Mitchell deep in Eagles’ end.

Southeast Missouri, which came in averaging just four penalties a game, has been flagged seven times for 81 yards, while Eastern has yet to be penalized.



Twitter for in-game updates

Just a reminder that I’ll be tweeting during the GU-Illinois game. I’ve actually got a few tweets up already regarding the starting lineup (Sacre, Goodson, Gray, Olynyk and Manny — no Harris), so head over to

Check back here at the final buzzer for a quick recap and about 2 hours later for a game story.

Is this a big day at WSU?


It’s just another Saturday in the college football season, right? Nothing important happening today, right? What, it’s Apple Cup Saturday? And it’s a big deal? Well, OK. I’ll take your word on it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a big day of notes and links, so read on.

1B: Lummi tops Cusick

Lummi pulled even early in the third quarter and then the Blackhawks pulled away in the State 1B football championship game Friday at the Tacoma Dome.

Here’s my game story here.

WSU comes close but can’t top K-State


I’ve never met a coach that wouldn’t take a win of any other kind over the dreaded moral victory. But I’ve also never met a coach who wouldn’t take a moral victory over a bad beatdown any day. Read on for the moral and more from Friday night’s 63-58 Washington State loss to fifth-ranked Kansas State.

Gray injured and out of NFR

PRCA bareback leader leader Ryan Gray of Cheney suffered a lacerated liver after being stepped on by Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Golden Dream during the second performance of the Nationals Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas Friday night. He was helped out of the Thomas & Mack Center arena by members of the Justin Sportsmedicine Team and taken to University Medical Center, where he has been admitted for observation. He is out for the remainder of the Wrangler NFR, ending his chances of winning his first world title.


Chiefs top Hat in OT

Anthony Bardaro scores a power play goal at 3:12 of overtime to give the Spokane Chiefs a 3-2 win over Medicine Hat. Bardaro got third star, Tigers goalie Tyler Bunz, who made 34 saves, was second and Tyler Johnson, with two goals, was first star.But all in all the Chiefs were fortunate, and they know it. Complete box below. Story here.

Battle in Seattle preview

Gonzaga and Illinois hook up tomorrow for the 8th installment of the Battle in Seattle. GU is 4-3 at KeyArena, moving above .500 with the win over Davidson last year.

Here’s my preview.

K-State, WSU about to battle


So where were all these students Tuesday night? Wouldn’t it have been just as much fun to come out and watch your school rout an overmatched foe? Wait, it was a school night. That’s it. They were all in the library. Silly of me. Read on.

3A: Bellevue champs again

The power of 3A football, the Bellevue Wolverines, made the Kamikin Braves look like a junior varsity team in a 38-0 romp at the Tacoma Dome.

The No. 1-ranked Wolverines (13-1) scored on five Kamiakin (13-1) turnovers, bolting to a 31-0 lead by halftime.

It’s Bellevue’s eighth state title in 10 years.

Hulett returning to Indians

Tim Hulett will be returning to manage the Spokane Indians next summer for his fifth season here. More below from the Indians’ press release.

Two of FCS’s finest on display at Roos Field on Saturday

Eastern Washington’s Taiwan Jones and Southeast Missouri State’s Henry Harris are among the top Football Championship Subdivision running back in the country, and will match numbers again each other on Saturday afternoon at Roos Field, when the Eagles and Redhawks kick it off at 1:05 in the second-round FCS playoff showdown.

Check back later for an early look at the game advance that will appear in Saturday morning’s S-R. In addition, you can click here to read the feature story on SEMO’s junior quarterback Matta Scheible that appeared in Friday morning’ s S-R.



Sea-Tac media pick Skyline big

The Seattle/Tacoma media are picking the Skyline Spartans to handle the Ferris Saxons on Saturday. Mason Kelley with the Seattle Times picks Skyline to crush Ferris, 35-7, while his teammate, Sandy Ringer, picks Skyline to win 35-14. Doug Pacey of the Tacoma News Tribune also picks Skyline, but figures the game will be closer.

Lummi is picked to beat Cusick in 1B, but Colfax is picked to beat South Bend.

Of course yours truly picked the three area teams. So I’m either an idiot (no comment, please) or an expert!

