When you lose your first two games of the Pac-10 season – hey, how is that road trip to Los Angeles going Stanford and Cal? – then follow that up with an overtime loss in Berkeley, must-win games start piling up. Washington State had another one last night at home versus Arizona State. Must turned in did, with DeAngelo Casto (career high 25 points) and Klay Thompson (a stat line too full to repeat here) leading the way past the Devils, 78-61. We have more on the link, so read on.
• Washington State: The coverage of last night's game is a little deeper than usual, so we'll get right to it. There was my story, of course, and the quick notes I put up last night. … Bud Withers of the Seattle Times was in town and he filed this piece, that gives you a few different postgame comments. … CougCenter has its charts and, if you want, you can read the first few paragraphs of Ryan Collingwood's Lewiston story. … From Arizona, Doug Haller had this piece in the Arizona Republic.
• Around the Pac-10: Right now there are the Huskies and every one else in the conference. That was evident in Seattle last night, especially in the second half when UW, behind Isaiah Thomas, pulled away for a seemingly easy 85-68 win over second-place Arizona at Hec Ed. Now the Dawgs are alone in first place, with ASU coming in Saturday. The Wildcats are tied with UCLA for second, with their Saturday opponent, WSU, a half-game back. (By the way, I went to the Pac-10 website this morning at 8 to link the standings for you and they were not updated. At 8 a.m., the day after the games. Wow.) … The home court seems to be the cure to what ails you in this conference right now, as USC locked down Stanford, 65-42, on the heels of a lost weekend in Oregon. The Cardinal just couldn't get anything going offensively and fell to .500 in conference. … Cal trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, tied it with less than 10 seconds remaining on an Allan Crabbe 3-pointer, then lost 86-84 when the Bears didn't block out Reeves Nelson on the last shot. … Oregon State and Oregon square off Saturday with the Beavers trying to keep their recent dominance going. … A couple of football stories, with ESPN.com's Ted Miller looking at USC's appeal, set to be heard by the NCAA on Saturday, and Bob Condotta examining UW's football recruiting. The Huskies stole one from WSU last night, getting intriguing offensive line prospect Stephan Nembot to switch his commitment.
• That's all for this morning. We'll be back this afternoon or evening with our story for tomorrow, looking at the Pac-10 player of the year race with WSU and Klay Thompson about to play host to the other two candidates, first Arizona's Derrick Williams on Saturday and UW's Thomas in a little more than a week. Until then …