There have been some really impressive performances for Washington State this season (and, of course, some of the opposite variety). The Gonzaga game. The first-half vs. Baylor. The Husky game in Pullman. But none topped the way the Cougars played tonight at Hec Ed. Read on for more.
• I went all night without using any Oscar references, so we won't start now. But for most of the 40 minutes tonight, even during the god-awful first half in which both teams looked as if they couldn't choke down a grain of rice, the Cougars kept their composure, kept their intensity and, as everyone said afterward, kept their focus. They delivered an award-winning performance. No matter how loud it got. No matter how many offensive rebounds Washington grabbed – 14 in the first half and 24 overall. No matter how many hard-to-comprehend turnovers they had. The Cougars kept plugging away. As coach Ken Bone said, it helped that UW was shooting blanks the first half – he called it dodging a bullet – en route to 17 points in the first 20 minutes. … But the first 10 minutes of the second half was almost near-perfect basketball, or as close as this group of Cougars may ever get. They kept UW off the glass – the one offensive rebound the Huskies did grab in the first 8 minutes resulted in a turnover – and they executed their offense. Klay Thompson made shots, Reggie Moore made shots, DeAngelo Casto made shots, Abe Lodwick made shots, Brock Motum made shots and everyone made free throws. … The UW made a run, just like everyone in the building knew they would. But, behind Moore's leadership, the Cougars bent but didn't wilt. They survived and were even able to laugh a bit down the stretch. … My story will be here soon, though there's an Associated Press piece now. Just wanted to give you the link so you can access it as soon as it's available.
• That's it for now. We'll be back in the morning. Until then …