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Archive for February 2010

One last look back at WSU’s defeat


We promised this morning to have some more today, so we do. We have quotes, notes and even a football item. We got started writing and couldn’t stop, so what follows is pretty long. Read on.

Eags win; should Earlywine stay?

Eastern Washington closed its 2009-10 men’s basketball season with a 79-71 home win over Idaho State Saturday night.  It was a nice way to send off the five seniors on this year’s roster, but it still left the Eagles with 21 losses and looking in from the outside on another Big Sky Conference Tournament.

Read on for more on the game, along with S-R columnist John Blanchette’s take on whether Eastern should retain head coach Kirk Earlywine, who is in the third and final year of the contract he signed took over the program back in June of 2007.

And feel free to leave any thoughts you might have on the direction the Eagles are headed and whether Earlywine should get at least another year to clean up the mess he inherited when he arrived in Cheney.

CdA captures state grap title

Here’s a link to the story about the Coeur d’Alene wrestling team capturing a State 5A championship with five finalists.

WSU’s loss to UW, the day after


When I awoke this morning, the first thing I did was check my hearing. See, after the game last night my ears weren’t working all that well. For the first time this season, Beasley Coliseum was so loud it made my ears – and head – hurt. And yet, all that noise, all that energy, all that excitement, it wasn’t enough. The Cougars couldn’t overcome a first half filled with missed shots, little or no transition defense and a UW team that was hitting on all but one cylinder – the one, you ask? Turnovers, which kept the Huskies from having an even bigger lead than the 14-point one they enjoyed. We have more on the link, so read on.

Day after San Francisco

Good morning. I don’t know how many people are still up at this hour, but I am. That’s because I watched the replay and I wanted to put together the day-after post because I’m going to be out of Internet range for most of Sunday.

So here’s my post from Gonzaga’s 75-69 victory over USF, one of the more entertaining and interesting games of the season. I took advantage of the 5 p.m. start to chat with numerous Zags and USF coach Rex Walters. I also had brief interviews with GU’s three seniors in preparation for Tuesday’s Senior Night contest with Cal State-Bakersfield.

First, the links: my game story, photos, A.P., WCC recaps and the WCC Tournament pairings.

Read on for more.

Hole proves too big for WSU to climb out


WSU had everything going its way. The 11,671 in Beasley were going bonkers, putting out a noise that made my ears hurt. The rally seemed to have an inevitability to it, until there were 10 minutes left to play. Then, with a lead finally attained, the Cougars couldn’t get the ball into the basket again. There were opportunities, including a couple of golden ones at the rim where WSU’s Marcus Capers and DeAngelo Casto seemed to have earned trips to the line only to see those hopes dashed. With the game in doubt, Isaiah Thomas took over, hitting two key 3-pointers, getting to the line – insert your comment here – and carrying the Huskies to victory. Read on for our unedited game story.

Chiefs come up big

With the Tri-City Americans invading and a full house watching, the Spokane Chiefs come away with a critical 5-2 win Saturday night that was much closer than the score indicated. The unedited game story is below.

The Chiefs hit the road for three while the 2B State Tourament is town.

Vandals stumble at La Tech

Make it three straight losses for Idaho. The Vandals put together another feeble offensive showing and lost 60-49 at Lousiana Tech on Saturday evening. UI shot just 39% and was 3 of 15 from 3-point range against the Bulldogs, who rebounded from a stunning loss to Boise State two days earlier.

Idaho is 13-15 and 4-10 in the WAC. It will lock up a spot in the WAC tournament if it gains a split against San Jose State and Hawaii at home next week in the final two regular season games of the year. But getting past SJSU will be tricky — the Spartans throttled Fresno State Saturday and beat UI earlier this year.

GU claims outright title

Back with the expanded game story from Gonzaga’s 75-69 win over USF. Read on for the unedited version below and check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

G-Prep stops Mead boys for title

The Mead and Gonzaga Prep boys are now 2-2 on the season after the Bullpups rallied to capture the 4A regional championship Saturday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

3A regional basketball

Click the tab below to read my unedited 3A regional boys and girls basketball story.

WSU rallies, but falls 59-52 to UW


After having trailed all of the first half, WSU was a different team in the second half, rallying to take a three-point lead (44-41 with 7:47 left). But Washington had too much down the stretch and it was able to regain the lead, quiet the loud Beasley crowd and take the victory. … Klay Thompson had missed 24 consecutive shots from the floor until he hit a 23-footer in transition at the 13:06 mark. But that wasn’t why it was such a big deal. It brought the Cougars all the way back from a 16-point first-half deficit and tied the game at 39. … There was a stretch midway through the second half when the Cougars, who had taken their first lead at 41-40, went four possessions without scoring. It turned out to be a pretty big stretch. … During that stretch, Marcus Capers had to stop guard Isaiah Thomas and switch to Quincy Pondexter. Pondexter didn’t score, but Thomas, who was struggling against the longer Capers, got a great look and hit a game-tying 3-pointer. From there, he took over for a while scoring 13 of UW’s last 18 points. … We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with our story.

UW leads WSU 35-21 at half


Well, lack of energy isn’t the problem. Lack of a shooting touch, now that’s a pretty big one. WSU missed its first seven shots, was 3 of 18, 6 of 31 and finished the half 6 of 33, which is pretty bad the last time I looked. Or 18 percent if you want to get technical about it. … Klay Thompson’s shooting woes continued as his consecutive missed shot streak reached 23 – he missed all seven he took. … The Huskies, meanwhile, were getting great looks – how about five transition baskets, including a breakaway layup after a missed free throw? – and shot 64 percent from the floor, hitting 16 of 25 shots. … No wonder the lead is 14, though it did hit 16 (35-19) just before the half. … Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who UW coach Lorenzo Romar singled out for praise recently, continued his aggressive play inside, overpowering DeAngelo Casto and James Watson for 15 points (on 7 of 9 shooting) and six rebounds. He did, however, pick up three fouls. … We’ll be back after the game with a post.

Mead girls regional champs

The Mead girls basketball team captured the 4A regional title for the first time since 1992.

Click the tab below to read more.

Zags hold off USF, 75-69

Gonzaga made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 3:10 to outlast San Francisco 75-69, giving the 18th-ranked Bulldogs an outright WCC championship. The Dons, who beat Gonzaga in overtime last month, gave the Zags all they could handle, but USF’s rally from a 10-point deficit with 6:22 remaining fell short at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

GU needed a win or a Saint Mary’s loss to secure its ninth outright title in 10 years. Gonzaga shared the title with Pepperdine in 2002.

Elias Harris scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half. Steven Gray added 15 points, Robert Sacre 13 and Matt Bouldin 11 for Gonzaga (24-5, 12-2).

Dior Lowhorn paced the Dons (12-17, 7-7) with 17 points. San Francisco will be the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament if Saint Mary’s beats Loyola Marymount. At the time of this post, the visiting Lions were leading the Gaels 43-41 at halftime.

USF led by 10 early, but the Zags rattled off 14 unanswered points and 21 of 23 to take a nine-point advabtage. GU led 35-33 at half and used an early 7-0 run to expand it to 42-35. The Dons stayed close and were within 52-49 after Angelo Caloiaro’s runner. Manny Arop’s 3-pointer put Gonzaga in front 68-60 with 4:56 left. USF pulled within three points twice in the last 2:38, but Gray and Bouldin each went 2 of 2 from the foul line and Sacre was 1 of 2.


Gonzaga perfect, EWU closer to title

Plenty of women’s basketball news and we’ll try to get to it all before the hockey game starts.

Gonzaga became the first school to have a pair of perfect WCC seasons by destroying San Francisco today. Along the way, Courtney Vandersloot set the league record for assists in a season and, I think, she may have set the school record for career steals. There will be plenty more to read about Vandersloot because she should be named the league MVP on Monday.

Eastern Washington clinched a tie for its first Big Sky title with a win at Weber State on Friday. Three teams were tied for second but Portland State was eliminated by a loss at tonight’s opponent Idaho State and Montana was eliminated when Montana State defeated the Grizzlies in Missoula for the first time since Robin Selvig began coaching UM a lifetime ago. The Eagles failed to win the out-right title, falling at Idaho State while Sacramento State, still two games behind, pulled out a four-point win at Northern Colorado.

Idaho reached .500 in the WAC with a win at Utah State but the Cougars still can’t beat the Huskies.

WSU will use UW game to introduce Moos


There will be one really interested spectator tonight in a sold-out Beasley Coliseum. Bill Moos, the newly named athletic director, will be introduced to the crowd at the first media time out. Expect a thunderous greeting, if only from Bobo Brayton. Actually, Moos will probably fire up the crowd as well as any cheerleader. Then maybe they’ll pass a John Deere hat. We have some basketball thoughts on the link, so read on.

Long week finally over at WSU


One-game weeks seem to drag on and on. It seems like a week since Washington State has played a game – wait, it has been a week since the win over USC. Tonight the Huskies bring their interesting road record into a packed Beasley Coliseum, hoping to sweep the state rivalry for the second consecutive season. By the tip, we’ll know a lot more about the conference title and how the rest of the tournament will shake out. Read on.

CdA leading at state wrestling

The Coeur d’Alene wrestling team leads the State 5A tournament after the first day.

Click the tab below to read our unedited story.

Mead, G-Prep boys to state

The Mead and Gonzaga Prep boys are headed to state.

And they’ll face off a fourth time Saturday in the 4A regional championship game.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Chiefs celebrate in style

The Spokane Chiefs celebrated their Top 25 players in 25 years in style Friday night, using a hat trick by local hero Tyler Johnson to coast to a 5-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars.

The unedited game story is below. Don’t forget to share your memories about the special players  on that list.

EWU’s postseason hopes crushed

Any remaining chance Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team had of making the Big Sky Conference Tournament went down in flames — much like the Eagles — in Friday night’s 85-57 home loss to Weber State.

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

Mead boys headed to state

4A regional boys

Mead slipped past Kamiakin 49-48 and is headed back to state for the first time since 2003.

More later.

Mead wins, Tigers fall, CV stays alive

Mead topped Walla Walla, Chiawana downed Lewis and Clark and Central Valley handled Richland.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

4A regional basketball



Halftime: Chiawana 31, Lewis and Clark 23

The Riverhawks used a 10-0 run to open a 24-9 lead with 5:28 left in the second quarter. But Lewis and Clark fought back, pulling within 28-21.

Final: Mead 52, Walla Walla 35

More later.

25 Chiefs for 25 years

As part of their 25th anniversary celebration the Spokane Chiefs, with the help of fans, picked 25 all-time greats.

It’s quite an impressive list and 15 of the 25 were introduced at a press conference Friday afternoon and 16 will be recognized tonight before the game with Prince George. In photo (Christopher Anderson/S-R) above, Jay Stewart of the Spokane Chiefs announces the list.

