IT’S OVER — WSU 87-80.
CROWD GOES WILD AGAIN — Aden drained a three-pointer and Thomas drew an offensive foul. WSU 83-74, 2:06.
BIG MISSES — Ross missed an open three-pointer and Bryan-Amaning missed the putback.
BYE, BYE CASTO — Casto picked up his fifth foul on another questionable call. He appeared to set a screen – sort of – when he had the ball. A UW player ran into him and the refs made the call. The Huskies are still in this. It remains to be seen whether the Cougars can seal the deal. WSU 80-74, 3:42.
MINI-RUN — Thomas drained his first three-pointers. WSU 75-69, 6:09.
SLOWING DOWN — Same score, same time. Got to slow down to write the game story. Hopefully this time it will appear on line immediately after the game. The Huskies need a big finish to pull this one out.
SIMONS GOES OFF — Patrick Simon drained back-to-back three-pointers that gave WSU a 66-58 lead. Moore just sank an improbable layup despite being fouled. He made the ensuing free throw. WSU 71-63, 8:51.
PAC-10 REFS — The officials are helping the Huskies, who have gotten to the line with great frequency. Holiday drew another phantom call. WSU 57-53, 12:53.
THOMAS DOES IT AGAIN — Thomas is fouling out the Cougars who are in the bonus. He drew a foul on a horrible call. WSU 55-51, 13:55.
WHERE’S THE SCORING — UW has managed just one point in the second half. WSU is on an 10-1 run. Suggs missed a three-pointer and UW has committed three turnovers. WSU 55-44, 15:39.
AND THE CROWD GOES WILD — Holiday committed a turnover, which sparked a WSU fast break. Aden threw a lob to Moore and he flushed a dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy. WSU 55-44, 16:22.
THOMAS GOING TO WORK — WSU has five team fouls and Thomas has drawn four of them. Lodwick has three fouls. WSU 53-44, 16:49.
FOUL TROUBLE FOR WSU — Casto has four and Thompson three. Thompson picked up his third on a foul on Thomas’ layup attempt. Thompson checks out. WSU 47-44, 17:56.
FORCED SLOW DOWN — Switched to my wireless card, but still slow.
SECOND HALF — Same starters for WSU, Gant replaces N’Diaye.
HALFTIME OBSERVATIONS — Great game. Everything you expect from an intense cross-state rivalry. The crowd is into it. And after a ragged start, the players have settled down and they’re making improbable shots.
Thompson and Capers lead all scorers with 11 points. Thompson came into the game averaging fewer than eight points in four previous games against UW. He’s on fire. Thompson has three assists and three steals. He’s drawing a lot of attention and making life easier for Casto inside. Aden has 10 points, including two three-pointers.
It’s a balanced scoring-attack for UW. Gant leads everyone with nine points followed by Ross (eight) and Holiday and Suggs who each have seven.
The Huskies have dominated the rebounds (24-15) and that bodes well in the second half. N’Diaye has five rebounds, but he also has three fouls along with Overton.
Thomas is 0 for 6 and that doesn’t bode well for the Huskies. He’s had a few open looks, but he’s been bottled up. If can’t find a way to make an impact, it will be interesting to see if Washington can win when their star point guard has an off game.
HALFTIME STATS — Click here.
HALFTIME — WSU 45-43.
FOUL TROUBLE — N’Diaye and Overton have three fouls.
SLOW INTERNET — My apologies. The wireless is slow in the building.
REFS HUDDLE — Looks like the officials are checking to see if Bryan-Amaning should get two free throws after he was fouled by Lodwick. UW 35-32, 4:21.
UW TIMEOUT — Just when it seemed as if the Huskies might break away, the Cougars pull close again. Romar called a timeout to settle things down. UW 35-32, 4:41.
THOMAS’ SECOND ASSIST — Thomas connected with Holiday for a three-pointer. On the next possession, Gant hit a trey in front of the WSU bench. Bone called a quick timeout. The crowd is quiet. Momentum is turning. UW 32-26, 6:22.
MVP MATCHUP — Thomas is taking Thompson on the defensive end. Thompson drew an offensive foul pushing off of Thomas. Thompson is also defending Thomas. UW 19-17, 9:34.
