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#6 Washington State vs. #19 Gonzaga Live Blog

Posted by Mike on December 5, 2007

With final exams (and therefore relatively easy games) looming for most college basketball teams, tonight’s game between Washington State and Gonzaga, meeting for the first time ever with both teams in the top 25, is one of the biggest games we will see in the month of December. In eastern Washington, this is likely to be the biggest regular season game in years. Storming the Floor has provided us with a background on the magnitude of tonight’s game; too bad no one told the World Wide leader, who have put this game on ESPNU. So if you;re unable to watch tonight, Digital Headbutt will be your ESPNU for the next two hours. (Time Warner Cable has finally wised up that citizens of Tobacco Road might be among ESPNU’s most desirable patrons.)

The focus of tonight;s game will be on the guards: Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver or Washington State, and Jeremy Pargo and Micah Downs for Gonzaga. They need to play well for their teams to have success tonight.

11:12 pm: 3-0, Zags. Micah Downs hits a huge three from NBA range. Low responds in the next possession to make it 3-2.

11:14 pm: 4-3, WSU. Kyle Weaver hits an off-balance, fadeaway jumper to give the Cougars their first lead.

11:15 pm: 7-5, WSU. Pargo drive inside for a quick layup, but Weaver hits a three pointer from the right wing to get the lead back.

11:17 pm: 9-5, WSU. Our first offensive activity in the paint, as Center Aron Baynes gets the ball inside for an easy turnaround shot. First TV timeout.

11:20 pm: Baynes is called for the seemingly archaic and obsolete rule violation known as “traveling”.

11;22 pm: 9-6, WSU. Both teams are clamping down inside. Both teams have tried inside shots in the last combined 5 possessions, and and all were fairly low-percentage shots, a few of which rattled out and one of which drew an offensive foul against the Cougars. WSU might be getting into some early foul trouble, with 4 fouls in 6 minutes.

11:25 pm: Pargo is called for charging. Neither team is relinquishing anything in the paint right now.

11:26 pm: 11-6, WSU. Finally, the Cougars get a basket inside, courtesy of Caleb Forrest, to end the collective drought in this game.

11:30 pm: 11-8, WSU. Micah Downs hits a tough floater from the free throw line after collecting an offensive rebound.

Aron Baynes has a cut above his eye, but he’ll be fine.We’ll see how effective the Cougars continue to be while Baynes is on the bench.

11;33 pm: 13-10, WSU. Taylor Rochestie drives inside for a nice layup. Pendergraft responds on the other end.

So far, both teams are either playing great defense or very ugly basketball. It appears to be the former.

11:35 pm: 17-10 WSU. Cowgill is taking over this game in the paint with Baynes on the bench.

11:38 pm: I wonder how many of Gonzaga’s student section are on Josh Heytfelt’s mushrooms tonight. The likely answer: a lot.

11;40 pm: 20-12, WSU. Derrick Low hits another three, the first time we’ve heard from him since the opening minutes.

11:41 pm: 22-12, WSU. Cowgill continues to impress, as he hits a one-handed shot inside to give the Cougars a double digit lead.

11:42 pm: 24-14, WSU. Gonzaga’s offense seems to depend on Jeremy Pargo’s ability to drive inside.

11;43 pm: 26-14, WSU. At least 25% of Washington State’s baskets tonight have to have been floaters. The latest is by Rochestie.

11:45 pm: 26-16, WSU. Pargo drives again for a quick basket. Micah Downs has not been much of a factor tonight.

11:50 pm: 26-19, WSU. Larry Gurganious comes off the bench, and he gets the quick basket inside and the foul off of the turnover. the Cougars have been a bit sloppy on the offensive end in the last several minutes.

11:52 pm: 28-19, WSU. Bobby Cowgill is performing very well in the paint tonight.

11:53 pm: Rochestie is called for a charge, which negates another basket by Cowgill just before halftime.

