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Gonzaga toughs out 85-77 win

Good evening from San Diego. Gonzaga defeated Oklahoma State 85-77, behind Kevin Pangos' 26 points, Gary Bell Jr.'s 17 and Przemek Karnowski's 15.

Here's the S-R coverage: My game story and notebook, John Blanchette's column and sidebar, and Dan Pelle's photos.

Long and short of GU-OSU matchup

Good evening from San Diego. Gonzaga and Oklahoma State go about their business in different ways and that contrast of styles will be on display when they collide Friday in a round-of-64 game at Viejas Arena.

Here's my game preview, with several notes tacked on to the bottom. Here's Dan Pelle's photo gallery. And here's John Blanchette's column on Kevin Pangos.

Lastly, we have a capsule look at GU and OSU below.

Looking back at GU-OSU series

We took a look back through the S-R archives at the brief Gonzaga-Oklahoma State series. They've played five times since 2004 in five different venues in five different cities. Gonzaga has won all five.

Here's a link to my article that ran in today's S-R. The Daily Oklahoman has an article on OSU sharp-shooter Phil Forte.

Press conferences this afternoon. Back later with more.

Closer look at OSU’s season

Gonzaga has faced its share of adversity this season: injuries, come-from-ahead losses, tough road trips. Nearly every team goes through it.

Oklahoma State, GU's opponent Friday in the NCAA tournament, experienced the extremes of college basketball's four-and-a-half month grind. More on OSU's season here.

Zags draw Oklahoma State

Eighth-seeded Gonzaga will open the NCAA Tournament against No. 9 Oklahoma State on Friday in San Diego.

Here's my article on the matchup that will run in Monday's S-R.

I checked in with Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge at the WCC Tournament for this update on Kelly Olynyk that ran in Sunday's S-R.

I cut-and-paste a capsule look at GU-OSU below.

Below that, I cut-and-paste my game story from Gonzaga's 69-68 win over OSU last New Year's Eve.

Bell’s 3 lifts GU past Cowboys

Kevin Pangos in the first half. Kelly Olynyk in the second half. And Gary Bell in the closing seconds.

The Bullogs rode Pangos' 18 first-half points, Olynyk's 22 second-half points and Bell's clutch 3-pointer with 37 seconds left to hold off Oklahoma State 69-68 on Monday..

Here's a link to my game story. I'll have a day-after post tomorrow, if flight schedules cooperate!

Zags have hands full with Smart, Cowboys

Gonzaga has faced four Big 12 teams thus far and each time the outcome gets a little tighter: Defeated West Virginia by 34 points, Oklahoma by 25, Kansas State by 16 and Baylor by 7.

Of course, that probably has more to do with the fact that they're facing a better Big 12 opponent each time out. And that trend will continue Monday night when No. 13 GU faces No. 22 Oklahoma State, which is 10-1 and has a number of impressive defensive statistics.

The Bulldogs will have to contend with freshman point guard Marcus Smart and a stellar supporting cast that includes leading scorer Le'Bryan Nash (14.9 ppg), Markel Brown (14.0) and Phil Forte (10.9). Gonzaga coach Mark Few saw Smart's all-around impact on games first hand as an assistant on Billy Donovan's Team USA U-18 staff. Smart helped the U.S. to a gold medal.

Here's a link to my preview that will run in Monday's S-R.

Zags win fifth straight

As promised, I've posted my game story that will run in Saturday's S-R. Gonzaga won its fifth straight, in surprisingly easy fashion, 73-52 over Oklahoma State, handing the Cowboys' just their second loss.

Check back tomorrow for a day-after post and preview of Sunday's Wake Forest game.

Zags thump Oklahoma State

Gonzaga put together some of its best stretches of basketball of the season en route to a convincing 73-52 win over Oklahoma State on Friday.

Elias Harris scored a season-high 22 points, Rob Sacre had a double-double (16 points, 15 rebounds) and Steven Gray added 10 points and six assists for the Bulldogs, who won their fifth straight. GU improved to 9-5 overall.  

Marshall Moses paced Oklahoma State (11-2) with 17 points.

Gonzaga outrebounded the Cowboys 44-32. GU made 45.3 percent of its shots while holding OSU to 36.2 percent. 

Game story in about 1:45 minutes.

View from OSU

Several game previews/features from Oklahoma newspapers, including Stillwater News-Press, Daily Oklahoman and Tulsa World, the latter calling this a bigger game for GU than Oklahoma State.

Zags line up against Big 12 foe again

For the third time this season, Gonzaga will take on a Big 12 opponent. This time it's Oklahoma State, which visits Gonzaga on New Year's Eve. GU is 1-1 against the Big 12, losing to Kansas State and beating Baylor.

My preview, which will run in Friday's S-R, here.

WSU’s players try to make sense of loss


Before we got on our flight from Dallas to Seattle – a flight once again full of Oregon State fans, a little less exuberant going home than they were headed out – we put together a couple things for tomorrow’s S-R. You can read our story online, and we have a little more on the link, so read on.

Making sense of WSU’s blowout


It seemed like a perfect way to start a season. A beautiful day in the Midwest, an orange-hued, tailgated-up crowd ready to verbalize some, well, free-form poetry might be a nice way to put it, toward the Cougars, and the optimism only youth can exude. And then that youth showed. Showed in all the ways WSU fans have seen too often the past couple years. An early mistake, a short rally and then the roof crumbling. Boom, the game was out of hand and the Cougars were left trying to explain why. We’ll do some of the same, and give you links to the Pac-10’s Saturday, so read on.