The list is below. It would be great if you would share your memories. Look for a story centered around the one player that came with the team from Kelowna for the 1985-86 season. There will be other stories in the future.

WSU ready for its senior moments


Senior ceremonies will be quite short tomorrow night. There are the two senior managers, Ben Cartmell and Charlie Hawkins. And there is the one senior player, Nik Koprivica. We’ve written a lot about Nik this year, starting with our feature kicking off the year and throughout the season. But we have one more, looking back at his career and what it might have been without the major knee injury his freshman year. You can read the unedited version of that story on the link.

Day after Santa Clara

Back with the day-after post from Gonzaga’s 88-51 trampling of Santa Clara.

Same drill as always. First, the links: S-R gamer, John Blanchette’s column on GU’s decade of WCC rule, photos, A.P., WCC recaps can be found here, and here’s an Oregonian article on San Francisco, GU’s opponent Saturday, losing at Portland (Dior Lowhorn scores seven points in the first three minutes, then shutout the rest of the way?) While we’re at it, here’s an S-I article on foreign players making an impact at U.S. schools (much of it centers on GU’s Elias Harris).

Read on for more.

Eags try to keep postseason dream alive

Eastern Washington has all but played its way out of the Big Sky Conference Tournament once again, needing wins over Weber State (tonight) and Idaho State (Saturday) and help from those same two opponents against Portland State to end its three-year postseason drought.

I’ve attached a release from the Big Sky office that deals with all of the different tournament scenarios that could still play out, and I’ve included this link to league’s weekly press release.  In addition, you can see what EWU’s sports information department posted about tonigh’s game agains Weber State here, and check out the game notes supplied by WSU’s sports info folks here.

Please check back later for an early look at the WSU-Eastern game story that will run in Friday morning’s S-R.

Three games left in WSU’s Pac-10 season


There are three games left for most Pac-10 teams – only Cal and Stanford have two. As the regular season dwindles, the top of the conference standings is becoming clearer. Saturday’s Arizona State at Cal game pretty much will decide who wins the title. But the bottom, the part that matters to Washington State right now, is still muddled. Thursday’s games did a good job of muddling them up even more. Read on.

Zags clinch at least a share of WCC crown

Back with the expanded game story from Gonzaga’s 88-51 drubbing of Santa Clara on Thursday. The unedited version is below. Check back tomorrow morning for a day-after post.

Gonzaga rolls past SCU, 88-51

A quick game story from GU’s rout of Santa Clara. Check back later for an expanded version.

Thursday Prep Page

Mead volleyball pulled off a hat trick at the Inland Northwest Youth Awards Luncheon on Wednesday. Here’s our story. Pictured above is Alexis Olgard of Mead, the Junior Female Athlete of the Year.

Here are the 25-year award winners.

Here’s a preview of the Idaho state wrestling tournaments. Coeur d’Alene is heavily favored to capture the 5A state title.

Area teams fared well in the first day of the Washington State 1B basketball tournament.

Here’s a link to my column.

Things get back to normal at WSU


News quiz time. What is dominating Washington State news today? Is it A) the men’s basketball team’s game with Washington on Saturday? B) The baseball team headed to Texas this weekend? Or C) A press conference in the CUB for a new administrator? Heck, you all know the answer to that one. If the questions in statistics had been this easy, I would have graduated with a political science degree. Read on.

Aggies smother Idaho

It was all going well for the Vandals until just after the midway point of the first half Wednesday night. That’s when New Mexico State clamped down defensively and went on a 23-4 flurry to close the half. The withering run helped the Aggies cruise to a 74-57 conquest in Las Cruces. UI shot just 31% from the field and had 19 turnovers.

Idaho is now 13-14 and 4-9 in the WAC. See more here.

Tough loss for Chiefs

The Spokane Chiefs couldn’t get anything going and dropped a crucial 2-1 decision to Everett Wednesday night. The unedited game story is below.

Vandals hire tight ends coach

The reshuffling of Idaho’s football staff appears to be complete. Today coach Robb Akey announced the hiring of tight ends coach Al Pupunu, who spent the last two years at Southern Utah University. Pupunu was a longtime NFL tight end (mostly with the San Diego Chargers) before going into coaching.

He comes to UI after QB coach Jonathan Smith left to become offensive coordinator of Montana. Offensive coordinator Steve Axman is assuming Smith’s responsibilities, while Pupunu will take over coaching tight ends from Axman. You can find more below.

I’ll also be back later to give an update on the Vandal men basketball team’s encounter with New Mexico State tonight. You can follow it live here.

Zags try to add another title

Good evening. I’ve posted a couple things below, with the main item taking a look at Gonzaga’s run of conference championships (nine, 10 if it defeats Santa Clara on Thursday) and where that ranks in NCAA history.

There’s also a short preview of this week’s games, Matt Bouldin making the list of 30 mid-season finalists for the Naismith Award (strangely announced on Feb. 24) and an item on the Soles4Souls shoe collection at Saturday’s game. 

Read on.

Moos formally introduced at WSU


Our coverage of Bill Moos’ introductory press conference at WSU is ready to go, so we have some time now to go into what Moos had to say in greater depth. We also have a short story on the link, which focuses on his contract, the largest an athletic director at WSU has ever received. Read on.

G-Prep, Mead boys win; U-Hi falls

UPDATED: Wednesday, 9:25 a.m.

The Gonzaga Prep and Mead boys won and University lost in 4A Eastern Regional games Tuesday.

Click the tab below to read Mike Vlahovich’s unedited story.

Here’s a link to our 4A and 3A regional girls basketball story/roundup.

Here’s a link to our State 1B basketball tournament and a look at the Rosalia boys and Colton girls.

Key game for Chiefs

A little primer for tonight’s big Western Hockey League game in Spokane. The Chiefs face Everett with a chance to tie the Silvertips for the third seed in the Western Division. The Silvertips know tonight’s game is critical. If you missed it on the previous post, we featured Chiefs’ standout Mitch Wahl. Yesterday’s post had Wahl with his surfboard, but we didn’t have room for that in today’s paper but we had a picture of Mitch and his mother Michele, who moved to Spokane. Top-seeded Tri-City moved five points ahead of Everett and seven up on Spokane with a whippin’ of Portland Tuesday night. Portland is one point behind the Chiefs but has played two more games. TC is now on the road for seven, including Friday in Everett and Saturday in Spokane, sent packing because of back-to-back basketball tournamenets in their building. (An interesting note, TC is 7-1 against Portland, Spokane is 2-5 against the Winterhawks and the Chiefs are 6-3 against the Americans.)

WSU gets big bang from Moos bucks


Want to know why no one is ever angry when word comes out about a hire a day or two early? Just take yesterday’s Bill Moos-is-the-athletic-director-at-WSU news. It breaks here yesterday morning, then all afternoon everyone is talking about Bill Moos and WSU. Today’s papers are filled with, yes, Bill Moos and WSU (including our story). Today, there will be a press conference about, ya, we know, Bill Moos and WSU. Tonight Bill Moos and WSU will be all over the news. Tomorrow, there will be more in the papers about Bill Moos and WSU. And on and on. And that’s why no one is upset when the big press conference isn’t the first you hear about it. Read on for more about Bill Moos and WSU – and other stuff.

Lake City upsets Post Falls

The Lake City boys basketball team knocked off Post Falls 51-46 to capture the 5A Region I championship and a state berth.

Click more to read my unedited story and a roundup of the other Idaho boys tournament games.

Basketball news from WSU


Wanted to wait a while today before I posted about basketball coach Ken Bone’s press conference and a couple other things, just to let the Bill Moos news percolate a while. We will, of course, have a little more on that tomorrow afternoon, but you’ve got everything I’ve been able to uncover on the link below. Now we move on to basketball.

WSU to introduce Moos tomorrow


Elson S. Floyd got his man. Washington State University’s president set his sights on Bill Moos the day he heard Jim Sterk was leaving and Monday, Moos accepted his offer. Tomorrow, Moos will head down U.S. 195 and meet the media, hearing the words he hoped to hear a long time ago, “Bill Moos, Washington State’s new athletic director.” We have the unedited version of our story for tomorrow’s S-R on the link, so read on.

Monday prep thread, revisted

UPDATED: Tuesday, 11:45 a.m.

Please forgive me for not posting this earlier.

Click the tab below to see what’s going on and get links to various things.

Moos says yes to WSU


It’s official. Bill Moos said yes today to Washington State University’s offer to replace Jim Sterk as athletic director, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Spokesman-Review.

Moos, a former Washington State football player who earned all Pac-8 honors in 1972, was formerly the athletic director at the University of Oregon. When he and Oregon parted in late 2006, Moos signed a 10-year agreement worth $2 million – payable yearly – that limited where he could work. Negotiations between Moos and Oregon to iron out an agreement have been ongoing, though whether there has been a resolution is not known.

Here is more on Moos.

Honors for Vandersloot, Bjorklund

Some national recognition for a couple of female basketball players today - Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot is one of eight finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the country and Tennessee’s Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) is a first-team Academic All-American. Also, Gonzaga is now No. 20 in the ESPN poll.

Surfer dude Wahl honored

A critical week for the Spokane Chiefs got off to a good start when veteran center Mitch Wahl was named the Western Hockey League Player of the Week on Monday. It’s good time since we had a story on Wahl planned for this week (see below), and yes, that’s surfer dude Wahl pictured above.

A Monday from WSU

COUGARS • UPDATED: Tuesday, 11 a.m.

An interesting Monday. Interesting enough to have a post that includes more than just the Arizona State win over Arizona. Read on.

Zags slide in rankings

Gonzaga’s loss to Loyola Marymount resulted in a predictable slide in both polls. GU (22-5, 10-2 WCC) dropped from No. 13 to No. 18 in A.P. and from No. 9 to No. 15 in ESPN/USA Today. More here. Saint Mary’s (22-5, 9-3) received one vote in ESPN/USA Today’s rankings.

Women have productive weekend

A pretty good weekend for women’s basketball in our area, UPDATED.

Gonzaga clinched its sixth-straight WCC title and the top seed for the tournament with two dominating defensive games, sending their seniors out in style. Columist John Blanchette stopped by on Senior Day, with the third-largest crowd in history, more than 4,800, were on hand to send off three players, including local star Heather Bowman (above in a Dan Pelle picture, with a photo gallary of Bowman’s career). The Zags also moved into the Top 20 (my vote below) in the AP Top 25. Courtney Vandersloot is the WCC Player of the Week for the second straight week and fourth time this season.

Eastern Washington clinched its first berth in the Big Sky tourney after a three-year absence by beating Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona and can win its first-ever league title (and host the tournament) by winning two of its final three games.

