FROM PULLMAN — We have some more notes, quotes and Pac-12 links to brighten your Sunday. Read on.
Our game story focuses on — what else? — the Cougars' huge first half that propelled them to yesterday's 72-50 victory over Arizona State. WSU wasn't pleased with the way it finished the game, but the mood afterward was still light. … How often do you see a team score 34 more points in the second half than it did in the first? … We also had a postgame blog post. … Howie Stalwick had this story in the Kitsap Sun. … The Associated Press has this recap.
Around the Pac-12 …
Washington 79, Arizona 70: The Huskies' seniors were given a memorable sendoff. UW stayed in a first-place tie with Cal while taking some steps forward, one of which may be toward an NCAA tournament bid. Arizona fell farther out of the Pac-12 title race. Here are some more postgame notes from the Arizona side.
Sunday — Oregon at Stanford, 4:30 p.m. (FSN): The Ducks haven't lost consecutive games this season, and they're hoping that trend continues.
Here are some more quotes from WSU's win over ASU on Saturday.
Coach Ken Bone
(General thoughts) “I thought we had an outstanding first half in almost every facet. Rebounded well, shared the ball, made shots, got stops on the defensive end. And then the second half started and Arizona State came out, played extremely hard, showed a lot of character and took it to us for at least the first eight to 10 minutes of the second half. I thought that was very impressive on their part, disappointed in our overall effort at the beginning of the second half but really the credit goes to Arizona State and how well they played and how hard they played, especially being down by a few points at halftime.”
(On the difference defensively) “I think just focus, maybe. I thought our guys were really locked in mentally and understood where their shooters were. When the bigs got the ball I thought we had a good presence of collapsing on their bigs. And they are big.”
(On whether Capers found a hole in ASU's zone) “Not a hole, that 2-3 matchup is very very good. It just happened that Marcus was in the right spot at the right time and then made good plays.”
(On if he expected a strong outing like this) “I thought we would continue to play good basketball and we did tonight. I guess I was expecting us to come out tonight and play good ball and leave it on the court. And fortunately this time we ended up with a win.”
(On the importance of the win) “It’s important because we’ve not had a lot of wins here the last four or five games. It was extremely important that we came out and played well enough to feel good about how we played. Like I said, at the same time get the win instead of a loss.”
(On the team's man to man defense) “It was much better than playing a zone against them. We manned them down there for about 37 or 38 minutes and we just weren’t as effective. We played I think three possessions of zone at Arizona State. Tonight we just tried to continue working on the things we’ve been working on in our man stuff and it was very effective.
(On ASU's run) “I think we figured they’re not going to play the second half the way they did the first. They’re going to come out after half and bring a lot of effort, and I thought our guys came out and brought some effort but not the same level as Arizona State. That 23-7 run was disappointing but we did bounce back and we made some nice plays in transition to get that 7-0 run and get back to 20.”
(On the upcoming game against UW) “Looking forward to that. Looking forward to senior day. We’ve got some guys that have been here, two of them for five years, Charlie and Abe and then Marcus has had a great career here, and then Faisal Aden unfortunately cut his season short but he will be remembered. He did a good job for the last two years.”
(On getting some bench players in the game) “It’s great to be able to play everybody. Those occurrences don’t always happen and it’s really nice to see everybody get in the game. I was really selfishly hoping that we could get some guys more minutes than they did get at the end, especially Charlie Enquist being a senior. Glad they got in. Glad Wink made that free throw. It all ended well.”
(On whether Mike Ladd will return this week) “We expect to, but again it’s a concussion and nowadays you just don’t know.”
And some video with player comments …