WSU starts season with a resounding defeat


It’s late here in Stillwater, so we’ll just post the early versions of our game story and notebook and call it good. If you saw the game, you know the result. If you didn’t, well you can find out the details on the link. Read on.

WSU trailing 38-10 at half


The first play was a fumble leading to a 7-0 Oklahoma State lead. It was 17-0 at the end of the first quarter. Then a 56-yard field goal from Nico Grasu seemed to fire up WSU. Alex Hoffman-Ellis sacked Brandon Weeden to force a punt on the next possession, giving WSU its best field position of the half, midfield. The Cougars took advantage, despite a holding call, scoring in four plays, the last 48 yards on a Jeff Tuel to Marquess Wilson pass. But that was it. For WSU, not Oklahoma State. For more, read on.

Some WSU pregame thoughts


We’re sitting in the press box at Boone Pickens Stadium – by we, I mean John Blanchette and myself – as we await Washington State’s season opener. Keys to the game? We’ll we covered that some this morning, but we have some other thoughts as well, so read on.

It’s nearly time for WSU’s 2010 football season


The plane from Seattle to Dallas was filled with Oregon State fans. And, no, that wasn’t the reason why the day was so stressful. In fact, the Beaver crowd was a lot of fun. My plane from Dallas to Tulsa was filled with Oklahoma State fans. And, no, that wasn’t the reason why the day was so stressful either. It was the time in between the two flights, the late, late gate change in Dallas that made a sprint between terminals necessary. Now that was stressful – any thing that involves the word sprint is stressful to me. But you don’t want hear about the labor pains, do you? You only want to see the baby. So read on.

WSU headed for Oklahoma


The road beckons. Washington State will begin the 2010 football season in less than 36 hours in Stillwater, Okla., and the Cougars leave Pullman this morning, busing to Lewiston for the charter to the plains. We’re flying commercial, making three stops and hoping for no problems. As for you, you can sit back, grab the coffee and read our Friday morning report.

Youth will serve at WSU


The last Pullman practice prior to the Oklahoma State opener is over and the Cougars are ready to head out for Stillwater tomorrow morning. They’ll hold a walk through at OSU tomorrow evening, but for more on what they accomplished today and for a look at our story on the WSU freshmen, click here for my story. Also, you can read on below for some additional notes.

Games kick off tonight, though WSU has a wait ahead


This morning turned out to have less WSU news than we expected, being it is a couple days before the opener and all. But that doesn’t deter us, no way. We have enough to keep you busy until lunchtime if need be – and you read really, really slowly.

Quarterbacks follow different paths to OSU, WSU


There is something on the field at Washington State this week that I haven’t seen in a while. If you want to know what it is, and if you want to see our story for tomorrow’s S-R, you have to read on.

How will WSU do this year?


The rain yesterday reminded me that summer is officially over, even if the calendar says we have three more weeks. Heck, little kids are headed back to school all over the Inland Northwest today, tomorrow, Friday and Tuesday. Some of my fondest memories come from those long, hot days of August; some of the worst from the first few, hot days of September. What a difference a school desk made. Anyhow, the first days of September do hold one thing, the promise of the college football season. This week, anything is possible; next week, not so much. So let’s examine that upcoming season a little bit, and catch up with football news from the West Coast. Read on.

Showers, cool conditions don’t slow WSU


Today’s practice was cold. No, the players had their usual intensity – though a new defensive drill went a session longer than it was scheduled for because the coaches weren’t happy with the execution – but the weather was damp and a little cold. That weather didn’t hamper the return of a couple key contributors, however, so read on.

Paul Wulff talks about WSU’s opener


Just got down with Paul Wulff’s weekly Tuesday press conference. We have a summary of what he had to say on the link. As promised, here’s a link to the video.

As August leaves, WSU’s prep for opener increases


As I sat here trying to come to grips with this being the final day of August for the year – really, where did the summer go? – I also was able to run down plenty of news about Washington State, Oklahoma State and the Pac-10. It’s called multi-tasking, and the fruits of that labor is on the link – really, where did the summer go? – so read on.

Andrei Lintz follows own path to WSU


A quick post before we hit practice later tonight. We have two items for tomorrow’s S-R, a feature on a player we believe will have a breakout season for Washington State, sophomore tight end Andrei Lintz, and our first look at the Oklahoma State opener. You can read them on the links. … UPDATE: We’re back from practice, which lasted about an hour and a half under the lights at Rogers Field. For more, read on …

Zags set up home and home with Cowboys

The Gonzaga Bulldogs continue to fill out future schedules and they will hook up with a semi-familiar foe the next two seasons. GU will entertain Oklahoma State this season and visit Stillwater next year. Gonzaga has defeated OSU three times — in Oklahoma City, Seattle and Orlando — since 2004. More here and here.

—Spent the better part of a week trying to track down Matt Bouldin for a pre-draft feature, but he didn’t return phone messages. So, here’s a quick overview of his draft stock:

In a survey of 10 on-line mock drafts with two rounds, Bouldin was projected in three as a second-round draft pick. NBAdraft.net has Bouldin going to Milwaukee with the 47th overall selection. Hoopsworld.com predicts Orlando will take Bouldin with the 59th pick. Draftology.net projects the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers choosing Bouldin at 58th.

Bouldin is rated as the 11th best point guard by Draftexpress.com. Bouldin is 61st in Cbssports.com’s player rankings and 71st by NBA-draft.com. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford ranks Bouldin 66th overall with the projection of second round/free agent.



—Lastly, several GU men’s and women’s players will be signing autographs at Hoopfest this weekend. More on that below.