Washington State had a significant win at USC before losing at UCLA; undermanned Idaho continues to scratch and claw its way to wins; and Whitworth secures the third seed for its league playoffs.

Day after Pepperdine

I’ve got a slow internet connection and about two minutes before i hop on a plane. My game story is on my previous post.

Read on for my day-after Pepperdine post.

WSU win over USC, the day after


Another fine April, er, February morning, with the sun shining, a little frost on the roofs and some yard work in the near future. I could do without the last item, that’s for sure. But sometimes you have to just get after it, which is exactly what WSU did yesterday. They just got after it and showed what some dedication to defense will get you. We wrote quite a bit last night, so today’s post will be shorter. We promise. Read on.

Bulldogs maintain WCC lead with easy win

Gonzaga took care of business early, building an 18-point lead in the first six minutes and cruised to a 72-54 win over Pepperdine on Saturday.

The win keeps GU (22-5 overall) in first place in the WCC with a 10-2 record. Saint Mary’s is 9-3. Portland dropped to 8-4 after losing to Loyola Marymount in overtime.

Read on for my unedited game story.

Monson-led 49ers bedevil Idaho

Long Beach State took care of Idaho 77-66 at Cowan Spectrum but an overriding story line was the return of Dan Monson. Read on for my game story.

Zags roll to 72-54 win

Gonzaga is on the doorstep of another WCC championship.

The Bulldogs routed Pepperdine 72-54 Saturday. GU (22-5, 10-2) can wrap up at least a share of the crown with a win over Santa Clara at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Thursday. Two wins would secoure an outright championship. WCC has won or shared nine straight WCC titles.

Gonzaga built a 40-19 halftime lead and essentially traded baskets in the second half. The Bulldogs led by as many as 24 in the second half..

Matt Bouldin scored 18 points, Elias Harris 13 and Robert Sacre and Steven Gray each had 12. Sacre blocked a career-high six shots and Gonzaga equaled its school-record with 11 swats. Bouldin had five assists.

The Bulldogs made 27 of 51 shots (52.9 percent).

Keion Bell, who scored 37 points in the Waves’ 91-84 loss in Spokane, led Pepperdine with 14 points. He made 4 of 12 shots and 5 of 7 free throws.

Back with a game story in about two hours.

CdA rallies for threepeat

Coeur d’Alene, trailing 36-29 going into the fourth quarter, used a 12-0 run to propel a stirring 51-45 comeback win in the State 5A championship game.

More later.

The Lewiston led 22-15 at halftime over Coeur d’Alene in the State 5A championship game.

The lead should be bigger for the Bengals. CdA played poorly in the first half, making just 5 of 23 shots from the field. Senior guards Dayna Drager and Amanda Buttrey were a combined 0 for 9.

The Viks’ post Carli Rosenthal has 10 points. Lewiston guard Jessica Kramer has nine.

A longer than usual WSU post


Well, that’s one way to rebound. Just go ahead and rebound every missed shot. Well, not every one, but close. WSU had a 37-28 rebound advantage, including 13 offensive boards. That was crucial in a game in which Klay Thompson just couldn’t get the ball to fall in the basket. We have our game story on the link - and a lot more. Read on.

GU jumps out to big halftime lead

Two nights after struggling to make shots in a 74-66 loss to LMU, the Gonzaga men’s basketball team couldn’t miss for the first nine minutes of Saturday’s game against Pepperdine.

During that time frame, Gonzaga went 10 for 10 from the field, including 5 of 5 on 3-pointers, and 3 of 3 at the free-throw line to build a 28-12 lead en route to a 40-19 advantage at the break. The Zags unleashed their transition game when they were able to get the rebound or after a couple of Waves’ turnovers.

Steven Gray had 10 points before five minutes had elapsed. He made his first four shots, two of those were 3s, and finished the half with 12 points. Matt Bouldin added a pair of 3s and had 10 points to go with three assists.

Gonzaga’s defense was solid, holding Pepperdine to 7 of 31 shooting (22.6 percent). Mychel Thompson had a team-high seven points, but made just 2 of 9 attempts. Of the Waves’ first 12 points, nine came on putbacks.

More at the final buzzer.

Long Beach rolling at half

Dan Monson is certainly enjoying his return to Moscow so far. His Long Beach State team closed the half on a 21-5 blitz and leads 35-21 over Idaho at Cowan Spectrum. Monson, the former Gonzaga and Minnesota coach, is an Idaho alum and son of former Vandal coach Don Monson. The 49ers, just 12-14 on the season, got 19 combined points from T.J. Robinson and Greg Plater. Idaho has 10 turnovers and has been plagued by poor shooting from its guards. Luiz Toledo scored eight early points and leads UI at the half.

Firestone Fieldhouse filling up

About 20 minutes before tipoff and antiquated Firestone Fieldhouse is slowly filling up. Last I heard there was some general admission tickets available but not many.

Ex-Zag and current Laker Adam Morrison is here to watch the Bulldogs. Pat Riley is seated alongside a handful of NBA scouts just behind the scorer’s table. There’s a seat reserved for Mike Dunleavy, who was also at Thursday’s game with LMU.

The Zags will attempt to bounce back from Thursday’s loss to LMU. GU hasn’t lost to Pepperdine here since Jan. 2002, an 88-79 setback.

Back at half with an update.

Priest River girls capture title

The Priest River girls basketball team topped Kellogg 45-33 in the State 3A final at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

GU women win sixth straight title

The Gonzaga seniors, led by prolific senior Heather Bowman who was profiled in today’s paper, exited McCarthey Athletic Center in style, dismantling Pepperdine 87-45 before 4,829 fans, the third largest-ever.

The story of the Zags clinching a share of their sixth-straight WCC title is below.

Also of note, Eastern Washington earned a berth in the Big Sky Tournament with a win over Northern Colorado Friday night and the Eagles got a little more breathing room atop the league standings when Sacramento State earned its first-ever league win over Montana Saturday afternoon. There will be more in a future post.


WSU holds on, 51-47


Did you ever think WSU could win a basketball game with Klay Thompson such a complete non-factor on the offensive end? Well, you have now. Thompson was scoreless at halftime and WSU led by four. He missed a couple free throws down the stretch and WSU overcome those. In the end Reggie Moore stepped up, made the big shot and free throws and the Cougars posted the upset. With an assist from Abe Lodwick who had some key points down the stretch. But, WSU made it a lot harder than it had to be by missing nine second half free throws. It was Thompson, however, who made the game clincher. We’ll be back in a couple hours with our game story.

WSU leads by four at half


Did someone put me in a time machine and transport me back about three, four years? The halftime score is 23-19 but 11 minutes in it was 8-8. I felt like I was back in the rebuilding era of Cougar basketball. Guess that’s what I get for writing about Dick Bennett in the pregame post. USC isn’t about to give up a transition basket – when the Trojans shoot, at least four guys start back – and WSU is doing its best job of the year of getting back and finding men. … You know how I said in the pregame post if the officials called the game loosely, it would favor USC? Well I was wrong. It’s been called that way and the Cougars defense has been helped. They are being physical and it’s working. USC is shooting 36 percent while WSU is at 41 percent. … The Cougs lead even though Klay Thompson is 0 for 7 from the floor, though many of the looks were good ones. … If you are wondering, they are playing hard today. … We’ll be back at the end.

A pregame look at WSU vs. USC


When Tony Bennett left Washington State for Virginia last April, one of the first calls I made was to Dick Bennett. I wanted to know whom he would recommend to replace his son. His answer … well, you’ll have to click the link to find out.

Full plate for WSU’s Saturday


The USC game starts at 2 p.m. today. The WSU baseball season kicks off at noon. So we need to get a lot done in a short period of time. The most important item on our agenda, of course, is getting this post prepared for you. It’s one of those days when there seems to be more items from off-the-court then on, which makes for interesting reading. So go right ahead and do just that.

Zags try to bounce back

Gonzaga is back on the court tonight against Pepperdine. I filed a short preview that you access here, and here’s a WCC Tournament ticket update. Reserved seats are sold out.

Titans, Stags, Reardan make moves

University has four semifinalists and nine state placers putting the Titans in position to win their second state 4A wrestling championship here in Tacoma. They could have had seven semifinalists, but lost three tough matches in overtime. They lead 74.5 to 53.5 over Tahoma, with Auburn, Graham-Kapowsin and Lake Stevens or Moses Lake in the picture. They don’t have quite the numbers, but Tahoma and Lake Stevens have four semifinalists as well.

Deer Park has six semifinalists, but lost four of its 11 qualifiers so WF West, Centralia and Othello loom.

3A GSL teams had individual successes, led by North Central and Shadle Park, 1A not so much and Reardan has a good lead in B with Republic laying in wait.

Here’s my story:

CdA, Lewiston girls in final

As predicted in my column Thursday, the Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston girls basketball teams will face off Saturday in the State 5A championship game. Tipoff is at 7 PST and can be seen live on

Coeur d’Alene held off Highland 48-39 and Lewiston rallied from a 15-point deficit to down Centennial 57-52 in overtime.

Click the tab to read my unedited story.

Also, Kellogg and Priest River will meet in the State 3A title game.

I added the 3A games on the bottom of this file.

WSU’s Sterk says goodbye


We talked with outgoing athletic director Jim Sterk for a long time today, with the conversation ranging from his new job in San Diego to his accomplishments at WSU to his last few weeks. What follows is the story I put together for tomorrow’s S-R. Read on.

WSU adds Boise State to schedule down the road


A quick football note. WSU is announcing today an addition to its 2016 and 2017 non-conference football schedule. The Cougars will be playing a home-and-home with Boise State. Yes, Cougars on the blue turf. The official release is on the link.

First day impressive

A few random thoughts and observations after the first day of the Idaho state girls basketball tournaments in the Boise area.

Click the tab below for more.

Day after Loyola Marymount

Back with the day-after Loyola Marymount post following the Lions’ 74-66 victory on Thursday night. Simply put, LMU outplayed, outworked and most definitely outshot the Bulldogs. I talked to LMU’s Drew Viney and coach Max Good, and after I interviewed Mark Few I didn’t have a chance to grab too many other GU players. I did get a few minutes with Steven Gray and Matt Bouldin.

Get started with the links: S-R gamer (longer version is available on my previous post), A.P., and the WCC recaps. Read on for more.

WSU’s UCLA loss, the day after


I’m trying my hardest to stay away from the Tiger Woods statement, joining my brethren in boycotting the made-for-TV event (and wondering why Oprah is not hosting it). But, like the wreck on the interstate, I’m having trouble avoiding rubbernecking, so I might sneak a peek (UPDATE: I did not). The best way to keep my mind off it, I figure, is to keep typing, putting together your much-anticipated day-after post. So read on. From here on out, it’s a Tiger-free zone.

