Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, August 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 61° Clear


Localizing Duke-Stanford women

There is really any local news today. Eastern has a game tonight, everyone plays this weekend. It's a good chance to see the Eagles, who are improved (but get trumped by an important hockey game).

Still, there are a few tidbits of national interest to pass on. Keep reading.

Stanford whipped No. 8 Duke last night and ESPN was there. (After getting home from a watching an entertaining high school game, I had to wonder why FSN couldn't put that game on.)

Why do we care, you ask. Well, Washington State always has to play Stanford and Gonzaga got a crack at Stanford and I have to vote Sunday afternoon and I like to follow Stanford for more than just the respect I have for Coach Vanderveer and her program (think Heather Owen, Regan Fruen Drew and now a Montana connection).

Anyway, this all comes together because Gonzaga plays No. 13 Texas A&M this weekend, A&M beat then No. 6 Duke (95-77) opening week, Stanford beat the Zags (105-74) and then, of course, Stanford beat Duke (71-55).

Duke struggled from the field hitting a season-low 28.4 percent from the field and was held to a season-low 55 points. Duke is now 7-2 after it's six-game winning streak was snapped and has lost two of three true road games. (One of those wins was an 83-67 thumping of then No. 3 Ohio State.)

It may seem like too much is being made of Gonzaga facing the No. 6 and No. 13 teams on consecutive nights. Afterall, Pac-10 teams had those kind of weekends everytime they visited, or were visited by Stanford and Cal the last couple of seasons. But this is a first for a team on the edge of elite status, so we're going to enjoy it while we can.

By the way, one other way to tie this all together - Stanford comes to Spokane next season to finish its home-and-home with Gonzaga and the Bulldogs have an agreement - unsigned as of yet - for a home-and-home with Duke beginning next season. I don't know the details but it wouldn't be surprising if the series actually started her since Gonzaga and Spokane are in play for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, although Duke is also hosting the first-two rounds in 2011.

The two big games of interest tonight are Louisville-Tennessee and Baylor-Oral Roberts.

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.