Who do you pick to win the title games? Bellevue is also picked to beat Kamiakin. I picked Kamiakin.

Reminder: I’ll be tweeting ( during our our teams’ games.

WSU writes about new Martin Stadium plans


With the Apple Cup just around the corner, Washington State athletic director Bill Moos took the opportunity to tell the donors for Martin Stadium’s Phase III expansion project he has some new ideas. For our story on what those ideas are, click here.

GU at EWU tonight; record for Zack

Some women’s basketball news to catch up with from Thursday, with several local players having big nights.

First, the game tonight is Gonzaga at Eastern Washington. It’s the first home game for the Eagles after five straight on the road. We’ll miss that one for hockey duties but we’ll get the word out through Twitter (SRtrim) as time permits from the Arena.

Sophomore Katie Baker (Lake City) had 19 points and 12 rebounds as Montana, which hosts Gonzaga on Sunday, beats Denver at the buzzer. … Senior Kelli Valentine (Mead), who was honored before the game for surpassing 1,000 points, had a big second half as Portland State beat Hawaii. … Senior Dara Zack (University) responded to being named the Great Northwest Conferce Player of the Week with a conference record 12 offensive rebounds among her 20 boards as Saint Martin’s edged Central Washington to open league play. Zack had 14 points and senior Roni Jo Mielke (Sprague-Harrington) had a game-high 19; freshman Kelsi Jacobson (East Valley) had 11 off the bench for Central.

Not too long now to Apple Cup


If you are in, say, Kirkland, today and headed over, pack a lunch. After the snow we got last night, it is probably going to be an all-day trip. Sort of like the journey I embarked on this morning. It seemed to take me hours to plow my way through the blizzard of stories on the Net. But like your journey, I knew I would get to the destination sooner or later. I did. Now you can follow my road map if you just read on.

Shock add pair of defensive linemen

Spokane has signed two more defensive linemen — Angelo Craig and Torrey Davis. More here.

Gray, Durfey out of the money

Ryan Gray of Cheney finished out of the money in the first round of the bareback riding competition at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Thursday night. However, Gray still has the lead in the World standings, which is based on money won during the season.

Tyson Durfey of Colbert fell from seventh to ninth in the standings after finishing out of the money in the first round of tie-down roping.

The NFR runs for 10 days.

Redmond to manage Single-A club

Mike Redmond, the former Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University star, will make his managing debut with the  Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts of the Midwest League, a Single-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 39-year-old played last season with the Cleveland Indians, appearing in 22 games. The former catcher spent 13 seasons at the Major League level, with three different clubs –  Florida, Minnesota and Cleveland – batting .287 with 13 home runs and 243 RBIs in 764 career games.

The snow bowl of WSU practices


Spent the last hour and a half standing quietly in a light snow shower watching the Washington State Cougars going through their penultimate workout before Saturday’s Apple Cup. Some thoughts on the link, so read on.

Harris: No tear, likely to play vs. Illinois

Sophomore forward Elias Harris had another MRI on his ailing Achilles tendon and, for the second time in two weeks, it came back negative, according to a Gonzaga press release.

Harris hurt his Achilles late in the Zags’ loss to San Diego State on Nov. 16. After an MRI showed there was no tear, Harris returned to play against Kansas State and Marquette at the CBE Classic before Thanksgiving in Kansas City.

Harris’ Achilles flared up again after the Bulldogs returned to Spokane. He sat out two practices and GU’s victory over Eastern Washington on Tuesday.

He had another MRI on Wednesday and it revealed no tear. Harris was at Thursday’s practice and he’s expected to see playing time against Illinois on Saturday in the Battle in Seattle.

More below.

K-State, Apple Cup on WSU’s radar


A change in plans. We have a couple links for you, including our advance of tomorrow night’s basketball game, so we thought we would give you those and a quick synopsis of Paul Wulff teleconference. Read on.

No praying in the end zone?

A Tumwater player scored a touchdown in the semifinal win over East Valley on Monday, then dropped to one knee and pointed to the sky. He was praying. Seconds later, a referee threw a flag for unsportsmanlike behavior.