Eags lose another close one

Eastern Washington’s road woes continued Thursday night when the Eagles suffered another heartbreaking loss to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

The Big Sky Conference loss dropepd EWU’s road record to 2-12 and severely damaged the Eags chances of qualifying for the six-team BSC Tournament that starts on March 6. You can read the game story that was cobbled together for Friday morning’s S-R here; you can see the game details that EWU’s sports information department posted here, and you can take a look at the gamer published in Friday morning’s  Greeley Tribune here.     I’ve also included this link to the roundup of Thursday night’s BSC game that was posted by the league office.

Vandals take another from Seattle

Something seems to have clicked for the Vandals. Maybe it’s that they’re not playing the elite of the WAC, but they’re definitely playing better. They won for the fifth time in seven outings Thursday night by beating Seattle University 82-72. My game story is below.

Mead boys get defensive, win District

The Mead Panthers played stingy defense and made most of their free throws down the stretch to defeat Gonzaga Prep for the District 8 4A boys basketball championship. It was their second win in three meetings with the Bullpups.

Shadle Park captured District 3A by beating North Central. University in 4A, Rogers and East Valley are also regional bound.

Below is my unedited story.

Bulldogs, Cougars win

Only three times this three times this year had Gonzaga scored 70 points or less and won until Thursday night when the Bulldogs defense smothered Loyola Marymount for 73-40 win.

Even more amazing is it has been 16 years since Washington State won back-to-back conference games. The Cougars broke that skid by ending an 18-game losing streak to USC by beating the Trojans in Los Angeles for the first time in more than a decade.

Read about the Cougars here and here the Bulldogs below.

LMU takes it to Gonzaga, 74-66

Gonzaga’s four-game winning streak ended Thursday as Loyola Marymount knocked off the Bulldogs 74-66 in front of 3,770 at Gersten Pavilion.

You can read my unedited game story below and check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

WSU takes itself to task after loss


Sorry we are a little later than usual, but it took the Cougars a longer-than-usual time to come out of the locker room. And that sat us back. But as my dad used to say, people don’t want to hear about the labor pains, they just want to see the baby, so here’s the baby. With a special addition. I put the Bill Moos story on the bottom with quotes from Elson S. Floyd, release tonight by the athletic department. Read on.

Mead wins title; CV advances

Mead pulled down the stretch to win the District 8 girls basketball title at Lewis and Clark while Central Valley snagged the third spot to regional by edging Gonzaga Prep.

It just goes to show seedings mean little, especially this year. The unedited story is below.

Lions upset Gonzaga 74-66

Gonzaga scored the first basket of the second half, but Loyola Marymount took control with 24-10 run and went to upset the 13th-ranked Bulldogs 74-66 at Gersten Pavilion on Thursday. 

LMU had five players in double figures, led by Ashley Hamilton’s 17 points. The Lions took the lead for good, 48-45, on Jarred DuBois’ 3-pointer with 13:56 remaining. LMU led by as many as nine before Gonzaga narrowed the deficit to four on three occasions in the final three minutes.

It looked like GU might get an opportunity to get closer after forcing LMU to inbound with 1 second left on the shot clock and 43 ticks on the game clock, but Larry Davis got open underneath for a layin.

It was LMU’s first win over a ranked opponent since beating Alabama in 1990 in the NCAA Tournament.

Check back for the game story in about hours.

WSU is blown out by UCLA, 71-51


Beasley Coliseum began clearing out with more than 10 minutes left Thursday, not that it was all that full to begin with. But with WSU trailing by about 20 most of the second half, even many of the diehard Cougar supporters were unable to stomach the wipeout. The number of UCLA dunks might have been greater than the number of WSU baskets. That’s how poor the Cougar defense was. For one of the few times this season, there was a lack of effort. And that was suprising. We’ll be back in about two hours with our story.

Zags up 3 at half

Gonzaga stretched its lead to 10 early and was on top by nine with 4 minutes left, but Loyola Marymount shot its way back, closing within 39-36 at half.

Steven Gray had nine points, four assists and two steals for the Zags, who shot 14 of 34 from the field. They made just 6 of their last 16 shots. GU did connect on five 3-pointers, led by Gray’s two. Manny Arop scored seven of GU bench’s 15 points.

Gonzaga led 22-12 after Kelly Olynyk’s 3-pointer. It was 36-27 after Demetri Goodson’s tip-in with 4:21 left, but the Lions closed the gap behind 3s by Drew Viney and Kevin Young.

Viney made his first four shots and scored 10 points. Ashley Hamilton, Jarred DuBois and Davis — all three missed the game in Spokane last month with injuries — combined for 17 points. DuBois picked up three fouls.

More just after the buzzer.

WSU trails 40-26 at the half


Yes, and it could have been worse. What with UCLA shooting nearly 70 percent from the field. It didn’t matter what defense the Cougars played, zone or man, they didn’t play either well. And, when the shots stopped falling and the turnovers began to burn, WSU gave up one of those 14-point runs. It turned a 26-24 nailbiter into a 40-24 laugher. Only a last-second DeAngelo Casto basket cut the lead into, well decent range isn’t the right term, so we won’t use. But it was a sign of life. … How bad was the ball handling as the clock wound down? WSU had seven turnovers in the final 5 minutes, 46 seconds of the half. … No Cougar has more than six points (Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore, who also has three fouls). … UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt has twice that. … We’ll be back after the game. …

CdA overcomes fouls, Boise

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story. I included blurbs on the Moscow, Kellogg and Clark Fork games. I’ll update later with Lewiston and Priest River.

WSU offers Moos athletic director spot


If you wondered why we didn’t have a pregame basketball post, it’s because of this. Yes, president Elson S. Floyd offered the athletic director position to Bill Moos today. The story we’ve put together for tomorrow’s paper is on the link. We’ll be back at halftime of the basketball game.

Final: CdA 47, Boise 37

The Coeur d’Alene girls basketball team played some of its best defense of the year and weathered foul trouble as the second-ranked Vikings knocked off No. 1-ranked Boise 47-37 in a State 5A tournament opener Thursday afternoon at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

Freshman Kendalyn Brainard and senior Amanda Buttrey led the Vikings (20-4) with 13 points apiece.

I’ll be back with my game story later.

In a State 3A opener, Kellogg topped Marsh Valley 45-37.

In a State 4A opener, Rigby defeated Moscow.

Idaho: state girls hoops

I’m at the Idaho state girls basketball tournaments in the Boise area. Just a quick note to let you know that all of the 5A, 4A and 3A games will be streamed live at

All the 2A, 1A Division I and 1A Division II games will have audio feeds.

I’ll post updates from the tournament periodically.

Thursday prep page

Prep notebook: Coeur d’Alene girls basketball team seeks third straight state championship.

Feature: North Central wrestlers Ben Carter, Nathan Brown, Jared Berlinger and Steven Taylor.

Column: West Valley wrestler deserved chance to go to state.

The fog is clearing at WSU


A busy day on, er, with links (sorry, was thinking about how it won’t be much longer before we can be out on the golf course again) today, then a basketball game tonight. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring you more basketball coverage this week, but another major job search has gotten in the way. We have links on that front as well. So read on.

Vandals take break from WAC

The Idaho men’s basketball team is on a bit of an uptick, having won four of its last six games. But it’s hard to know how the Vandals will respond in two non-conference games this week — versus Seattle University tomorrow night and Long Beach State on Saturday evening. Both are in Moscow, and I’ve got a short preview of the weekend below.

What awaits WSU basketball?


We’re back with our second post of the evening. This one has to do with Washington State men’s basketball’s post-season possibilities heading into the weekend with the Los Angeles schools. Read on for the unedited version of the piece.

Moos meets folks in Pullman


We have two stories for tomorrow’s S-R. And we’re dividing them into two posts. The first, on the link, is the unedited version of our piece on Bill Moos’ meet-and-greet this afternoon. It’s not complete – how can it be? Moos talked for almost an hour – but it’s the best we can do. Check back in about an hour. We’ll have our basketball story. Read on.

Some Gonzaga notes

I’ve put together a few notes that will run on the S-R’s Four Corners college basketball page Thursday. You can read the unedited copy below.

Are you ready for some arena football?

With training camp less than a month away and the season opener roughly six weeks out, the Arena Football League — yes, it’s back — announced its most concrete plans yet for 2010 and beyond.

(Here are a few links: The new AFL website is here, the league’s release on the re-launch of the AFL is here, and the AFL’s TV schedule is here,

Today’s press conference answered a lot of my questions and hopefully my unedited article that will run in Thursday’s S-R will answer some you might have had. Read on.

More women’s basketball news

Where does the time go? Arrived at work bent on getting the news out and got involved writing a story. Mix in spin class and suddenly I’m behind again.

Today’s women’s basketball notebook focused on another Eastern Washington senior, Nicole Scott (pictured above battling Gonzaga’s Heather Bowman), as the Eagles close in on their first berth in the Big Sky Tournament since her arrival. We also checked in with Montana freshman Katie Baker (Lake City), who was making a bid for Big Sky Freshman of the Year when she blew out a knee - at EWU early last month.

We ran out of room so we saved our update on Tennessee junior Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) for tomorrow (if space allows), posted below, along with some other notes.

Idaho state girls capsules

Media members across the state of Idaho compiled capsule looks at all the qualifiers for the 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A Division I and 1A Division state girls basketball tournaments.

Click below to see them.

Pictured above is Coeur d’Alene senior guard Dayna Drager.

WSU and Moos continue talks


The biggest question in Pullman today: What did President Elson S. Floyd serve for dinner last night? Inquiring minds want to know. My guess is beef. We kid because we could care less. Anyhow, no one, as of yet anyway, seems to have a beef with WSU’s dance with Bill Moos (sorry, bad pun). We have news and notes on the link, so read on.

Mead girls knock off CV

The Mead and Lewis and Clark girls basketball teams secured Eastern Regional berths with victories Tuesday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Jeff Brown to join WCC’s Hall of Honor

Former Gonzaga standout Jeff Brown will be inducted into the WCC’s Hall of Honor at the upcoming conference tournament in Las Vegas. He’ll be part of an eight-member class (each school has one representative).

More on Brown and the other seven inductees here and here. (Brown is pictured above with GU teammate Matt Stanford and ex-Gonzaga coach Dan Fitzgerald, who died last month.)

Ex-Zag great Frank Burgess was part of the inaugural Hall of Honor class inducted last year in Las Vegas.


Moos in Pullman


We spent the day here trying to get an idea about Bill Moos’ candidacy for the open athletic director position. On the link is the unedited version of the story I filed for tomorrow’s S-R. If you care, read on.