11:55 pm: Washington State leads, 28-19 at the half. The Cougars have been playing very good basketball so far, and if not for some sloppy turnovers they could have a commanding lead. For Gonzaga to come back the will need to incorporate more players (such as Downs and Gurganious) into their offense, outrebound Washington State, and continue to create mistakes on WSU’s offensive end.

12:14 am: 30-24, WSU. The second half begins, as David Pendergraft hits a three to cut the lead to six.

12:15 am: 31-24, WSU. Pargo drives inside, and he kicks the ball out to…no one in particular.

12:16 am: Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga’s leading scorer so far this season, can;t buy a shot tonight. His latest shot was more than halfway through the rim before rattling out.

12:18 am: 33-24, WSU. ESPN never dissapoints with their awkwardly forced self promotion.

12:21 am: How boring must the action be on the court for ESPNU’s cameras to pan on the coaches while 15 seconds of the game elapse?

12:22 am: 33-27, WSU. Micah Downs gets the three the hard way, and that one basket brings the Zags back within striking distance.

12:27 am: 35-27, WSU. Aron Baynes is back in the game, and he’s making his presence felt…

12:29 am: …but then he picks up his third foul, and is forced to return to the bench.

12:30 am: Austin Daye finally gets his first points of the game, a three point play to cut the lead to five. The Zags really seem to have the momentum right now.

12;31 am: 35-30, WSU. The Cougars are called for traveling. They haven’t hit a basket in quite some time.

12:32 am: 37-30, WSU. Cowgill hits yet another one-handed shot to end WSU’s mini-drought. The Cougars’ lead returns to seven points with 12 minutes remaining.

12:36 am: Gonzaga can’t buy a shot right now, but neither can Washington State. The second half has been, with few exceptions, a defensive stalemate. Defensive stalemates tend to favor Tony Bennett’s Cougars.

12:40 am: 37-32, WSU. Aron Baynes is back in the game. We’ll see how it changes the pace in the final 10 minutes of the game.

12;45 am: 39-35, WSU. Good defense by the Cougars, but Pargo kicks the ball out to Pendergraft, who beats the shot clock with a huge three pointer.

12:46 am: 41-38, WSU. Another three, this time by Downs, brings it to a one possession game. Where has this been all night?

Seven minutes to play.

12:49 am: 42-38, WSU, 6:40 left. And now, a video representation of Washington State’s style of play, as viewed by a non-WSU fan:

12:52 am: 42-41, WSU, 5:04 left. Washington State commits their 16th turnover of the game (uncharacteristic of their style of play), and Gonzaga makes them pay, as they hit another three pointer to cut the margin of this game to one.

12:53 am: 43-41, WSU, 4:49 left. Derrick Low hits one of two free throws. He has only 6 points tonight.

12;55 am: 4:03 left. Austin could not have shot that ball any better…and it still rattled out.

12:56 am: 45-41, WSU, 3:37 left. Weaver’s tough reverse layup brings it back to a two-possession game.

1:02 am: 47-43, WSU, 2:11 left. What effort by Cowgill to keep balls alive for the Cougars, and it finally pays off with a tip-in by Kyle Weaver.

1:03 am: 1:24 left. Mark Few calls time out. This game has definitely lived up to expectations so far.

1:05 am, :45 left. Baynes gets the big defensive rebound, hushing the sold-out crowd at the Kennel.

:28 left. OHHH!!! Rochestie hits a huge three from the top of the key, and that is most likely the clincher for the Cougars.

1:08 am: 50-45, WSU, :25 left. Pargo hits two free throws. Expect a foul fest from Gonzaga to end the game.

1:12 am: The game comes to an end, and Washington State wins, 51-47. When Derrick Low was neutralized in this game, players like Kyle Weaver, Robbie Cowgill, and Taylor Rochestie stepped when the Cougars needed them, and they were the difference in this game.


Posted in College Basketball, Gonzaga, Live Blog, Washington State | 1 Comment »