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November 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Game thread: Gonzaga at Washington State

ZAGS WIN: Man. Wish I had access to replay after that one. Daugherty said Rosetta Adzasu slipped, missing the initial cover on Karr. That allowed the latter to collect an in-bound pass from Standish and race downcourt for the winning bucket with three seconds left in the game. In the flurry, it appeared WSU was celebrating to early after Amojo nailed a tying three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the game. Golden rule, everybody’s gotta play until the end. Disappointing for the home team because the Cougs had a chance, instead losing 71-69. GU coach Kelly Graves called the WSU team the best he’s seen and I have to agree. The offense isn’t as wild, the defense remains aggressive and Presley is a fierce newcomer. She had a team-high 16 with four steals and four turnovers. She’ll get scouted and may not make the impact in Pac-12 play, but I bet she helps WSU win a few. Graves said he’s going to have the team work on rebounding somehow before Friday’s game at Cal State Fullerton. The Zags were outworked 20-15 in the second half — WSU limiting GU to four offensive boards after the break. Coupled with shutting the Zags’ transition game off, until the final play, and the Bulldogs’ fight was nearly muzzled. But they never gave up, getting one last sprint out to win the game. “Coach told us they’re a scrappy team, they’re very athletic and they play hard,” said Karr, who finished with 13 points, three assists and two steals. “We had some mental lapses here and there. They capitalized and that’s what kept them in the game. Down the stretch we made enough team plays to get things done.” Standish finished with a team-high 16 points while Bowen added eight boards. After a weird beginning to the season, GU (4-1) gets going with four games this week. WSU (4-4) continues its four-game homestand against San Diego State on Friday. “That Thanksgiving break definitely stunk, having like 10 practices and no games,” Karr said. “Well, we love the food and we love the break, but the practices…We make up for it this week. We’re going to keep chugging away and get those Ws.”
NOYES OUT: Noyes fouled out with 3:36 remaining in the game. She had 12 points and three assists, playing a pivotal role inside. Standish made the basket and ensuing FT to tie the score at 60 points apiece.
FOR FREE?: OK, Cougs are giving the Zags FTs. But the Bulldogs are hitting the freebies. A three-pointer by Perkins has WSU up 60-56 with 5:01 left in the game. PG Jazmine Redmon (no relation) is getting abused by WSU’s pressure defense. She’s had a couple turnovers this half that have helped the Cougs build a slight advantage.
BONUS: Well, the Cougs were chipping away at the lead, but allowed the Zags to enter the bonus at about the 11-minute mark. Wait. A jumper by G Rosie Tarnowski and three-pointer by Presley have the score tied at 53 apiece with 9:16 left. Rebounding is key for the WSU quasi comeback. But the Cougs will still have to watch the fouls.
QUICK WORK: The Zags busted out of the break with an 11-0 run to seemingly pull ahead, but the baskets are hot for the Cougs. They’ve clawed their way back and only trail 50-44 with 13:07 left in the game after a shot by Noyes. Both teams are shooting above 50 percent in the second half.
HALFTIME: Zags mistakes were few, but the Cougs capitalized on them late in the to take a brief 34-33 lead after a pair of Perkins FTs with 39.8 seconds left. WSU left Karr open for a jumper to close out the scoring for the half, GU up 35-34. WSU scored 13 points off 12 GU turnovers, but are getting outrebounded 19-16. GU is using those boards to outscore WSU 12-0 on fast breaks. No player has scored in double figures, both teams getting balanced offense.
GETTING CLOSE: WSU is moving the ball better to inch within 33-29 after an old fashioned three-point play by Presley, a freshman. There’s 1:25 left in the half.
SUPER BASS: WSU’s new sound system/jumbo screen is tight. They should do a co-ed hoops game with a spotlight and music blaring. Bet that would draw fans, er, students. Gonzaga is executing its offense well, leading 25-16 with 7:42 on the clock. Zags have scored eight points off 10 Coug turnovers.
CHANGE UP: The Cougs are getting aggressive with the ball and making shots to pull within 15-11 with 11:00 remaining in the half. Both coaches have gone to their bench. Bowen leads the Zags with seven points.
NO D: Daugherty called a quick 30-second timeout with her team down 7-0 with 17:47 on the clock. The Cougs are lacking interior defense and not attacking offensively. The Zags are so smooth offensively, it looks like a walk-thru.
CONGRATS: Daugherty handed out games balls prior to tip to Cook and senior Jazmine Perkins for eclipsing the 1,000-point mark on the recent road trip.
AYE MATEY: WSU is all a buzz about its new football coach, Mike Leach, who has an affinity for pirates. Business hope the big name brings in more money while students are enjoying the national spotlight on their school.
DAWGS WIN: The Huskies improved to 4-2 with a 66-49 win at Idaho. C Regina Rogers had another career night, scoring a game-high 27 points with 14 boards. Freshman Aminah Williams added 11 with six rebounds. Vandals shot 28 percent from field.
Uh, not much of a east side welcome as both Gonzaga and Washington State coaching staffs asked why I’m not in Idaho covering Washington. Thought they’d know the action is at Beasley Coliseum.
We’ll get to UW in a second. For now, WSU is prepping for its regular-season home opener. The Cougs (4-3) are 15-5 all-time against the Zags, last winning in 2001. WSU is recently returning from a 2-1 trip at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
Gonzaga (3-1) had a slower pace to open the season, playing twice in the past 10 days. The Bulldogs defeated Portland State 99-69 at home on Sunday. They’re led by F Kayla Standish (18.8 points), who was named to the Naismith early watch list on Wednesday.
Because WSU coach June Daugherty has an experienced squad and scheduled competitively this year, I’m eager to see Gonzaga play live post-Sloot against a possible challenging foe that’s familiar. Either way, both teams are usually fun to watch so glad I’m here and not Moscow (no dis to Washington).
Let’s get started with the starting lineups. Hearing some minor disciplinary actions made Daugherty alter her starters the past two games. We’ll see if that’s true later.
F Katelan Redmon
F Kelly Bowen
C Kayla Standish
G Taelor Karr
G Haiden Palmer
F Sage Romberg
F Ireti Amojo
C Carly Noyes
G Tia Presley
G April Cook
Tonight’s officials are Chuck Gonzalez, Wanda Szeremeta, and Rick Showers.



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