Shock add WR Brown

Spokane continues to tinker with its roster, adding WR Justin Brown and releasing WR Cleannord Saintil. More here.

Also, there will be a conference call Wednesday morning discussing the re-naming of Arena Football One to the better known Arena Football League. (You’ll recall that the new league acquired the AFL’s assets.) Other topics Wednesday morning will be the AFL’s TV agreement and future expansion plans.

I’ll have more in the morning.

Women’s basketball notes

A ton of basketball notes, expected coming back from furlough, but you’ll have to wait for some, although there is plenty below.

Chiefs stretching for stretch run

It’s the stretch run in the Western Hockey League and the Spokane Chiefs seem to be finding their stride.

After a dismal stretch at home the Chiefs have won five straight at the Arena this month, the last two in overtime, and how have three straight on the road before closng February with three more home games.

WSU prepares for LA invasion


Well, we’ve finally got some time to put together some thoughts about basketball, based on Ken Bone’s press conference and practice. Sorry we’re a little late here, but we’ve been working on something else (and I’m sure you know what that is and there is a couple notes about that on the bottom of this post). Read on.

Dickau joins D-League team

Ex-Zag Dan Dickau is still trying to make it back to the NBA. He’s joined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and makes his debut tonight. More here and here.

Moos taking lead in WSU AD race?


So where were we? Talking about Washington State’s open athletic director position, I guess. With the school announcing Bill Moos will be on campus Wednesday to talk with faculty and staff, many people believe his hire is just a matter of time. And it certainly could be, no matter what obstacles need to be overcome. Even if the hire isn’t inevitable, it’s obvious the starting gun has gone off for this sprint and every other candidate is still stuck in the blocks. And Moos is 11 meters down the track. Read on for more.

Chiefs win another OT thriller

The Spokane Chiefs entered Monday afternoon’s President Day meeting with an 0-17 when trailing after two periods.

Thanks to Kyle Beach they’re now 1-17.

Beach scored late in the third period and then added his second OT game-winner in as many games for a 3-2 win over the Everett Silvertips. Below is the unedited story for Tuesday’s paper. Check back tomorrow as the Chiefs talk about the stretch run.

Moos will visit WSU


I was en route to Pullman when this came out, but read on for a short note about Bill Moos being invited to Pullman on Wednesday. He’ll be there to talk about the open athletic director position.

Gonzaga moves up rankings

Another 2-0 week propelled Gonzaga to No. 13 in the Associated Press poll and No. 9 in ESPN/USA Today’s rankings. The Bulldogs were 16th and 11th in last week’s polls.

Three of the four teams with wins over Gonzaga are ranked: No. 6 Duke, No. 11 Michigan State and No. 23/25 Wake Forest.

Johnson, Cowen best in west

The long-standing Best of the West rankings of Western Division players in the Western Hockey League is out and the Spokane Chiefs fared quite well.

Everett didn’t do too bad, either, which is a good primer for Monday’s afternoon game at the Arena between the Silvertips and the Chiefs. Puck drops at 3 p.m.

Fans can react to Everett getting the top vote for best fans (with Spokane fourth behind Vancouver and Tri-Cities).

Noteable Chiefs:

Jared Cowen, best stay-at-home defenseman;

Tyler Johnson, best faceoff man (repeat); top defensive forward (repeat), fourth for best skater

Kyle Beach, most irritating player; second for most accurate shot

Ryan Letts, second for toughest player

Jared Spurgeon, third for best over-age player, which is the one I would quibble with since the D-man is averaging a point-per-game for the team that has allowed the fewest goals, the top two picks are offensive players.

James Reid, third for best goaltender

Monday prep thread

OK, I know it’s Sunday night, not Monday. But I’m going to be tied up until at least noon on Monday. So I wanted to get this posted so you can start talking about a number of things.

Anything from 4A and 3A District 8 boys and girls basketball tournaments.

Mat Classic, which is Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

Or the Idaho state girls basketball tournaments in the Boise area.

Attention to detail helps Eags cool off UM

Eastern Washington University gave its postseason hopes another boost Sunday afternoon, but upsetting Big Sky Conference rival Montana 69-68 at Reese Court.

You can take an early look at the unedited version fo the game story that will appear in Monday morning’s S-R below.

Day after San Diego

Back with the day-after post from Gonzaga’s 82-65 win over San Diego on Saturday.

First the links: S-R gamer, S-R photosA.P., San Diego Union-Tribune (authored by S-R’s John Blanchette) and WCC recaps.

WSU’s defeat at Cal, the next morning


Another day-after post about a game that got away. Didn’t WSU go through this just a few years ago? We’ll see if history repeats itself anymore. But enough of that, let’s get going on Saturday’s defeat at Cal. Read on for thoughts, links and whatever else I can find.

Chiefs win thriller

Kyle Beach poked in a loose puck with 48 seconds left in overtime to give the Spokane Chiefs a wild 4-3 win over the Tri-Cities Americans Saturday night.

Just a wonderful way to come back from furlough, although the overtime and my rustiness wiped out deadlines. Below is a very fast, unedited story.

Back Monday - after the 3 p.m. President’s Day showdown with Everett.

Fast start helps Gonzaga past USD

Back with the expanded game story from Gonzaga’s 82-65 victory over San Diego on Saturday. Read on for the unedited version and check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

Vandals pull away from Fresno State

For whatever reason, the Idaho Vandals have performed better on the road than at home this season — particularly in WAC play. On Saturday night, UI handled Fresno State 68-59 to sweep the season series from the Bulldogs. FSU was coming off an impressive 19-point thumping of then co-league leader New Mexico State. Mac Hopson had 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Luciano de Souza had 16 of Idaho’s 29 bench points.

Idaho (12-12, 4-8) sits comfortably in seventh place in the WAC, meaning it most likely won’t be in danger of missing the conference tournament. In fact, with four WAC games remaining, Idaho could jump San Jose State (12-12, 5-7) for the sixth seed.

Bulldogs defeat San Diego 82-65

Gonzaga scored the first 19 points and led by 24 midway through the first half, but San Diego made the Bulldogs work the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs saw their lead dwindle to 10 in the first half and 12 in the second before Gonzaga finished off an 82-65 victory Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Steven Gray scored 19 points, Matt Bouldin 16 and Manny Arop 13 for the 16th-ranked Bulldogs (21-4, 9-1). Gonzaga leads Saint Mary’s and Portland by two games in the loss column. The Gaels (21-5, 8-3) lost to Portland (16-8, 7-3) in overtime.

Brandon Johnson led USD (9-18, 2-9) with 21 points and eight rebounds.

Back with a game story in about 90 minutes.

Idaho: State girls hoop pairings

Click the tab below to see the state pairings for each of the Idaho girls basketball tournaments, which begin Thursday at various spots in the Treasure Valley (Boise area).

Titans qualify 10 to Mat Classic

University took care of the first order of business in its quest for a State 4A wrestling championship. The Titans qualified 10, four of them champions, four of the second, to next weekend’s Mat Classic in Tacoma.

Its 2A counterpart, two-time champion Deer Park, did likewise, advancing 11 wrestlers, six as finalists, for of them champions.

Here are their stories:

CdA boys upset Post Falls

The Coeur d’Alene boys knocked off Post Falls 58-51 Saturday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story that includes the 5A and 4A Region I matchups.

Shock holding tryout

Spokane will hold a player tryout at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14, at Washington State University’s indoor practice facility in Pullman. More details below.

WSU comes up four minutes short


If you had time today, I’m sure you watched WSU’s 86-70 defeat at Cal in a game Ken Bone rightly said was not indicative of the final score. On the link we have the unedited version of our game story for you to read and comment upon. Then we’ll be back tomorrow with our usual day-after items. Read on.

Cal rallies past WSU, 86-70


Though they gave it their best effort, or near their best, it wasn’t to be for the Cougars on Saturday. The Cal Bears had too many weapons down the stretch, and one of those was Patrick Christopher’s defense. After being blitzed by Klay Thompson for 23 points in the first half, Christopher chased Thompson around the entire second half, limiting him to five points and made the key play of the game. With the Bears leading 73-70 in what had become a back-and-forth game, Christopher and Jamal Boykin harassed Thompson into a turnover, which Christopher turned into a dunk on the other end. When, on the ensuing possession, coach Ken Bone was still complaining, referee Michael Reed gave him a T. Four free throws later, with 2:43 left, it was over. We’ll be back in about two hours.

WSU, shooting well, leads 45-34


Guess we should have seen that coming. It’s been awhile since Klay Thompson has gone off. But with dad Mychal in the stands, he hit his five 3-pointers, attacked the basket when needed and had 23 points before halftime. He finished the half 8 of 11 on shooting, leading the Cougars to 65.4 percent shooting. If you are wondering, in his 43-point effort against USD in Alaska, Thompson was 8 of 13 from beyond the arc. … The problem is the defensive problems we pointed out earlier means WSU is going to have to outscore the Bears to win. Jerome Randle has taken advantage of the Cougars switching the screens to step back and nail some long 3s of his own. He finished with 12. However, whenever he took the ball to the rim, he was denied, being blocked as WSU has nine blocked shots. We’ll be back at the end.

Tough task looms for WSU


We’ll say it right up front. This one could get ugly. Which means, according to my up-is-down Pac-10-2010 logic is WSU might just win. But honestly, of all the games I’ve been at this year, that outcome seems the least plausible to me. Read on for why.

A big Saturday for WSU


The guard will be changing in Pullman and I don’t mean guys playing inside in football or outside in basketball. We’re talking about athletic director Jim Sterk leaving. And, yes, he is taking the San Diego State job and no, he wasn’t forced out. We have more on that, and the basketball game today, on the link. Read on.

Eagles snap seven-game skid

Dean Glen scored seven points in the last 66 seconds of the game to lead Eastern Washington to a 74-69 Big Sky Conference win over Montana State at Reese Court.

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

CdA girls headed to state

The Coeur d’Alene girls basketball team handled Lake City to earn a state berth.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story and blurbs on the other state-qualifying district tournaments.

WSU’s Sterk takes SDSU AD job


I’ve been spending the last couple hours putting together the story about Jim Sterk leaving Washington State University of San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference. You can access the story here. We’ll have more on this major change at WSU over the next few days, I’m sure. Also, on the link we have some news about the football assistant coaching position.

WSU will try to bounce back


We went to practice today and put together this short on the mental aspect of bouncing back from Thursday’s come-from-ahead defeat. You can read the unedited version on the link.

Shock add DB, cut DB

Spokane announced the signing of DB Chris LeFlore. To make room for LeFlore on the roster, the Shock released Dahnel Signfield. More here.

