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SUNDAY, FEB. 27, 2011, 10:48 P.M.

WSU wins 80-69 at UW

COUGARS

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.

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• 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.

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• That's it for now. We'll be back in the morning. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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