NBA RANGE — Suggs drained a deep three-pointer that tied the score 17-17, 10:56.
NICE MOVE — Gant scored on an isolation near the elbow. He put a WSU defender on his back, spinned in the middle and sank a mid-range hook shot. On the next possession, Suggs drained another mid-range jumper. Looks like the Huskies are weathering the early storm and finding their groove. And they’re doing it with an unusual lineup of Bryan-Amaning, Overton, Suggs, Gant and Ross. WSU 15-14, 11:30.
MORE SUBS — Overton is in.
EASIER BASKETS — That’s three dunks for the Cougars. Casto has two and Capers slammed on in. They’re getting easier baskets and getting inside. WSU 13-10, 13:33.
MORE SUBS — Darnell Gant also checked in.
HOLIDAY HAS TWO — That’s two fouls on Holiday. Terrence Ross will check in. The Huskies have yet to figure out this zone. They’re getting a few good looks on the outside, but nothing in the paint. On the other end, UW is playing tough defense. The amped atmosphere has contributed to a ragged start from both teams. WSU 8-5, 15:02.
COUGS START IN A ZONE — WSU is playing zone. It’s somewhat effective early on. Suggs had a good look at a 3 that missed. WSU 4-3, 17:10
QUICK WHISTLE — On the third defensive possession, Holiday picked up a foul defending Thompson. UW 2-2, 18:15.
FIRST POINTS — Thompson dishes to Casto for a two-hand jam. WSU 2-0.
STARTING LINEUPS — No change for UW: Isaiah Thomas, Scott Suggs, Justin Holiday, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and N’Diaye.
WSU: F DeAngelo Casto, F Abe Lodwick, G Marcus Capers, G Klay Thompson and G Reggie Moore.
NICE INTRO — Got to give up to Wazzu, their pre-game introduction is the best I’ve seen this season. Maybe Texas A&M was close.
WILCOX WARMS UP — Wilcox isn’t playing, but he’s on the court dressed in his jersey and shorts and going through warmups as if nothing is wrong. But then, Desmond Simmons, who is redshirting this season, is also on the court during warmups.
SPECKS OF PURPLE — There’s only a handful of UW fans in the building tonight. You look around and it’s a sea of red.
WILCOX OUT — The Huskies will be without redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox who suffered a concussion in Monday’s practice. He was hit int he head with an elbow by Aziz N’Diaye. It’s the second game this season Wilcox has missed because of injury. He sat out the USC game due to a staph infection in his right hip.
LARGEST STUDENT SECTION IN AMERICA? — It’s unofficial, but WSU must have the largest student section in the country. There’s at least three full sections from floor to the mezzanine filled with students.
MORE DERISIVE CHANTS — The Huskies walked off the floor, which cued the WSU students to start up with another round of off-color chants. Doesn’t appear as if the full-page sign coach Ken Bone took in the WSU student newspaper is working. Bone asked WSU fans to “let’s keep things classy.”
MR. COUG SHOWS UP — Jim Moore of the SeattlePI.com and ESPN radio just walked int the building. Surprisingly no one cheered for him.
NICE SHOES — The staffs for both teams are wearing white sneakers to as a way to support Coaches vs. Cancer Suites and Sneakers Awareness Weekend. When I saw the UW coaches, I initially thought they wore the sneakers just in case they needed to make a quick getaway tonight.
ON FSN — Kevin Calabro and Ernie Kent are calling the game tonight for FSN.
EVERYONE IS HERE — There’s 12 UW players on the court. Everyone is present and accounted for.
SIGNS CONFISCATED — There’s already been several student-created signs confiscated by arena ushers. I won’t go into detail about what the signs said, but they were creative and they went appropriate for a family audience. Definitely not PG-rated.
HUSKIES IN THE HOUSE — Terrence Ross and Venoy Overton were the first players to walk on the court and they were greeted by a chorus of boos from the WSU student section.
OH MY — Got here about 2 1/2 hours before the game and there’s already a line forming around Beasley Coliseum. Inside the ushers have filled the stands across from the benches with “Beat The Dawgs” signs and red foam fingers.