Johnson’s status for GU game uncertain

I talked with San Diego coach Billy Grier for a few minutes about an hour ago. The former GU assistant said senior guard Brandon Johnson’s status for Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs won’t be known until tomorrow. Johnson (groin injury) didn’t play in Thursday’s loss to Portland.

Read on for a short preview of the contest that will run in Saturday’s S-R.

Verlin reprimanded by WAC

After making critical comments on the officiating of Wednesday’s loss to Nevada, Idaho coach Don Verlin has been reprimanded for violating the WAC’s sportsmanship code. Said commissioner Karl Benson, “Coach Verlin’s comments criticizing the officials clearly violated the WAC sportsmanship code and will not be tolerated. Any further violations of the code will result in a minimum one-game suspension.” 

Verlin apologized for his rant, during which he said it was a “poorly officiated game.”

Also, Verlin acknowledged to the Lewiston Tribune yesterday that freshman Corey Stern will transfer.

Day after Saint Mary’s

I watched the GU-SMC replay into the early hours and was sleeping soundly when the phone rang this morning with a radio interview request. So, the Z’s will come later and the day-after post sooner.

Here are the links: S-R gamer, John Blanchette column on Omar Samhan, S-R photos, A.P.Seattle Times and Contra Costa Times (authored by S-R’s Dave Trimmer). San Diego, Gonzaga’s opponent Saturday, played without Brandon Johnson (groin injury) and lost to Portland. The Pilots, meanwhile, might not get Nik Raivio back this season.

Read on for more from Gonzaga’s 80-61 win over Saint Mary’s.

WSU loss to Stanford, the day after


It’s the day after a tough loss. Which means, I’m sure, it was a tough night to fall asleep for those connected to the Washington State basketball team. But it’s on to Cal for a FSN-televised 1 p.m. game Saturday. Before we turn our eyes there, however, we have some thoughts – and links – about last night’s loss. Read on.

Zags alone in first after thumping SMC

OK, I’ve had enough computer problems to last a month, but we’re sort of back in business, so here’s my unedited game story from Gonzaga’s 80-61 win over Saint Mary’s.

Read on for more and check back — computer willing — for a day-after post.

Zags stand alone

It took nearly 25 minutes, but the Gonzaga Bulldogs finally put the clamps on Omar Samhan and, essentially, Saint Mary’s. The Bulldogs, riding a balanced offense and a defense that grew stingier as the game progressed, pulled away for an 80-61 men’s basketball victory Thursday in front of a packed house of 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Click here for game story and photos.

Late basket sends WSU to tough defeat


You guys have had your say, with all the comments on the end-of-game post. We’ll have ours in the morning. For now, we have our game story on the link in all its unedited glory. Read on now and check in the morning for more.

Picture is clear among GSL girls

The Central Valley girls captured the Greater Spokane League championship, and seeding is set for the 4A and 3A District 8 tournaments.

Read my unedited game story and roundup by clicking the tab below.

WSU blows lead, falls 60-58


As much as WSU did right Thursday night, it’s hard to believe the Cougars lost. But they did, throwing away a lead that was 18 points with 11 minutes and 43 seconds left. But from that point until Jeremy Green hit his fifth 3-pointer, giving Stanford a 53-52 lead, WSU scored eight points over 9 minutes and none from the 7:24 mark to the 1:49 mark. And that was that. The one stat that stands out as we head downstairs: Despite trailing much of the game, Stanford had an eight-point edge at the free-throw line. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes.

WSU leads 33-18 at the half


What is it about Stanford and first halves? For the second time this season, WSU played a superlative first half – or, if you’re a half-empty type of guy, the Cardinal played a terrible half. For my money, you half-empty guys are more right than wrong this time. The Cardinal turned into a turnover machine in the opening 20 minutes, giving the ball away 11 times, including some that were just incomprehensible. But the Cougars had something to do with that as well. Though this wasn’t the defensive effort of the Arizona game, it still was pretty good, holding the Cardinal to 33 percent shooting (7 of 21) besides the turnovers. Landry Fields has five points, as he was guarded early by DeAngelo Casto but quickly given to Nik Koprivica – when WSU wasn’t in zone. Jeremy Green has six points, all on 3-pointers, with Marcus Capers doing the bulk of the defensive effort. … Casto has been a force inside offensively – he actually went coast-to-coast with a turnover – with nine points, but the most telling stat on offense is the eight assists on 13 baskets. … Klay Thompson has four assists and eight points. … The Cougars are running their offense well, with eight players having scored – none of them named Brock Motum, who has yet to play. WSU is shooting 46 percent. … We’ll be back at the end of the game. Don’t forget the way Stanford played in the second half in Pullman.

Cardinal show colors at home


It’s only a few minutes before game time here at Stanford and we have some news and notes concerning Washington State’s game with the Cardinal. Read on …

Hey, it’s still winter, right?

I know the winter sports season has yet to conclude, but I came across this link to that features a look from their perspective of the best baseball teams state by state. Look which team has been tabbed among the best in Idaho.

Here’s the link.

Thursday prep page

Here’s a feature on the rise of the Central Valley girls basketball team.

Post Falls senior Katelyn Loper, pictured above, is the subject of my column.

Here’s a look at Washington state-qualifying regional wrestling tournaments.

Here’s a notebook that includes a look at the final night of Greater Spokane League boys and girls basketball. Most of the seeds for next week’s 4A and 3A District 8 tournaments are set, but not all.

View from Bay Area

A couple of articles regarding tonight’s GU-Saint Mary’s game in the California papers.

Here’s one on Gaels center Omar Samhan and another on the GU-SMC matchup, I also included this article on Portland, which takes on San Diego tonight and Saint Mary’s on Saturday, because many of the coach’s and players’ comments are about last week’s Pilots-Bulldogs game.

Dean surpassing expectations at EWU

Sorry about the lack of recent posts, but a week-long forced furlough sandwiched between a pair of minor medical procedures — although its now five painful days after the fact and I’m starting to question the sanity of anyone who considers a hernia repair “minor” — has left me a little short of time and motivation.

In an effort to catch up on a couple of EWU-related matters, I’ve included this link to a feature story on the Eagles’ outstanding freshman point guard Glen Dean that ran in Thursday morning’s S-R, and this link to a story about the the national buzz created recently by Eastern’s efforts to install a red synthetic playing surface in Woodward Field.

And check back late Friday night for an early look at the EWU-Montana State basketball game story that will run in Saturday morning’s S-R.


WSU hopes to heat up at Stanford


Talk about strange. It’s actually colder here in San Jose than it is in Seattle (yes, I checked). As I write this, it is 41 degrees outside. According to my phone – and really, when is your phone ever wrong? – it is 45 in Seattle. Of course, it’s only 35 in Pullman, but that wouldn’t make my point would it? What’s the point, you ask? Good question. Guess I don’t have one, other than to say no shorts today and we have links for you. Read on.

Vandals lose a heartbreaker

The Vandals looked they had their signature win of the season. But with 2.9 seconds left, Nevada’s Armon Johnson came up clutch and UI was left smarting after a 67-66 loss. A crowd of just 1,580 was on hand. More details can be found in my game story below.

Half: Nevada 42, Idaho 28

If you’ve stumbled upon ESPN2, you’ve witnessed a lights-out performance from Nevada in the first half. The Wolf Pack lead 42-28, thanks to a sizzling stroke from outside (8 of 11). UNR’s top three scorers — Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson and Brandon Fields — went off for 30 of their club’s first 39 points. There’s a very sparse crowd in Cowan Spectrum tonight. We’ll be back shortly after the game with our story for tomorrow.

WSU concentrates on winning


A quick post tonight from the Bay Area. We have a couple notes for our Four Corners’ page, along with our usual Thursday short on the upcoming weekend. Read on …

Showdown for first in WCC

I just filed a Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s game preview, some items for the S-R Four Corners page and I’ve added some quotes from Randy Bennett, Mark Few and a couple of GU players below. Read on.

An expansive news day at WSU


A busy day with links. It makes sense seeing that yesterday was a busy day with news items. We’re also headed to the Bay Area this afternoon as WSU prepares for Stanford and Cal. So let’s get going. Read on.

Lewiston girls end drought

The Lewiston High girls downed Coeur d’Alene 53-41 on Tuesday in the 5A Region 1 tournament title game at Booth Hall to earn their first trip to state since 1989. Read on for my story from Lewiston.

Mead girls avenge early loss

The Mead girls upended Lewis and Clark 64-57 Tuesday, setting up a showdown at Central Valley on Thursday for the GSL championship.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story and a roundup of the GSL girls and boys games.

WSU may be part of a bigger conference


Put together a notebook for Wednesday’s paper, built around Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott’s teleconference today in which he talked about the conference’s possible expansion, its new hire and other stuff. Plus, there’s some basketball news. Read on …

WSU’s Jones kicked off team


We’ve got a short story on the link. An arrest at WSU and it leads to a dismissal. Read on …

Bone talks about WSU’s week ahead


Before we head to practice, we have some notes from Ken Bone’s teleconference this morning. That, and a link to an interesting circumstance in Portland last Sunday along with another football signee. Read on …

Arena Football One finds TV home

Arena Football One has reached an agreement to have its games televised on Friday nights on NFL Network. More here.

A vital week for WSU?


How important is this week to WSU’s postseason chances? Is crucial a good enough word? Is make-or-break a big enough phrase? Probably neither truly apply, but they sure caught your interest, didn’t they? Anyhow, we’ll explain why these games are important on the link, with those thoughts being joined by our spin around the conference this morning. Read on.

Consistent Gaels challenge GU

Back with a notebook from media day at Gonzaga and a Monday morning telephone interview with Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett. The unedited version is below.


Then & Now: Orlando Lightfoot

Former Vandal basketball great Orlando Lightfoot — he holds the school’s all-time scoring record and a dozen other records — is the topic of a retrospective piece I wrote for tomorrow’s S-R. Catch a sneak peek below.

Monday prep thread

UPDATED: 3:45 p.m.

Lots of things going on this week - from district basketball tournaments to regional wrestling tournaments. The Greater Spokane League boys and girls basketball seasons conclude as well.

Question: What do you see happening as teams jostle for final seeds?

Click the tab below to see the updated GSL boys and girls scoring leaders as provided by Mike Vlahovich.

GU moves up in polls

Gonzaga’s 2-0 week resulted in a small jump in the rankings. The Bulldogs (19-4) are 16th in A.P., 11th in ESPN/USA Today. They were 17th and 13th, respectively, a week ago.

Saint Mary’s, which visits Gonzaga on Thursday with first place on the line in the WCC, received votes in both polls. The Gaels were 28th in ESPN/USA Today.

Here are the polls.

Spokane-area prep wrestling

Here’s a roundup of Saturday district and subregional wrestling. This was the first step toward qualifying for Mat Classic, which will be held in two weeks in Tacoma.

