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Monday, December 9, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: The screen may have been small, but it was easy to see Sunday Gonzaga’s women are going to come up big again this season

Stanford's Lexie Hull (12) drives for the basket as Gonzaga's Jessie Loera defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Stanford, Calif. (George Nikitin / Associated Press)
Stanford's Lexie Hull (12) drives for the basket as Gonzaga's Jessie Loera defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Stanford, Calif. (George Nikitin / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • I took this little round Panasonic TV to college in 1974, mainly because it was hanging around the house and no one wanted it. It popped into my head last night as I tried to watch Gonzaga play Stanford on my iPhone. The reason for the flashback? The screens were about the same size.

•••••••

• How far we have come in 45 years. Back then, the little screen was all we had. (Not really, but it was all I had.) Nowadays, it is considered an advantage. After all, I could watch snippets at the dinner table, hiding the phone in my lap. Wait, that was possible then as well – as long as what I wanted to watch was on one of the five or six over-the-air networks in the L.A. Basin.

The Zag game, featuring the third-ranked women’s team in the nation hosting the unranked (last week at least) visitors, was only available through a livestream on the Pac-12 Network site.

Watching on my phone worked. Sort of. It might be the recently spotty wi-fi in the house, or it might have been the demand in Spokane, but it was in-and-out much of the game. No matter. We got the gist.

The Gonzaga women are solid again. Then, we knew that after watching them play a couple times. This was different, however. Stanford, with the Spokane-grown Hull twins and a highly touted recruiting class, may not be the top-ranked group (that honor goes to Oregon and former GU coach Kelly Graves), but it has been the gold standard for women’s basketball excellence on the West Coast for decades.

And here were the Zags, who had defeated Stanford last year in the Kennel, threatening to do it again. They had a chance to close it out in regulation, but the last possession didn’t go as well as they would have liked. And then Lexie Hull took over in overtime, scoring eight points in the five minutes (she finished with 20) in the 76-70 Stanford win.

Funny, in the Cardinal’s last win, a rout of Northern Colorado, Lacie scored 19 points. The twins are a nice combination. But Gonzaga has its set of twins as well, two of them in fact.

The Wirth sisters, junior forwards, start. The Truong sisters, freshmen guards, come off the bench, though Kayleigh, the backup at point, will play a lot this season, and was on the floor for 24 minutes yesterday.

(Just think if the Hulls, Central Valley High grads, had decided to play near home, the Zags would have three sets of twins, one each in three consecutive years. How cool would that be?)

As is the case most seasons, this is a Gonzaga team in transition. But, as is also the case every season, it is also going to be a successful group. Last night didn’t prove that, it just solidified earlier projections.

•••

WSU: The Cougar basketball team returned to Beasley yesterday and won with defense once again. Theo Lawson was there and has this game analysis, focusing on the turnovers Washington State (and CJ Elleby) forced. … Theo also has the news a key Cougar left the game early with an injury. … A big committed to the Cougars yesterday and Theo has that story as well. … In football news, Theo looked back at Saturday’s win and forward, as a cornerback committed. … The volleyball team completed a season sweep of Colorado. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, the first part of every week is dedicated to polls and power rankings. And, of course, to looks back at the weekend just completed. … With the Huskies off, there isn't any looking back for Washington. … Oregon, however, can bask in knowing it won easily against Arizona. … Oregon State won but this week will try to clinch a bowl berth at Washington State's expense. … Colorado has been the recipient of a few transfers. … Utah has played even better recently and its been rewarded in the polls. … USC has an emerging star. … After getting walloped by Utah, UCLA needs to regroup fast. … Arizona State gambled and lost Saturday. … In basketball news, the best recruit thus far belongs to USC. … Oregon won by 20 on Sunday. … California won after a big run. … Arizona blew out New Mexico State yesterday, using defense and depth. … Arizona State also won in a rout.

Gonzaga: We delved above into last night’s game at Stanford, but we will link the story here as well. … Jim Meehan points out how successful the men have been on the boards thus far.

Idaho: The Vandals finished up their trip to Arkansas State by losing to the tournament’s host team.

Preps: North Central’s girls’ cross country team qualified Saturday for the Nike Nationals with a second-place finish in a Boise regional.

Chiefs: The Everett Silvertips have owned Spokane thus far this season and won again Sunday night in Everett, 2-0.

Seahawks: For a while Sunday, it looked as if the Hawks would be in first in the NFC West by the end of the day. It didn't happen.

•••       

• Disney+ forced me to don the role of IT guy in the house again yesterday. I had to move the AppleTV to our main television downstairs (it had been in my office, as I would watch sports there). And load the Disney+ app – as well as make sure it works. Some of you may marvel at my skills. Others will laugh and say something like “OK, boomer.” I don’t care. I got it working. And then watched that new show everyone is talking about. You know the one, that “Boy Meets World.” This one has a chance. Until later …

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