Huskies Insider Blog

Morning run: Cougs stun Stanford, OSU snaps 13-game losing streak to UCLA

We'll do the wrap-up just a little differently with the them highlighted scores being links to full boxscores from statsheet.com. Those box scores also contains charts, including the Four Factors of winning, and others.

Yet another interesting night in the Pac-12 as one of the conference leaders loses to one of the conference's struggling teams. This much we know, the best and likely only chance for Utah and Arizona State to get another win is when they play each other on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Washington State 81, Stanford 69

The Cougs stunned the Cardinal behind Faisal Aden's 33 points. No I don't know how many points he gave up to the guy he was guarding. But if Coug Center says something nice about Aden, then you know he played well or the real apocalypse is near.

From Christian Caple's story in the Spokesman ...

Faisal Aden showed up, though.

The senior guard scored a career-high 33 points – 23 of them during a second-half onslaught that allowed the Cougars to overcome a 13-point deficit – to lead WSU over the conference-leading Cardinal 81-69 for its first Pac-12 men’s basketball win since Dec. 29.

“That’s what we saw when we recruited him,” coach Ken Bone said.

Aden had struggled to find his shot after missing three games earlier this season with a concussion, but he looked plenty comfortable on Thursday, even after Stanford (15-4, 5-2 Pac-12) began the second half with a 13-2 run to take a 42-29 lead.The Bay Area News Group had Ryan Collingwood - good writer, decent NAIA football player - to cover the game for them. Here's his story.

Oregon State 87, UCLA 84

The Beavers gave up 84 points, but played enough defense to get a win. The win was vital for the reeling Beavs. From John Hunt's game story ...

"We've been dancing around this for the whole week about how important this game was,'' OSU coach Craig Robinson said. "This was an important win for us from a lot of different standpoints.''

Robinson said earlier in the week that learning to win close games was “a process,’’ and from early on in this one, it was obvious that this would be another step in the process. The loss snapped UCLA's 13-game win streak against OSU. It's not really that surprising though. Here's five observations from Peter Yoon of ESPN LA

The last time OSU beat UCLA was on March 10, 2005 when the Beavers defeated the Bruins, 79-72, in the opening round of the Pac-10 Tournament at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

Did you know that on that day, "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent featuring Olivia was the No. 1 single on the Billboard charts with Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" at No. 2

Oregon 65, USC 62

Garrett Sim scored 20 points, including two big free throws in the Ducks win. From Lindsay Schnell's game story ...

"I was definitely making up for (that turnover)," said Sim, who finished with a team-high 20 points. "I'm confident anytime I go to the line."

Sim hit a pair, USC got a basket, Devoe Joseph hit two more free throws for the Ducks and USC's pint-sized guard, Maurice Jones, was short on a three-pointer that would have tied it, and Oregon (14-5, 5-2 Pac-12) held on for its third consecutive victory.

"We found a way to win; that's always important," said Ducks coach Dana Altman. "It's a big plus, but we know we have to play better to get wins down the road."

It was far from a pretty game: USC's offense was clunky (that's a nice way of saying it) and Oregon turned over the ball 19 times. But with Sim's shooting -- including 4 of 6 on three-pointers -- and Joseph's 16 points, the Ducks came through. Colorado 69, Arizona State 54

The Buffaloes didn't overlook a beat up Sun Devils squad, and will now prepare to play Arizona on Saturday. Ryan Thorburn also had this notebook too.

ASU played without Trent Lockett, who is out with an ankle injury. The Sun Devils simply couldn't do enough to make up for his absence.

Arizona 77, Utah 51

The Wildcats put away the Utes in workman-like fashion, and they did so without Solomon Hill, who was ejected with 18 minutes left. From Bruce Pascoe's game story ...

"Solomon wasn't playing well," Miller said. "It's not as if we lost him on a real good night. He wasn't having a good night. We're clearly a better team with him. But in that brief moment when he left, we answered like you'd want a team to answer."

The rest of the Wildcats were unable to explain the change. Miller did not let them speak with the media, saying he did not want to "put them in a bad situation" to speak of an incident they had not seen the replay of.

Miller said after the game that he had not seen a replay and therefore had no comment on it.

"Solomon's a good kid," Miller said. "The game's changed. An incident like that five years ago, there would be no monitor to go to. A few years back it would just be chalked up to physical play. We never want our players to be dirty in any way. So if that's what happened we'll deal with Solomon.

"I would like to think that it wasn't a malicious hit. But I have to see it first."

Hill's foul was deemed "flagrant two," meaning he was immediately disqualified and the Utes received two free throws. But unlike a fighting foul, it does not carry an accompanying suspension.Columnist Greg Hansen also had this column on the Sounds of Silence in Salt Lake City.

Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune wrote about the Utes playing their first game since leading scorer and point guard Jiggy Watkins was suspended. And since Bill is apparently an overachiever, he also has this story on the point guard situation.

Columnist Steve Kragthorpe believes that head coach Larry Krystkowiak's decision to boot Watkins off the team will make it better in the long run. From his column ...

Yet by dismissing leading scorer Josh Watkins from the team this week, Krystkowiak made more of an imprint on his program than anything his team could do on the court this season. Nobody can say for sure how many games this coach will win at Utah, but his willingness to lose — and lose badly — will have an impact going forward.

Krystkowiak said his response to Watkins’ repeatedly violating team rules was not meant for the sake of future results. His action did represent “one of the pieces of the foundation” he’s trying to build, however.

The move was Krystkowiak’s only choice, if he wanted to establish any genuine expectations and demands of the players in his program. There could be no merit in keeping Watkins in the interest of winning another game or two this season, while making the other players wonder about a double standard — or any standard at all.

The question remains how many changes of culture, how many rebuilt foundations, will this program have to experience until something takes hold permanently? This continual cycle of hiring a new coach and having the players alternately respond and regress needs to stop somehow.

That may or may not happen with Krystkowiak, but this much is clear: It never would happen if his former point guard had gone unchecked.

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