Day after Memphis

It’s not easy putting together day-after posts from games I didn’t attend, but here goes. Read on for the day-after post from GU’s 66-58 win over Memphis.

Here are the links: S-R, Memphis newspaper gamer, side bar and column, reports on Saint Mary’s-San Francisco (Gaels led by Omar Samhan’s 24 points, 10 rebounds), San Diego-Santa Clara (another tough night for Billy Grier) and LMU-Pepperdine (the Lions welcomed back guard Jarred DuBois).

WSU’s win over UA, the day after


It’s hard to say how much of Saturday night’s win over Arizona was a result of better WSU play and how much of it can be attributed to the basketball truism that matchups are crucial. Make no mistake. The Cougars played one of their most complete games of the season. But they also seem to have Arizona’s number, with their defense strengths taking away or severely limiting UA’s best offensive weapons and the WSU offense a tough stop for Arizona’s man defense. Read on for more.

Vandals wallop BSU; Akey shuffles staff

All that agony caused by an excruciating overtime loss to Boise State? The Vandals erased much of it Saturday night in pasting their most ardent rival. Keep reading for more on the 79-55 win and news about Robb Akey’s coaching staff.

Focused WSU hammers Arizona


It might have been WSU’s most complete effort of the season. It certainly was the Cougars best defensive effort. And it gave glimpses of the potential of this team. Heck, Ken Bone even sounded a bit like the last coach, talking about valuing each possession, which was a oft-used statement by the previous guy. The Cougars did that tonight, especially on the defensive end, where they used a mixture of man (most of the night) and zone (at key moments) to disrupt UA’s flow. As Bone said, they were locked in almost every possession. Play like that the final seven Pac-10 games and anything is possible. OK, let’s move on to our game story, the unedited version of which is on the link. Read on …

WSU gets past Arizona, 78-60


If Washington State has played a better defensive game this year, I didn’t see it. That, combined with another outstanding effort on the glass against UA and more bench contributions than usual - a lot more - lifted the Cougars past the Wildcats at Beasley Coliseum. The number of players who had a hand in WSU’s fifth Pac-10 win can’t be counted, well, on one hand. We’ll be back in about two hours with more. Untill then …

WSU leads 32-26 at half


Bad blood? Pride? Whatever it is, DeAngelo Casto has played his best three halves of Pac-10 basketball against Arizona and freshman post Derrick Williams. The third one came here today, as Casto reached double figures in the first half, the first time he’s been in doubles since the last Arizona game. With his 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks, he’s dominated inside. … The Cougars aren’t shooting well (12 of 30, including 1 of 7 beyond the arc) but they are getting it done on the offensive glass, with seven rebounds. Those extra possessions have really helped. … There’s been a Brock Motum sighting, with the freshman from Australia playing nearly 10 minutes and scoring four points. … The Wildcats’ Josh Fogg and Jamelle Horne each have six points. We’ll be back at the end. Until then …

Zags cap impressive 2-0 week

Back with a game recap I cobbled together with quotes sent by Gonzaga’s and Memphis’s SIDs. Read on for the unedited version.

I included an A.P. article at the end.

Also, San Diego senior guard De’Jon Jackson is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Toreros visit Gonzaga on Saturday.

Arizona invades WSU


Before we get into our thoughts about the Arizona game, we wanted to pass on the news WSU’s women’s team won its first Pac-10 game of the season today, defeating ASU 66-62 behind April Cook’s career-high 33 points. You can read more here. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post. Both teams are on Friel Court getting some shooting in. And we’ve got some thoughts, so read on.

Bulldogs outlast Memphis, 66-58

Gonzaga added another quality win to its NCAA Tournament resume, holding off Memphis 66-58 on Saturday at the FedEx Forum.

The 17th-ranked Bulldogs (19-4) had gone 0-4 vs.Memphis the last four years. Senior guard Matt Bouldin, who scored just 20 points in three previous games against the Tigers, led Gonzaga with 19 points. He was 4 of 4 at the free-throw line in the last 62 seconds.

Gonzaga led by as many as nine in the second half, but Memphis ran off nine unanswered points to pull even at 49. Willie Kemp’s layup gave Memphis a 53-51 lead with 4:48 remaining, but Elias Harris, who had a tough afternoon at the offensive end, connected in the lane for just his second field goal and Steven Gray drilled a 3-pointer from the wing to give GU a 56-53 lead.

Demetri Goodson’s layup and Robert Sacre’s jump hook helped GU take a 60-55 lead with 1:18 left. Bouldin sandwiched four free throws around a Tiger free throw. Goodson’s two free throws with 43.2 seconds left sealed the win.

Sacre had 13 points and six rebounds and Gray added 12 points and seven boards. Will Foster, two days after setting his career high with six points against Portland, scored eight points. Goodson added six points and five rebounds.

The Bulldogs are 5-2 in road games, with quality wins over Saint Mary’s and Portland. GU also knocked off Illinois in Chicago and won the Maui Invitational on a neutral floor.

Wesley Witherspoon’s 26 points led Memphis (16-7), which made just 14 of 26 free throws.

Back with more in the next 90 minutes or so.

Zags up 28-23 at half

Gonzaga weathered a shaky start offensively, caught Memphis just past the midpoint of the first half and used a late 9-0 run to take a 28-23 lead at intermission.

Matt Bouldin had eight points and two assists, both to Will Foster, who finished with a layup and a dunk. Steven Gray made two 3-pointers and added seven points.

Gonzaga made just 4 of its first 18 shots, but stayed close by keeping Memphis’ offense in check. Later in the half, GU switched to a zone defense and the Tigers committed several of their 10 turnovers.

The Bulldogs hit 6 of their last 9 shots, two of those 3-pointers by Bouldin. Wesley Witherspoon scored 11 points for the Tigers, who made 8 of 22 shots (36.4 percent).

More later.

Blanchette on Jerry Kramer

Great read this morning from John Blanchette on former Idaho Vandal and Green Bay Packer great Jerry Kramer. For some reason, Kramer is not in the NFL Hall of Fame. Check out Blanchette’s take here.

WSU faces an Arizona team that is tough on weekends


There have been five previous Saturday (or Sunday) games in the Pac-10. In those, the University of Arizona is 5-0 (the Wildcats are 1-4 on Thursdays or Fridays). Which means UA does a great job of handling the quick turnaround. A couple things in Arizona’s favor: No one plays defense exactly like ASU in the conference and the two schools’ offenses don’t look anything alike either. WSU will try to make the quick changeover this evening, knowing that it has figured out how to limit the Wildcats in the past. Read on for more on tonight’s games throughout the Pac-10.

WSU will try to be wise about its defense


OK, we’re back once again. How has your last hour been? Anyhow, while I was away, I’ve put together a short story on tomorrow’s game with Arizona. The Cougars will be trying to chase down the blur that is known as Nic Wise. They did a good job of it in Arizona, now they have to repeat the task if they want to sweep the season series with the Cats. Read on for that and a short note on WSU’s honoree in the Pac-10’s hall of honor.

WSU signs JC receiver


Sorry, was at basketball practice and unable to get this up earlier. WSU has signed another football player, receiver Isiah Barton from Fresno City College, but originally from Westchester High, down by LAX. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Barton was a first-team All-Central Valley Conference selection last year, catching 48 passes for 715 yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 28.4 yards per kickoff return, taking two back for touchdowns. Barton has two years of eligibility left, with no redshirt year. We’ll be back soon with our basketball stuff.

Zags back on road at Memphis

I’ve put together a short preview of Saturday’s GU-Memphis game. The unedited version is below.

Day after Portland

Good rainy morning. Took in the replay of GU’s 76-49 romp over Portland late Thursday/early Friday to gather a couple more items for the day-after post. Here are the links: S-R gamer, Blanchette column on the bench’s contribution, S-R photos, A.P., Oregonian article authored by S-R’s Dave Trimmer (though the byline says Mike) and WCC write-ups.

Read on for more.

WSU’s loss to ASU, the day after


Four teams tied at the top at 6-4. Nine teams within two games of first. All 10 within two games in the loss column. The Pac-10 is an enigma wrapped in a riddle this season. The new motto: Get hot, win a regular season title. For no one is that more true right now than Washington State. This is a team that has morphed into one that depends on its shooting to win. Thursday night that formula failed. We have thoughts, notes, links and quotes if you want to read on.

Gonzaga grounds Pilots, 76-49

Back with an unedited game story from Gonzaga’s impressive 76-49 dismantling of the Portland Pilots on Thursday.

Read on for the article and check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

(You’ll notice in the previous post that I listed the score as 76-48. It was, for a while, but it was later corrected to 76-49 when the Pilots were awarded a 3-pointer instead of 2-point field goal at the buzzer). 

Shots don’t fall, WSU does


The shooting stats from beyond the arc tell the tale. Klay Thompson, 2-10. Nik Koprivica, 1-6. Reggie Moore 0-1 (only one?). And Derek Glasser, 3-3. The Cougars, at home, couldn’t find the bottom of the net. ASU’s Glasser, on the road, could, and that was a big part of the difference. Read on for the unedited version of my S-R story.

Gonzaga Prep avenges loss

The Gonzaga Prep boys basketball team battled toe to toe with Mead until a late surge vaulted the Bullpups into first place by themselves.

Read my unedited game story and blurbs on the other games by clicking the tab below.

CV girls move to top, stop LC

Now there is one.

Three Greater Spokane League girls basketball teams went into action Thursday tied atop the conference. Central Valley stands alone.

Click the tab below to read Mike Vlahovich’s unedited game story along with blurbs on the other games.

Zags crush Portland

Here’s a quick game story from Gonzaga’s 76-48 runaway victory over Portland. I’ve gotta run for quotes.

Read on below.

WSU falls to Arizona State, 81-70


Washington State is a team that may have to play near perfect basketball if it wants to be successful in the Pac-10 season. There is more margin of error, of course, at home because the tangible elements that come with playing in front of its fans can help a team overcome mistakes. Well the Cougars made too many to overcome even at home Thursday night. They made them early and dug a hole that reached 14 in the first half. They made them early in the second half and saw the lead grow to 19. Then they did whatever they could to come back, clawing within four a couple times in the final 10 minutes. But when they needed to make stops, they couldn’t, with Derek Glasser hitting a 25-foot 3-pointer from behind big Eric Boateng the final time WSU got within four (59-55, which should have been three but Reggie Moore missed a free throw). That triggered a deciding 10-3 run. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with our game story.

Shock add receiver, trade receiver

Spokane added veteran AFL wide receiver Willie Quinnie and traded WR Terry Ross to Alabama for future considerations. More here.

