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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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UCLA win, the day after


COUGARS

It's the morning after WSU's upset of the Bruins in Westwood, something that's happened just once before in Cougar basketball history. And it came less than 48 hours after they sleepwalked through the first half of a loss at USC. We have our usual next-day post, with links to all the Pac-10 winners and some quotes that didn't make the story. Read on.
••••••••••

• We'll start in the beautiful Inland Northwest, which really is pretty today, with blue skies, a few high clouds and a breeze that's cold enough to cut your nose off. But back to the links. Leading off is our game story, a longer version of which, with some extra notes, you can find here. Next up is Bob Condotta's story in the Times. Bob stopped by Pauley to watch before the UCLA game with the idea if it got out of hand he would head over to USC. He had to stay until it was over, and beyond. Batting third is freelancer Howie Stalwick's piece in the News Tribune and other West Side papers. The rest of the lineup consists of the LA Times' story, one from the Daily News and this piece in the Orange County Register.

• As I said, Condotta pulled double duty with his usual Husky coverage. Their win, along with WSU's and USU's, puts UW in the driver's seat for the regular season title. ... Oregon State has won three consecutive games after handling Cal. ... And Oregon, yes, Oregon, won a game, stopping a reeling Stanford team in Eugene. ... The Oregonian has its usual Pac-10 wrapup.

• Finally, here are other comments that didn't make the paper …

• Rochestie on how well the Cougars played: "I think this is the best team game we've probably played in the Pac-10 and that's what's exciting."

• UCLA and its defense and the 3 he took late in transition: "I know they are a scrappy team, really scrappy, a lot of pressure, great defense. To get an open shot like that, I just felt confident to shoot it. I'm just fortunate it went in."

• On their motivation: "Our coaching staff hung with us through the last couple games, losing, it's meant a lot to us."

• The family in attendance: "Basically we had a family reunion. It was just real special to me."

• Losing Baynes to fouls: "Baynes gives just as much to the team when he's off the court as when he's on. He was the first one off the bench, motivating us, talking to us, getting us going.

• The effectiveness of the WSU offense: "We moved the ball. Against UCLA you're not going to get good shots off one pass, one dribble. Outside of me, we handled the ball pretty well. We just kept hunting shots, just played tough. That's what it takes to win a game like this."

• Next week: "We can't have any dropoff. ... I'm looking forward to going home. We've lost too many games at home and that gets under my skin."

• Bennett on the Cougars first-half defense and playing zone for one possession: "We couldn't handle the ball screen. ... They were just shredding us. ... Now teams have to prepare for that, right?"

• UCLA and its defense, after saying the Bruins might nor be as good as they were last year: "They still pressure you. Klay got us off to an unbelievable start and we were tough offensively.

• Rochesties' turnovers (six): "He more than made up for them with just the clutch plays."

• Caleb Forrest on the difference in this win and other games in Pauley: "We would have desperation runs to get back into at the end. ... In this game, to play good the whole game, it was huge for us."

• The message the win sends: "I think it says a lot about the Pac-10 and how it's changing, how it's become more and more equal. ... We're kind of proving ... the bottom teams can beat the top teams if they don't come to play."

• Rochestie's tip-in and whether that was the turning point: "It was a great tip. There was still so much time left, anything can happen."

• Klay Thompson and whether he was trying to make up for his poor shooting night at USC: "I guess so. It was a makeup for the team because we came out with a win."

• Baynes on Rochestie: "We know he can do that. We put a whole lot on his shoulders tonight and he carried us."

• His foul trouble: "They're going to get some calls going their way and they definitely got a few (today). But that's what happens in a game, we get some good ones, we get some bad ones and luckily, towards the end, they fell our way. ... We got the end result, which was a win. That's what we came here to do. ... I was dying to be out there and help the boys out."

• What the win meant to the seniors: "All the seniors were very emotional about this game. It was our last chance to beat UCLA. All of us were pumped up and Taylor was no exception. He was frothing at the mouth to go out and get this one."

•••

• That's it for this morning. We'll be back as news warrants. Until then …



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

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