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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Oregon State, the morning after

Washington State forward DeAngelo Casto goes up for a dunk. (Dean Hare / Associated Press)
Washington State forward DeAngelo Casto goes up for a dunk. (Dean Hare / Associated Press)

It was that kind of day in the Pac-10. WSU did what it did, blowing a lead and losing to Oregon State. Stanford blew even a bigger lead – 22 points – and lost to Cal. Arizona dominated UCLA, which a week ago looked like an Elite Eight team at the very least. Only Oregon remained consistent. Heck, the Ducks might be the only reliable team in the Pac-10 right now. They play, they lose. Read on for our usual postmortem.

• We've got everything you need to wallow in self pity today (and, because it's February, there won't even be a Seahawks loss on the tube to drown out the sorrow). From our story as it appeared in the S-R this morning (and the longer blog post from last night) to freelancer Howie Stalwick's coverage in the West Side papers to the Associated Press piece in the Seattle Times, there's plenty of coverage. There's Paul Buker's story in the Oregonian and freelancer Dan Thompson's story for the Corvallis Gazette Times. We also had this slideshow of photos from the game.

• Now to the players' postgame comments. I thought last night I could have written an entire story with just comments about how WSU gave this one away, and that's probably true. Most of what follows is in that vein.

• Caleb Forrest on why the Cougars lost: "We weren't as tough mentally as they were."

• What the successful back cuts did to WSU's defense: "If you get back cut in the pack defense we play, it spreads the whole game open."

• The difference between the first half and the second: "In the first half we broke (their zone) apart and in the second half we couldn't get anything."

• Taylor Rochestie on the Cougars' second-half play: "It seemed like we were trying not to lose."

• The importance of the defeat: "Every game is important. This is important because we're trying to stay around that peak, trying to get over to the other end. In the Pac-10, to lose this game, especially when you're going on the road now to LA, two teams we haven't beat, it's tough. We had the game. We're sitting there at halftime, I don't know what the score was, how much we were up by, but we have the game."

• How this one hurts: "I'm going to remember this for a while because that's a game we should have won. Flat out. Bottom line is we should have won the game."

• Coach Tony Bennett, when asked about the inability of the offense to score in the second half, answered that it was bothersome but wanted to talk about the defense. These are sound bites from a bunch of different comments: "More disappointing was the amount of back-door cuts. ... We lacked some soundness and toughness. ... You lose a little bit of focus, you relax a little bit. ... Our defense is really set up for that, to absorb those cuts. ... That just shouldn't happen. ... There were probably six or seven of them they got like that."

• How the players took the loss: "I know they feel very bad about it. I know the seniors do, without a doubt. Especially when you play a game, I know Taylor and Aron, I know what they're capable of and to not play up to that ability in this kind of setting, I think that was frustrating for them."

• Around the Pac-10 it was a crazy day. But nothing was stranger than Cal's comeback at home vs. Stanford. The Bears rallied behind backup guard Jorge Gutierrez. ... Arizona is playing better than anyone in the conference right now – we might have written that about UCLA last Sunday – and the Wildcats dominated the Bruins, just like old times. ... The Huskies have put themselves in a position to win the conference title after the victory over Oregon. But the trip to LA awaits. ... The Oregonian has its usual trip around the Pac-10. ... For you WSU and GU fans, Oregon AD Pat Kilkenny, Mark Few's old friend, talked with Oregonian columnist George Schroeder. The one question every one is interested concerns Ernie Kent's future. When asked if Kent's job is secure, Kilkenny said, "I sure hope so. I mean, if you really evaluate what he’s done … Oregon is not a basketball power. I don’t know why people think we are." He also added, "But gosh, it would break my heart if we had to make a change there. But never say never."

• One football note. The Times' Bud Withers had a column today on Paul Wulff's tenure at WSU. And, as we posted yesterday, the athletic department put out a release clarifying Wulff's comments about the NCAA violations at Eastern. You can read what he had to say the other night here.


• That's about it for this morning. We'll be back tomorrow with more. Till then …

Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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