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Eastern and Big Sky links

I spent a fine day yesterday in Cheney. Among other things, I wrote this practice report from football and covered the Eagles' basketball win over Walla Walla. The stakes are pretty high for the football game against Portland State; here is a preview from Eastern and from PSU. … Elsewhere, it's win or be done for Montana State against arch-rival Montana, whose quarterback Jordan Johnson is just fine, thank you. .. Of course, there are old friendships that transcend even this game. … An ever bigger game looms at Southern Utah, where the Thunderbirds need to knock off second-place Northern Arizona to have a chance at the FCS playoffs.

Eastern and Big Sky links

With one of the biggest games of the season looming, here's a feature on Eastern cornerback T.J. Lee III, one of the biggest players on the Eagle roster, in stature if not in size. We also had a live chat yesterday, and here's a partial transcript. … Very few links today - it seems every paper is inundated with high school sports coverage this week. … From the Billings Gazette, here's a story on how MSU hopes to slow the Eastern offense. … Montana is stepping out of conference with a game against South Dakota.

Eastern and Big Sky links

It wasn't by design, but the story of Eastern Washington linebacker and former walk-on J.C. Agen contrasts nicely with all the ugly stuff going down at Oklahoma State. … We also had a lively live chat; here's the transcript. … One sure thing about Toledo: their kicker doesn't miss. The Toledo Blade also has a nice feature on a longtime fan. Want more? Here's a link to the  unofficial fan site, plus a link to the school's athletic site. … There's seldom much local coverage of Sam Houston State, although there's this story about a major athletic fund-raising drive, and there's always the school athletic site. … North Dakota is having problems with the running game - on both sides of the ball - as it prepares for Montana. … Sure enough, the Grizzlies have noticed … The best coverage of Southern Utah football is right here, as the Thunderbirds happen to be at Washington State this week. … At Idaho State, winning isn't a given, but it's contagious.

Eastern and Big Sky links

There was no letdown Saturday for Eastern Washington, which soared past Western Oregon.  Here's my story. We also have the story in pictures from our own Tyler Tjomsland. … The Eagles' next opponent, Toledo, put a scare into Missouri of the SEC. … Sam Houston State got off to a strong start at Texas A&M before getting routed in the second half. … Elsewhere in the Big Sky, it was a tale of near misses against FBS schools, including Portland State's loss at Cal and Montana State's heartbreaker at SMU. … Northern Colorado lost 41-36 to something called Colorado State-Pueblo, which I've never heard of - that can't be good. … Utah steamrolled Weber State, while North Dakota got mashed in the Potato Bowl rivalry with Souith Dakota State. …Idaho State is 1-0 after an easy win over Dixie State.

Montana defeats EWU 65-46

S-R photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland covered the EWU home game against Montana.  Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.

EWU beats Portland State

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the Eagles' win over Portland State.  Check out a big picture gallery of his game photos.

EWU football links

With only two days until Saturday's FCS semifinal, we have a couple more stories, including my preview of the intriguing matchup between Eastern's passing offense and Sam Houston State's aggressive defense. I also have a notebook with several interesting storylines. In the meantime, we'll have our weekly Live Chat today at noon, right here at SportsLink. From the newspaper in Huntsville, Texas (an hour's drive north of Houston and home of the Bearkats) here's a nice feature on Sam Houston's chances of knocking off three Big Sky Conference teams in as many games. Also from Texas, a Q and A with two of the Bearkats' top players.

Live from Beasley Coliseum

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — As mentioned this morning, Vince is handling basketball duties for us this evening. But we'll be here for the first half or so, and have some pregame thoughts to get you going. Read on.

WSU notes on game day

COUGARS

FROM THE BIG OL' RENOVATED PRESS BOX — It's even nicer in here with the furniture set up. Though Bud Withers would probably like it more if he'd been allowed to bring his iced coffee inside. We have thoughts and notes after the jump, so read on.

Your morning Eagle report

The Eagles are getting ready for their second two-a-day session of falll camp, with practice beginning at 9 a.m. today, although I have to say, it seems half the players are out there half an hour early. I will be there too, sending updates on Twitter (please follow me at @srjimallen). Also, we'll have a live chat Thursday at noon, and later today, I will give the details. In the meantime, here is my story from Tuesday's practice , focusing on the cornerbacks and coach Cherokee Valeria. Finally, here is some news from future opponents: 

BLM Advisory Council meets Wednesday

PUBLIC LANDS — The Eastern Washington Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will hold a meeting on May 23 in Moses Lake focusing on the East Side and San Juan Resource Management Plan and the Forest Plan Revision for the Colville National Forest.

