FROM PULLMAN — Another close game, another loss for Washington State. Have we written that before? Well, this one was a little different, given the absence of WSU's starting point guard. Anyway, we have links and thoughts, so read on.
If you're of the opinion that the loss of Reggie Moore has been one of this team's biggest problems this season, then you must also know how critical the absence of Mike Ladd was on Wednesday night — especially against a team that likes to press and trap the way Oregon State did. Now, Ladd has had his troubles in that area too — the Oregon game comes to mind — but it's probably fair to say that following a 1-point loss at home to a team the Cougars beat on the road, Ladd likely could have — would have, even — made the difference between winning and losing. … With the loss, WSU is assured of a non-winning conference record for the fifth consecutive season. The Cougars are also now alone in last place at 2-10, with Utah and Oregon State a game ahead at 3-9. … A note that didn't make it into my story last night: WSU's 14 3-pointers set a school record for most in a conference game. … Anyway, here's our game story focusing on Ladd's absence, as well as our capsule looking at the weekend, our tale of the tape blog post and a post with video of the postgame interviews provided by WSU Athletics and this note about Bryce Leavitt's play in our area notebook. … We had a brief note on the official hire of WSU's new linebackers coach. … Howie Stalwick covered the game for the Kitsap Sun and filed this story. … Vince Grippi tried to walk out of Cougar Country without his iPad at about 5 p.m. yesterday, but remembered at the last second, then drove to Beasley and wrote this story about the game for the Oregonian. … WSU's next opponent, Oregon, handled Washington in a 65-52 win in Seattle last night. … Obligatory wacky Mike Leach note.
Around the Pac-12 … The other conference game last night was a mild surprise, as Utah knocked off Arizona State, 60-55. ASU guard Jahii Carson struggled. The loss could prove costly to ASU's tournament hopes. … Arizona and Colorado will meet tonight for the first time since the controversial finish in Tucson (7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks). Sabbatino Chen will forever be “that guy.” The Buffaloes say they're ready for the rematch. … California continues its attempt to claw back into the NCAA tournament picture with a game against UCLA (6 p.m., ESPN2). UCLA's bench might not be deep, but it's been effective. … USC has played faster and better under interim coach Bob Cantu. The Trojans play at Stanford tonight (8 p.m., ESPNU). … John Canzano doesn't think much of the Pac-12 this season.
That's all for now.