UCLA vs. USC happened on both hardwoods yesterday, and the Bruins won on the men’s and women’s side. Ben Howland and Co. stormed out to a 21-point halftime lead and undid USC, 75-59. Afterward, College Basketball Talk’s Raphielle Johnson writes that UCLA needs David Wear to build on Sunday’s performance at USC (he had a double-double). Cori Close’s team protected home court against Michael Cooper’s squad in a tight battle, and the Bruins were certainly helped out by Markel Walker’s circus shot that made SportsCenter’s Top Plays.
The Golden Bears continue to be the hottest team in the Pac-12 men’s basketball race, doing just enough to edge Oregon State on the Beavers’ senior day to get to 10-5 in conference play. A lot of bubble talk for Cal men’s basketball in recent weeks; no such bubble talk on the women’s side because Lindsay Gottlieb has had the Bears in the top 10 pretty much the whole year. They got a scare on senior day, but the Golden Bears’ women’s team overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Oregon State, 58-56.
So yeah, it was a pretty tough weekend for Oregon State basketball fans, especially when you consider the Beavers were assessed a technical foul for Olaf Schaftenaar dunking in pregame warmups Saturday against Cal before a game they ended up losing by one point (Crabbe hit one free throw to start things off). Luckily for Beavers fans, baseball season is here, and Oregon State is off to its best start since 1962, sweeping San Diego State this past weekend to get to 8-0 on the young campaign.
The Beavers’ rivals salvaged a split on the men’s basketball weekend thanks to Johnathan Loyd’s career night that sent Oregon past Stanford. That Duck backcourt might become even stronger, because Oregon is hopeful that Dominic Artis can return this week.
So the Stanford men lost in Eugene, but Chiney Ogwumike had Johnny Dawkins’ back, setting a school rebound record in a 74-50 win over Oregon at Maples yesterday. She also broke the Cardinal career double-double record she held briefly with her sister Nneka. Congrats!
No. 12 Arizona defended home court this weekend, sweeping the Washington schools to get to 11-4 in conference play. But after 23 wins, questions remain about Sean Miller’s team.
Arizona State was only able to split at home this weekend after losing to the Huskies Saturday night, and as Doug Haller writes, it was a costly loss for the Sun Devils (ASU is now out of Joe Lunardi’s projected field of 68 in his latest bracketology). On the bright side, Haley Videckis’ three-pointer lifted the Sun Devils’ women’s team past Arizona 59-58 (make that two tight wins over the rival Wildcats this week). And one more quick note for the men’s team – assistant coach Eric Musselman says Carrick Felix is the best defender in the Pac-12.
Best defender in the Pac-12, you say? Well Tad Boyle says André Roberson is the best defender in the country! The rebounding and steal totals would support Boyle’s claim.
Washington women’s basketball had been rolling all of conference play but was hoping for a fourth-place finish after a tough loss to Utah. That seems less likely now after Colorado held off McGuff’s team for a 68-61 win at the Coors Events Center.
Some news to get to off the hardwood, including Lia Del Priore’s perfect 10 on the floor exercise for Utah women’s gymnastics. Unfortunately, former Ute defensive tackle Star Lotulelei has a heart condition and will not be able to work out today at the scouting combine. Best of luck to Star in getting things cleared up.
Staying on the football tip, USC hired three assistant coaches - Mike Summers (running game coordinator and offensive line), Tommie Robinson (passing game coordinator and running backs) and Mike Ekeler (linebackers).
And here’s your Pullman update – Todd Wakefield won the 3K and the Washington State men’s track team finished fourth at the MPSF Championships. The women finished seventh.