The meeting will run 10 a.m.-4 p.m in the Hardin Room of the ATEC Building at Big Bend Community College, 7662 N.E. Chanute St. 

The meeting will be open to the public and there will be an opportunity for public comments at 10:00 a.m.

The Eastern Washington RAC is comprised of 15 members from a variety of backgrounds who are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. The Eastern Washington RAC provides advice to the Bureau of Land Management Spokane District Manager and the Colville National Forest Supervisor regarding management of federal public land in eastern Washington.

For info about the Eastern Washington RAC contact the Spokane BLM District Office, 1103 N. Fancher Rd, or call (509) 536-1200.

Ryan named Big Sky MVP, other locals honored

The Big Sky Conference and Western Athletic Conference announced their all-conference picks on Monday, with four local players - two from Idaho and two from Eastern Washington - earning first-, second- or freshman-team honors.

EWU standout Brianne Ryan earned the top award for the Big Sky and was named MVP.

Read all about the awards here.

Area women’s basketball teams have themselves a nice little Saturday

It was a pretty fantastic day for area women’s basketball teams.

The No. 22 Gonzaga Bulldogs avenged a rare West Coast Conference loss with a win over Saint Mary’s, Washington State pulled together for a Pac-12 victory over Arizona and the Eastern Washington women defeated Montana State to complete their first sweep of the Montana schools on the road. The Idaho women didn’t fare as well, falling to Utah State.

Golden sparkles in Gonzaga women’s win over LMU

Stephanie Golden had a career-high 15 points and the No. 22 Gonzaga women's basketball team earned a 79-61 win over Loyola Marymount at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Thursday night. As you'll see in my story, I overheard a fan throw out a horrendously obvious pun after the game. I'd like to thank that fan. After he said it, I couldn't get it out of my head. Hence, the first couple paragraphs.

Oh well.

Keep reading for more on area women's basketball teams.

Zags eye 8th title; Cooper leads EWU

Three of the four area Division I women's basketball teams start conference play on Thursday. That is the topic for this week's notebook, leading off with Gonzaga's quest for an eighth-straight WCC title. I also realize I neglected to link to last week's story on Eastern Washington mighty mite Chene Cooper, who leads the Big Sky in assists and is about to set the Eagle record for steals.

Gonzaga women edge EWU

Not sure how many more computer issues I can take, I think I'll have to find a new line of work. After writing the local angle from the National Finals Rodeo, my soon to be ex-computer wouldn't let me blog. But now, safely home getting ready to watch a taped college football game, I can now link to Gonzaga's narrow win over Eastern Washington, which came with an unusual final 40 seconds. Could say much more, but the playoff game is waiting and it has to be viewed before the other Big Sky team plays early tomorrow.

Green making her mark in Montana

Under the radar is a good description for Alysha Green but the Mead grad has made her mark in college basketball. She's the subject for the weekly basketball notebook. For a couple of other notes, including some that ended up on the cutting room floor, read on.

Gonzaga falters down stretch

USC shuts down the high-octane offense of the Gonzaga women's basketball team and pulls away down the stretch.

In other games, Idaho loses at Colorado. On Saturday Eastern Washington picks up a win in the Arizona State tournament and on Friday Gonzaga won at Riverside the Washington State clips San Diego State.

Cougars go 2-1 in Paradise

After a holiday weekend … Christmas lights are up, anniversary present is purchased, belt loosened … it's time to catch up with women's basketball.

The biggest news is Washington State going 2-1 in the Virginia Islands after second day loss to Michigan and a rout of Prairie View in the finale, led by a career-high from Spokane freshman Tia Presley.

Read on.

After long wait, Nelson starts for Lobos

My bad. I spent the day getting ready for Thanksgiving (and to all of you have a great day) because of a hockey game tonight and totally forgot to post women's basketball news.

Our notebook lead was Nikki Nelson, who has played two seasons and missed two seasons but is now starting for New Mexico. Read on.

Gonzaga’s Graves gets 300th win

Sorry about the late post. Computer problems in Moscow and obligations this moring. But without further ado, hats off to Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves for his 300th win as a college basketball coach and a good win for Eastern Washington.