Check out this video posted by the Seattle Times here. And Gail Wood of The Olympian newspaper and a former Coeur d’Alene Press reporter has a story about the flap here.

The Tacoma News Tribune posted a different video here.

QUESTION: What do you think about this?

Shock games will be on KREM, KSKN

The Spokane Shock have a new home on the TV dial.

Every Shock home game (except vs. Philadelphia on June 10, which will be on NFL Network) and selected road games for the 2011 season will be televised on KREM or its sister station KSKN. More here.

Shock games were initially televised by KHQ from 2006-08 and its sister station SWX the last two seasons.

ESPN The Ticket (AM 700) remains the radio home for Shock games.

Thursday Prep Page

Click the link below to see what’s on tap today including our Greater Spokane League boys basketball preseason package.

Not much longer until Apple Cup


This morning we’ll begin with the weather report, though Ollie Williams has left the area for warmer climes. Don’t blame him. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the area and it’s in effect until tonight at 10. The problem is snow, of course, 1 to 3 inches of the stuff. But it is also the ice that built up on the roads overnight after yesterday’s melting. The good news is tomorrow and Saturday look pretty nice, with clear skies and cold temperatures. Fine with me. Just as long as I can get from my apartment to Martin Stadium to cover practice and the game, my life is complete. … Except for being able to run down a whole bunch of stories, which we have on the link. Read on.

Dyslexia almost derailed Jones’ football dream

Becasue of his learning disability, Taiwan Jones fell off the recruiting radar of the big-name football schools.  But the junior running back has found a stage on which to perform at Eastern Washington University — and he’s getting by in the classroom, as well.

You can read the feature story on Jones that appeared in Thursday morning’s S-R here.  And I’ve included some links to other stories related to Eastern’s second-round FCS playoff matchup against Southeast Missouri Sate at Roos Field below.

Read on, and be sure to check back tomorrow to learn more about SEMO’s junior quarterback Matt Scheible.

WSU prepares for two big games


The biggest difference between football and basketball practice? One is outdoors and one in. On December 1, that’s a big deal. We have notes from both, so read on.

Chiefs Leedahl retires

Spokane Chiefs defenseman Garrett Leedahl retires because of repeated concussions.

“It was hard to come up with my decision,” the 19-year old said in a team release. “My family, the team and I came to this point after talking to the doctors and neurologists. We realized it will be best for my future to retire from hockey.”

In his two seasons in Spokane, Leedahl only appeared in 31 games because of concussions. He was a sixth-round pick in the 2006 Bantam Draft. The Saskatoon native, who was injured when the Chiefs played in Saskatoon Nov. 2, plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan.  

Gonzaga vs. EWU

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Photo gallery of Gonzaga vs. Eastern Washington University Nov. 30, 2010.

Day after EWU

Back with the day-after post following Gonzaga’s 86-57 rout over Eastern Washington. Here’s my game story. Couldn’t find an S-R photo gallery on our site, other than this picture of Sacre blocking a shot.

Also, here is a Chicago Tribune game story and another from the Sun-Times on Illinois’ impressive win over North Carolina on Tuesday. GU takes on No. 20 Illinois in Seattle on Saturday.

Read on.

Nelson keeps positive attitude

You might recall, the girls basketball Class of 2007 around here was pretty special. It started with University’s Angie Bjorklund going to Tennessee, but she was one seven Division I players from the Greater Spokane League alone. There were other players in that class as well and as most of them play their final season, we hope to catch up to them. The first is a senior who is not a senior, Chewelah’s Nikki Nelson (above in a Chris Anderson photo when she was an eighth grader doing her dribbling exhibition at the State B tournament), the lead to our weekly women’s basketball notebook.

Pullman isn’t as snowed under as expected


And now time for Ollie Williams and the Pullman weather report. Ollie? … OK, I admit it would be impossible for me to capture Ollie’s trademark style on the digital page, but let’s just say he wouldn’t be screaming about snow. Yes folks, the weather wasn’t as bad as the apocalypse forecasted. Heck, after I got home just before midnight last night, it doesn’t look as if it snowed anymore. So the possible 8 inches didn’t come close to fruition. So maybe the Snow Bowl 2010 hype can slow down a bit. Read on for more WSU news.

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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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