Good morning from the Vince Grippi Travel Agency. How can we help you? Read on.
• Washington State: If you're wondering why this morning-after post is just appearing on SportsLink at 11 a.m., anywhere from 2 to 4 hours late, there is one reason major reason and a handful of smaller ones. The big one? New York. Getting there from Spokane. On two days notice. With a budget. But everything is settled now and we can get to the business at hand. Looking back at last night's 69-66 overtime win against Northwestern. ... We had our story linked here last night, but here it is again. As is John Blanchette's column. And, for an opposing view, this piece from the WSU Football Blog. ... Bud Withers had this coverage of last night's game in the Times. ... And we have some supplemental information that did not make the paper. ... Below that are videos of the comments from coach Ken Bone and WSU players. ...
• Here's some more that didn't make the cut ...
Shurna, Northwestern's leading scorer, struggled all night, hitting just 3-of-13 shots and finishing with eight points and nine rebounds. Michael Thompson led everyone with 20 points, hitting just 7-of-19 shots as Northwestern shot 37.5 percent from the floor and 26.3 from beyond the arc.
Brock Motum, Moore and Faisal Aden all joined Casto and Thompson in double figures with 13, 11 and 11 points, respectively. ...
Casto started and jumped center. He won the tip.
Then, less than a minute later, he roared down the lane and hammered home a two-hand jam to give WSU a 2-0 lead.
"You want to come out with that kind of energy and just explode and move forward," Casto said. "Basketball, for me, is a great tool to just move forward and take my mind of what my life is around me.
"I got to play ball and I got to play with my teammates."
For the next 15 minutes Washington State dominated, though the Wildcats hung around thanks to their bread-and-butter, the 3-point shot. At one point the Cougars led 31-17 but that not only was the nadir of their first-half effort, it might have been the turning point.
When Marcus Capers attacked the rim and a foul was called on Davide Curletti, Northwestern coach Bill Carmody started a conversation with an official. Before Capers first free throw fell through the rim, a whistle blew and Carmody had a technical.
He also had an assistant draped over him, keeping him from going after the whistle blower.
But Carmody composed himself and, after the free throws, so did his team. They moved the ball crisper, tried to get it inside more – the Wildcats' first 2-point shot came after 11 minutes, 10 seconds – and put together seven consecutive productive possessions to cut the lead to seven at the half.
Washington State will play Wichita State (27-8) on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden at 4 p.m. PDT. The Shockers handled the College of Charleston, 82-75, in Wichita on Wednesday.
• And here are the comments ...
• Around the Pac-10: There are two teams besides WSU still playing ... Arizona is in the NCAA round of 16 and will face defending national champion Duke in Anaheim. ... And Oregon is in the CBI finals, a tournament that has been "owned" in its short history by the state of Oregon. The irony of the championship round is the Ducks' opponent is Creighton, former school of first-year UO coach Dana Altman. Oregon got to the finals with a 79-71 victory over Boise State.
• That's all for this morning. We have football this afternoon and will be out there. We will then post afterward. Until then ...