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Saturday, October 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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From late night to early morning with WSU

COUGARS

We're not going to bore you with the details, but it suffices to say starting a basketball game at 9 p.m. here on the Left Coast isn't the best formula for getting information to newspaper readers. Or even to blog readers, when your target audience is already in bed when there is finally time to post. Oh well, read on.

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• Washington State: We were in the Mac last night to watch the Cougars fall behind early to a barrage of Gonzaga 3-pointers, watch them battle back before halftime, watch GU pound the ball inside to stretch the lead to 21, then watch WSU storm back as everyone, it seemed, spotted up from 3 and buried a jumper. But it wasn't enough, as Rob Sacre, the Zags 7-foot mountain of a center, was the go-to guy at the free-throw line down the stretch. He was perfect on 13 free throws on the night and hit everyone GU needed in the final 5 minutes. ... Jim Meehan's game story is here, along with John Blanchette's column. We wrote a game story last night that was posted right after the final tip, but it is no longer available, so I can't link it for you. ... We had our first look at Utah, along with the news Connor Halliday will start for WSU on Saturday and was named Pac-12 offensive player of the week on Monday. ... Bud Withers sat to my left and wrote this game story in the Times. Freelancer Howie Stalwick was on my right and had this piece in the News Tribune.

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• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller had a busy Monday, as usual, starting with the conference's players of the week, the weekend rewind, listing the Biletnikoff semifinalists from the Pac-12 (and pointing out, rightly, Marquess Wilson's omission), showing the importance of the home field in the conference and looking at the two Heisman contenders. ... Who is leaving early for the NFL draft this year? ... Washington: There's a good chance UW won't have Keith Price this weekend against OSU. ... Oregon State: It's Senior Day in Corvallis. (At my age, the only senior day I care about is the one at IHOP.) ... Oregon: Not only is the Ducks' offense potent, it's not afraid to use fourth down. ... California: The Bears' defense has a simple task in the Big Game. Not an easy one, a simple one. ... Stanford: As the Cardinal limp into the Big Game hoping for the best bowl they can earn, Andrew Luck looks back. ... Colorado: It's a family affair this week. ... Utah: The Utes are salivating at the chance to face a freshman quarterback on Saturday and just as happy to still be alive in the South race. ... USC: There will be a few high school teammates squaring off against the Ducks. ... UCLA: Kevin Prince is still the starting quarterback. But, in hoops, Reeves Nelson is not a starter – or even on the team right now. ... Arizona State: It's rivalry week in the desert and the Sun Devils need to win to help Dennis Erickson. ...Arizona: Interim coach Tim Kish wonders which players still want to play against ASU.

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• That's all for now. We'll be back after the Cougars practice tonight and we get a chance to do our interviews. 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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