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It was a perfect night for Inland Northwest men's college basketball teams, despite the weather. Gonzaga handled USF rather easily at home and Washington State rallied from 13 down in the second half to top Pac-12 front-runner Stanford. It wasn't as perfect for me as we spent the last part of both games away from the television set and computer snowblowing a two-block long path to allow my wife to make it home. Read on.


• Yep, last night was perfect, until the cell phone buzzed just as the Cougars were taking over their game and GU was trying to hold off San Francisco in the Kennel. (As an aside, anyone else royally frustrated that ESPNU had to stick with VCU's overtime win until it finished, missing the first 10 minutes of the Gonzaga game? In this day and age, don't you think the sports-network-that-controls-the-world could switch certain areas – like Eastern Washington and the Bay Area – to the other game? And don't give me the "you-can-watch-it-on-ESPN3" excuse. I pay so much for all the ESPN stations on my television it should be available there, not my laptop – which was streaming the WSU game anyhow.) Kim was stuck a couple blocks from the house. And dinner was getting cold in the backseat. Now, if it weren't for the previous sentence, I might have been tempted to plead work obligations and finish the games. But with Panda as a reward, on went the coat and workboots, out came the shovels and snowblower and off we went. It took just long enough to miss the end of both games, so my knowledge of the way the teams finished is a bit limited. I will say though, somewhere in the first half of the Cougar game, I tweeted about Faisel Aden's 0-for-9 streak from beyond the arc, saying it might be time for him to make one more pass. In other words, quit shooting from long-range – it's not his strength as a scorer. I've written before he's best from the mid-range area, especially along the baseline where he's money. In the second half, Aden stopped settling for 3s, began to bounce it more and started making shots. And, as WSU's defense tightened, Stanford quit making them. The former led to a career-high 33 points, the latter helped lead to WSU's victory.  

• Washington State: Christian Caple certainly tweets a lot more from games than I did, which I admire. My ability to multi-task while observing a game wasn't that high. He also has this game story concerning WSU's 81-69 victory in today's S-R along with two blog posts, one from last night and one from early this morning – sounds like snow played a part in his night as well – the latter not only including quotes but links as well. ... As Christian covers the game links, not only with the Cougars but the rest of the Pac-12 as well, we went out and ran down columns from the contests, including Bud Withers' from the Cougar game and Steve Kelley's from UW's defeat, both in the Seattle Times. ... George Schroeder examines the crowds, or lack of same, in new Matt Court. ... And Kurt Kragthorpe thinks the Utah Utes will be better in the long run due to this year's struggles. ... Dave Boling had this column yesterday about UW's assistant football coaches, something I missed then. ... One more link from yesterday and it concerns Mike Leach's lawsuits stemming from his Texas Tech dismissal. He's hired a new attorney, one with ties to another coach with a WSU pedigree. ... Back to basketball, passing along this San Jose Mercury News' coverage of Washington State's 75-41 loss at Stanford in the women's ranks. ... We also can pass along these videos from the men's game courtesy of the Washington State athletic department. ...


• Highlights from the game ...


• Ken Bone's post-game press conference ...


• The players talking about the win ...


• Gonzaga: Not only did Gonzaga earn a 74-63 home victory over San Francisco (covered here in Jim Meehan's game story), the Bulldogs also moved all alone into second place in the West Coast Conference thanks to Loyola-Marymount. The Lions upset BYU 82-68 in Provo, a result that inspires this John Blanchette column. ... The Zags win seems more impressive to me because I didn't see USF whittle away a 20-point lead down the stretch. And I was especially impressed, again, with the play of Kevin Pangos at the point. The freshman basically took over the game late in the first half and through the early part of the second, handling the USF pressure with ease and making a couple plays on the defensive end. The more I see him, the more impressed I am. ... Before we get into the game links, I wanted to pass along this piece from the Salt Lake Tribune the other day that I missed. Pretty funny in light of what happened Thursday night. This piece out of Las Vegas today also is somewhat ironic. This post has a somewhat different view. ... The Deseret News has this coverage of the game with a gamer, a sidebar and grades while the Tribune has a gamer. ... St. Mary's extended its winning streak with a 61-47 victory over Pepperdine. The Gaels are also atop Jon Wilner's rankings of Bay Area teams. ... USD hit 14 of 19 3-point attempts in walloping Portland, 82-63 in Portland. It was the Torero's second-consecutive WCC road win. ... The Gonzaga women were down at halftime but rolled over Santa Clara on the road behind Katelan Redmon's career-high 32 points.


• Yes, that's all we have for this morning. Today's the day for our first live chat. We'll hold it at noon (PST for those of you outside the area) right here on SportsLink. Hope you can make it. Until then ...

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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