Finally made it to SLC - that's Salt Lake City for those of you not in the know - and wouldn't you know I'm not only in the same hotel as the Huskies, but the same floor, which means I'm officially the shortest person occupying the sixth floor of this Marriott.
We've written and written about how bad Washington has been on the road. But the Huskies aren't the only team to struggle away from its home gym. Last night, every road team lost in the Pac-12, including WSU in Pullman and Cal in Corvallis, which were far from expected.
Let's get to last night's game starting with the Cougars losing at Utah. To be honest, I didn't think the Utes would win a Pac-12 game, maybe Arizona State, but WSU found a way to go down there and lose in overtime.
My buddy Christian Caple, who is now covering the Cougs for the Spokesman, got to write his first game story about the loss. Kind of a tough way to start. Maybe he's a jinx. Another buddy, and fellow Montana grad, Bill Oram has his game story for the Salt Lake Tribune.
The other stunner to me was Cal losing 92-85 to Oregon State in Corvallis. If there is one team in the Pac-12 that is good enough to win games on the road, I thought it was the Bears. Apparently not.
The Bears (12-4, 2-1 Pac-12) couldn't handle OSU's pressure defense or uncharacteristic 3-point shooting prowess. The Beavers (11-4, 1-2), swept in Washington a week ago, shot 76.2 percent in the second half, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range.
Cal, down 77-61 with 6:42 left, scored 12 straight points in a span of 97 seconds -- a run that included two 3-pointers by Allen Crabbe and a four-point play by Gutierrez. But 77-73 was as close as Cal got.
"We got to four with the ball and a real chance. Then we turned it over," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "We needed to play (all night) with that kind of aggressiveness, and we were unable to do that."
The Bears, 11-0 at Haas Pavilion this season, fell to 1-4 outside Berkeley.Sounds familiar doesn't?
After being shutdown by the Huskies, Devoe Joseph (above) scored a career-high 30 points to lead Oregon to a win over Stanford. From Bob Clark's game story:
Quite a bit of the offense for Oregon came from Devoe Joseph, who scored a career-high 30 points, 18 in the second half when the Ducks outscored Stanford 44-35.
Joseph, a senior transfer from Minnesota, hit 5-of-7 threes in the game with three of them sparking the Ducks in the second half.
“I just got a lot of good looks and my teammates found me in open situations,” Joseph said.
It was quite a contrast from Oregon’s previous game, when Joseph was held to four points and made only 1-of-13 shots against Washington.
“I just approached the game the same way,” Joseph said, adding that against Washington, “it was just one of those nights when I was letting go and none of them were dropping.Down in Los Angeles, UCLA picked up a nice 65-58 win over Arizona. Josh Smith did not play because of a concussion suffered earlier in the week. From the Arizona Daily Star, here's Bruce Pascoe's game story and Ryan Finley's game column.
The only team to win on the road was Arizona State, which knocked off USC in a battle of bottom dwellers of the conference.