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Battle of Palouse tonight in Pullman

PULLMAN – They may not play in football anymore, but Washington State and Idaho still meet every year on the basketball court.

And the 265th game in the 104-year rivalry – the oldest west of the Mississippi – occurs tonight in Beasley Coliseum.

“To me it makes sense for us to play them,” WSU coach Ken Bone said Monday. “It seems like it’s been a pretty competitive game over the years.”

The Cougars and Vandals will each enter tonight with 1-0 records, WSU’s courtesy of a 86-47 rout of Southern last Saturday and Idaho’s coming via a 86-74 win over Eastern Oregon later that night.

Idaho overcame the Mountaineers on the strength of five players in double figures, including senior guard Shawn Henderson’s 14 and the same from reserve forward Djim Bandoumel.

The Cougars rode the 18 points of junior college transfer Faisal Aden, who made his first start in place of injured point guard Reggie Moore, and the 15 points and six assists of Klay Thompson to the victory over the Jaguars.

Bone said Moore was doubtful for tonight’s game as the sophomore is still recovering from a wrist injury that will keep him out a yet-to-be-determined time.

Washington State has won the last seven games in the rivalry, including a 76-64 win in Pullman last December. The Cougars hold a 158-107 edge in the series.