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WSU rallies past Stanford, 61-58

COUGARS

It was a night that even coach Ken Bone admitted his team could have packed it in. And he wasn't referring to Reggie Moore not playing. No, he was talking about how poorly the Cougars played offensively in the first half. It was the same way they played at USC. But they came out of the locker room and competed for 20 minutes, stealing a win on the road. We have more on the link, so read on.

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• You can find our story here, but we have a few more thoughts. Should I do them randomly or in some sort of order? ... Random it is. ... When a decision is made to suspended a player, any player, a couple weeks after the news of his infraction hits the media and well over a month after the whole thing started, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Picking one reason at random, the whole deal had quieted down, waiting for some sort of finish to the legal action. Now the whole situation is front-page news again and will be blasted all over Northern California in the morning and more than likely next week as well. And that's just looking at it from one angle. There are a half-dozen more but I have a 6:45 flight in the morning, so I'm not getting into them now. ... Klay Thompson can play. "He's a relentless scorer," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "You're not going to stop him, you just have to hope to slow him down. He's a big-time player." ... Everyone we talked with after the game made it clear how important getting a win was (I always wonder, though, if the outcome were different, would they have said it was just another game?). Just getting a road win was probably the biggest thing. That's a monkey that was getting heavier and heavier. ... Faisel Aden made some big time shots, but he took a heck of a lot of them. If more of them were in the flow of the offense or as the shot clock was winding down, there would be less disruption. Bone said afterward it wasn't so much the Cougars missed Moore in the first half as it was Aden was playing his minutes. Aden's a different type of player and the dynamic of the offense is completely different. It took a while for WSU to adjust back to the way it was the first five games of the season – none of which were against this type of competition – and play like a team in the second half, not five guys. ... Stanford is relentless itself, especially on the defensive end. The Cardinal might have worn down a bit, but seven guys did play 10 minutes or more. Heck, the Cougars had just 31 (out of 200) off the bench. But back to Stanford, it defends hard. There was a physical nature out front we haven't seen since the USC game. I'm of the mind that putting two hands on a dribbler should always be a foul, but the Cardinal got away with it a lot tonight. More power to them. ... Finally, WSU was 4 of 18 from 3-point range, got outrebounded 41-36, had 11 turnovers and hit just 41.1 percent of its shots and won. Against a team that hadn't lost on its home floor all season. That, as Bone said, is a veteran move. Let's see how it translates next week.

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• That's all for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow, but I don't know when with the early flight. Until we reappear ...




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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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