Mixed bag on opening weekend

The definition of a good weekend: A miserable day outside so you have time when your best friend visits town, with lots of interesting games on in the background; a good day outside so you can get a lot of things done after your friend leaves, plus a radio on to keep up with the games. Oh, yeah, no work, no computer, which means there is a lot to catch up with. For women's basketball news, read on.

Countdown to tip-off

It's time for some basketball - and a welcome home to Kate Loper (above) - so hunker down for some serious reading about the area Division I women's teams.

EWU women add two to front court

Eastern Washington women's basketball program only signed two players but they got some bang for the buck.

The Eagles are adding 6-foot-4 center Hanna Mack from Eugene, Ore., and 6-foot CeCe Pearl from Peoria, Ariz.

PSU, La Tech favored in women’s basketball

Eastern Washington was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Sky Conference and Idaho was voted near the bottom of the Western Athletic Conference in women's basketball polls released on Tuesday.

Big Sky coaches picked EWU seventh and the media had the Eagles sixth. Sherri Murrell's Portland State Vikings were picked first in both polls. Montana and Northern Colorado had the next two spots.

Six teams advance to the league tournament at the home of the regular-season champion. PSU won the tournament two years ago in Cheney and the Grizzlies won it at Portland State last year.

Louisiana Tech has the top spot in the WAC  with Idaho tabbed for seventh in the coaches poll and by the media. Utah State and Fresno State also received first-place votes. Utah State's Ashlee Brown was the preseason choice as Player of the Year.

As long as we're on the subject of women's basketball, one website is ranking the top 100 women's programs. It started with 71-100, followed by 41-70. Looks like tomorrow is when it's going to get interesting locally, which is quite a compliment to a program that has sold more than 4,000 season tickets for this season. Yes, that would be Gonzaga.

By the way, the Pan American games are undway, which means Gonzaga is practicing without senior starters Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon, who are on Team USA. Their first game in Mexico is Friday.

Three starting dates for women’s basketball

NCAA women's basketball teams have 40 days to get in 30 practices, beginning yesterday, which means there are three different starting days for area teams.

Eastern Washington and Washington State started Monday and Idaho hits the floor today. Gonzaga commences on Thursday.

The men don't join the action until a week from Friday.

WSU women particpate in Midnight Mayhem with the men Friday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. The men will have a scrimmage and dunk contest while the women will participate in a 3-point contest and games with fans. The Cougars play Seattle Pacific in their first exhibition game on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m.

Gonzaga is having a Fan Fest on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. There will be a scrimmage and a variety of other activities. The Bulldogs play Corban in a scrimmage the following Saturday at 6.

Idaho has an exhibition game on on Friday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. against Warner Pacific in Memorial Gym. Eastern plays Warner Pacific the following Sunday at 1 p.m.

Season openers/Home openers

Washington State: Friday, Nov. 11 at Penn State Tournament/Wednesday, Nov. 30 vs. Gonzaga.

Gonzaga: Friday, Nov. 11, vs. Hofstra

Eastern Washington: Friday, Nov. 11 vs. Corban

Idaho: Saturday, Nov. 12, vs. Corban

Soaking in the Great Outdoors

Some people have the right idea.

I've written about Kelly Tareski before, but after reading about it on her blog, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to learn a little more about her outdoor spa.

Tareski, who owns GardenStone Creations in Airway Heights, coerced (or canoodled) husband Monte into using an old claw-foot tub she had been saving to create a place to enjoy a hot soak under the stars on their Nine Mile Falls property. While that might be a big request for most of us, Monte is in the business of moving things around. He owns Cascading Creations and spends most days moving big rocks, building walls, steps and water features.

In a few days she had her heated outdoor tub, surrounded by flagstone pavers. Kelly whipped up burlap curtains and cajoled (or canoodled) Monte into building a vanity using an old sink she'd been saving for another project.

The result? A beautiful, nature-inspired place to soak and dream under a big Eastern Washington sky.

Unfortunately, as happens with most good ideas, now everyone wants in on the act. The kids like the outdoor bathtub so much Kelly has to schedule her own play time. Isn't that always the way?

You can read more about Kelly Tareski's “Suite Outoors” and see more photos of the project here

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review and is the editor of Spokane Metro Magazine. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com