WSU trails 40-26 at half


In a nutshell, it was a half of runs with Arizona State having more. Simple, but not really. WSU contributed mightily to ASU’s runs – a 12-0 one that built a 30-17 lead, then an 8-0 one to end the half – by missing seven of 10 free throws, turning the ball over five times and shooting 35.5 percent from the floor. Klay Thompson contributed to the latter, hitting 2 of 10 shots, missing all six of his 3-pointers, many wide open. … The Sun Devils are shooting 62.5 percent, with many of their shots as open as the ones Thompson is getting. The difference is their shots are going in. … I usually don’t say much about this, but we’ll discuss the officiating in our post-game blog tonight. … We’ll be back at the end of the game.

WSU about ready for ASU


We’re a little behind due to the football news (see below). But we’re scrambling to catch up. We’ve got some news and notes prior to the non-televised ASU game. Read on.

WSU’s Broussard headed to ASU


We talked with former Washington State running backs coach Steve Broussard and have a story for tomorrow’s S-R on the link. Broussard made it clear the main motivation came because it gives him a chance to be closer to his family. Read on for the unedited version of our piece.

Thursday prep page

Here’s a must-read story by John Blanchette on North Central girls basketball player Mariah Alexander.

Here’s my column including an item on Medical Lake dropping out of the Great Northern League in football.

Here’s a notebook with items on Idaho’s 5A Region I girls basketball tournament, big Greater Spokane League boys and girls basketball games tonight and league realignment among Eastern Washington small schools.

OK, football is over … back to WSU hoop


Talk about a time-eating process this morning. Between football items and basketball stories, I’ve been chewing through websites like a termite in Tahiti. But we’ve gotten to the core of the information now. Which brings a question. How to present it? We’ve figured out a way. Read on to discover our choice.

Idaho tumbles at Utah State

Torrid-shooting Utah State had its way with Idaho in a nationally televised game, besting the Vandals 80-62 in Logan. Idaho played without standout point guard Mac Hopson, who was suspended for violating curfew on the trip. Idaho got 17 points from Marvin Jefferson and 14 from Kyle Barone, but couldn’t contain USU. The Aggies shot 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3.

The Vandals fell to 10-11 and 2-7 in the WAC.

Cowen signs, Chiefs win

A double-dose of news from the Spokane Chiefs today. Before the Chiefs ended Everett’s 14-game winning streak with a solid 2-1 win, story below, captain Jared Cowen signed with the Ottawa Senators.

More on WSU’s 2010 signing class


OK, we’ve cobbled together our story on the football recruits signed today. We actually put together a more in-depth one for you blog readers, so read on.

Shock foe lining up with Colts on Sunday

Less than a year ago, Kyle DeVan was a starting lineman for Boise when the Burn lost to Spokane 63-45. On Sunday, he will be one of five linemen protecting Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.

Read more on DeVan’s Spokane connection here.

More on Portland, Foster

Tomorrow’s Four Corners page in the S-R will have a quick look at Portland, a couple of GU notes and a feature on reserve center Will Foster (No. 45). There’s also news that Matt Bouldin is a finalist for Lowe’s Senior CLASS award. More on that here.

Read on for much more.

Vandals sign 25 to LOIs


Idaho announced a large haul of signees today, including Arizona State transfer tailback Ryan Bass and defensive end Maxx Forde, who switched his committment from Washington State late in the process. Read on for my story about the Vandals’ day.

Eags’ signees add to intrigue of QB position

As promised, we’re back with an early look at the Eastern Washington football signees story that will appear in Thursday morning’s S-R. You can access it here.

And we’ve also included some personal thoughts and additional comments from Beau Baldwin on the Eagles’ crowded quarterback situation that now includes six — count ‘em, six! — candidates to replace Matt Nichols.

Please read on.

GU, EWU women Seattle bound?

Before furlough hits, a couple of notes to leave you with.

ESPN’s Charlie Creme has his bracket and analysis. You’ve got to love it because both Gonzaga and Eastern Washington are ticketed for Seattle. GU as a 10 vs. No. 7 Wisconsin, EWU as a 15 against No. 2 Oklahoma State. Seattle can only hope to get a draw like that. For those fondly recalling last year, Graham Hays looks at Xavier, the team Gonzaga beat in the first round last year.

Thursday is my last day before going dark, I’ll try to put something together to get you through. I will be absolutely forbidden to work. The only thing that will get done is my commitment to Top 25 voting.

Chiefs begin key stretch tonight

The Spokane Chiefs face Everett tonight in what can be considered a huge game. No, the Chiefs don’t have to win to make the Western Hockey League playoffs. But that was never the goal. The goal has always been to make noise in the playoffs.

The way the Chiefs have played, especially at home, their only consistency has been inconsistency, so tonight’s game starts the post-season, at least if they really want to be considered a contender. As we have mentioned, eight of 13 February games are at home but the Chiefs have lost seven of eight home games since mid-December, five by one goal.

Oops, Alan Caldwell’s blog left off Spokane as he looked at what was needed to earn a playoff berth, but as he said, making the playoffs isn’t big in the West. Eight of 10 teams make it and Prince George and Seattle are all but officially eliminated. … Despite a WHL-best record, attendance is a little off in Tri-City. Back after tonight’s game.

A quick look at WSU’s 22 signees

COUGARS • UPDATED: 1:30 P.M.; 3:15 P.M.

A quick post about the LOIs, with more to come after talking with WSU head coach Paul Wulff later today. There were some surprises, some positive, some negative. Read on.

UPDATE NO. 2: We just got out of Wulff’s press conference. The Cougars have signed 22 players, with Wulff expecting one or two more before school starts, with a JC wide receiver waiting on paperwork and possibly a JC defensive tackle signing as well. With 25 initials available, he mentioned Casey Hamlett, the walk-on transfer from Western who played quite a bit at defensive end last year, having been awarded a ride. We’re headed to basketball practice, then will be back with our recruiting story this evening.

Pair of QB transfers among EWU signees

Eastern Washington University signed 14 recruits, including a pair of transfer quarterbacks, to national letters of intent Wednesday morning.

You can get more details, as supplied by EWU’s sports information department, here.  And check back later for an early look at the signing day story that will run in Thursday’s S-R.

WSU’s big day arrives


This morning’s post has to serve two purposes: Catch you up with basketball news – this weekend does kick off the Pac-10’s second half – and kick off the letter-of-intent coverage. We try on the link, so read on.

• UPDATE: There is always one who gets away. Tight end Asante Cleveland, who committed to WSU in September and seemed to fit in perfectly with WSU’s schemes, signed with the University of Miami this morning.

Lewiston trips Coeur d’Alene girls

Lewiston knocked off the Coeur d’Alene girls 45-42 at CdA on Tuesday.

Read my unedited game story by clicking the tab below.

Notes from WSU’s Tuesday


A little different late Tuesday post for us – and for you. We put together a notebook for tomorrow’s S-R from Ken Bone’s press conference and some conversations after practice. That’s available on the link. Read on.

The lowdown on Lloyd

A nice read in the Walla Walla paper on Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd (seated next to ex-Zag Andrew Sorenson). There’s a Glory Days beginning, recounting Lloyd’s 52-point game for Walla Walla C.C., and it traces his rise to Bulldogs assistant.

Read it below.

Whitworth’s Pilkinton ignores pain

Whitworth senior Cassie Pilkinton (pictured above, taken by Kirk Hirota) is the subject of this week’s women’s basketball notebook. It appears below in a longer version with more notes than will ever make Wednesday’s newspaper.

The only other news is Gonzaga creeping up to 26th in the ESPN/Coaches poll. On that subject, I stumbled into a bracket prediction that gave the Zags a No. 9 seed, facing Michigan at Knoxville with Tennessee a possible second-round opponent. EWU, as the Big Sky leader/representative was a No. 15 headed to Minneapolis to face Ohio State.

Eagles’ skid continues

Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team lost its sixth straight game Monday night, dropping a 68-62 non-conference decision to Seattle University.

You can read the game story that ran in Tuesday morning’s S-R here, check out what Eastern’s sports information department posted about the game here and take a look at the gamer that ran in Tuesday morning’s  Seattle Times right here.

Next up for the Eags is a return to Big Sky Conference play on Super Bowl Sunday, when they take on Sacramento State in a battle of BSC bottom feeders. Tipoff is set for 1:05 p.m. at Sac State’s Hornets Nest.

Blanchette on Zags

As mentioned in last night’s post, columnist John Blanchette offers his take on the Bulldogs here.

A nice mix of WSU, Pac-10 tunes


An eclectic group of items from around the Pac-10. Nothing too important, but a lot of interesting reads. Today is basketball media day at WSU, plus Pac-10 coaches get on the phone with the media. Tomorrow is, of course, football’s Christmas Day, or as it is officially known, letter-of-intent day. Read on.

Media day roundup

Back with a roundup from Monday’s media day. No notebook for Tuesday’s S-R because John Blanchette is writing a column, but I put some web-only notes/quotes below. (Programming note: I’m planning a Will Foster feature for Thursday’s Four Corners page.)

Read on.

Idaho to host Long Beach State

The Idaho Vandals have been paired with Long Beach State of the Big West Conference in an ESPN BracketBuster game. The two teams will play in Moscow on Feb. 20. Read on more details on the intriguing matchup.

WSU hires Kramer


A short story on a hire in the football office. You might recognize the name. Read on.

GU women ranked

Gonzaga women’s basketball team moved into the Associated Press Top 25 for the second time in school history. The Bulldogs are ranked 24th. Gonzaga was ranked at the tail end of the 2005 for two weeks, coming in at No. 25 and moving up to 24 before losing in the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Monday prep thread

Just returned from a week-long furlough. I’ve actually been away from the preps longer than that when you consider I had three glorious days staffing figure skating the week prior to my furlough.

Lots of stuff going on, obviously, and February means we’ve reached postseason for some teams with district and regional tournaments looming for others.

I’m in the process of tracking down all the district/regional info for girls and boys basketball and wrestling for Spokane and North Idaho leagues.

Click the tab below for more.

Bulldogs drop to 13, 17

San Francisco’s upset win over Gonzaga dropped the Bulldogs to No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 13 in ESPN/USA Today’s Top 25. GU was 13th and 8th, respectively, a week ago.

Saint Mary’s, tied for first in the WCC with Gonzaga, received votes in both polls, but didn’t crack the top 30. Gonzaga’s other losses are to No. 5 Michigan State, No. 10/9 Duke and Wake Forest, which is receiving votes in the A.P. poll. The Bulldogs have one win over a team currently in the polls: No. 16 Wisconsin.

WSU faces Arizona invasion


Despite there being only one Pac-10 game – it was a pretty fun game to watch, don’t you think? – on FSN yesterday, there is a decent amount of news available. We’ve got a few links available, so read on.

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

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

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