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Crossing the Pac-12’s midway point

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — As usual, we round up Thursday's Pac-12 basketball action in our Friday morning post. And we've got some more quotes from last night's WSU game. Read on.


Thursday was the first official day of the second half of the Pac-12 schedule. The Cougars, of course, started the second half by staying perfect at Beasley Coliseum this season with a 60-53 win over USC. We have our game story here, plus a quick postgame review post. John Blanchette writes his column about Brock Motum's development. … Howie Stalwick has this story in the Kitsap Sun. …  Here's the AP recap that ran in the Los Angeles Times. … Jack Thompson held a live chat with the Seattle Times. Stalwick has a short recruiting story. … Didn't get to this yesterday, but the Go-2-Guy has a good column on his website about signing day. … Jon Wilner takes a look at Cal and Stanford's recruiting classes. … Sporting News ranked each class in the conference. … Lots of good recruiting notes from ESPN's Pac-12 blog.

As for the rest of the Pac-12 action …

Washington 71, UCLA 69: The Bruins choked away a lead down the stretch, while Terrence Ross led the Huskies to a win that moves them into first place by themselves.

Arizona 78, California 74: The Bears lost at home for the first time and fell out of first place as Arizona pulled out a clutch win.

Oregon 79, Utah 68: A big second half prevented Oregon from suffering another embarrassing loss. Utah had a lead but let it slip away.

Colorado 82, Oregon State 60: Andre Roberson led the Buffaloes to an easy win over the Beavers, who snapped a three-game winning streak.

Stanford 68, Arizona State 44: The Cardinal snapped a three-game losing streak, while ASU watched the bottom drop out of its game again.

And we have some more quotes from last night's game.

Coach Ken Bone

(On Mike Ladd's game) “I didn’t expect that many minutes. I told Bud Nameck on the pregame show that he went through stuff yesterday, he’s been getting shots up, he’s done OK. Curtis Allen came up before the game and said he worked him out and got a lot of shots up earlier when the giuys showed up, so maybe an hour and a half before the game, and he was hitting it and hitting it and hitting it, and it didn’t seem like  the thumb was bothering him at all.”

(More on Ladd) “He did a good job. He played with energy, toughness and we needed that. I’m surprised he played 24 minutes, I’m surprised he played as well as he did but I sure am happy.”

(On the game in general) “Every time we got up to 10 or 11, it seemed like within a minute they cut it down to 5 or 6 and that’s two possessions. So again, I’m going back to our game and us. I’m just really pleased we were able to pull out a win. We needed it.”

(On whether D.J. Shelton will play more against UCLA) “Oh I would assume so, yeah. We tried to match up with USC size-wise and when we didn’t, they hurt us. There were times we had Brock Motum out there and Abe, and they exposed  us. We were trying to keep those two on the floor because it helped our offensive execution … we just weren’t quick enough to get to their shooters and their penetrators, so we went small tonight.”

(On closing the game out) “I think our guys tried. I don’t know if the killer instinct, maybe we didn’t have that. I give the credit to USC, they never quit, they kept battling, they hit some big shots. Reggie missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and they went down and scored on that. They were aggressive at midcourt and we lost the ball in that situation. I think the credit goes more to USC.”

(On man-to-man defense) “We challenged the guys the last few days about our man to man defense after going to Arizona State and playing man I think the whole game except three possessions, and obviously we know what Arizona State did to us against our man. So we wanted to come back home, work on some things and see if we couldn’t tighten up our man defense.”

(On whether they played well defensively) “Overall I think we did. There were many times it was difficult to match up with them speed-wise, and a lot of that is my own fault. They spread us out and they were able to drive it. Sometimes they got to the rim, sometimes it was short range shots and they were also able to kick it out for threes.”

(On Ladd's defense) “I was really impressed with his defense. I was frustrated early in the game, we got up 10-3 and within a couple minues all of the sudden they're up 11-10. I just turned to Mike and told him to get in there almost instinctively.

“It just hit a button with me and I was just  like, forget it. We’re putting him in there right noiw and see if he can do anything.”

Junior forward Brock Motum

 

(On being the go-to scorer) “I just  do whatever the team needs. If I get the ball, I try to put it in, but if they sink in I kick it out to shooters. … I think that’sg oing to be key. When our shooters knock it down they have to guard everyone. They can’t sink in the paint.”

(On his dunk) “Those dunks are few and far between for me. So when it happens I get pretty excited. I guess it gives the team a little bit of a lift. We just kept saying we need to get stops on the defensive end.”

(On playing against undersized USC) “Once we get in the paint, once any team gets in the paint it’s hard to guard. The guards did a good job finding me, getting me the ball.”

Junior guard Mike Ladd

(On whether he knew he'd play) “I talked to the doc and he told me just to try to play through it, and I knew my team needed me, especially with Fais going down. I just wanted to get out there and contribute to rebounding and the defensive end.”

(On whether the thumb hurts while he's playing) “I feel it a little bit, but I try not to let it affect me. I’m trying to get back to normal.

“I’ll ice after practice or games, do treatment when I can.

“I feel it all the time, especially when I get knocked down, rebounding. I just try to not worry so much about it.”

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple


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