Guess what the first 17 games of the Pac-12 women’s basketball conference season has settled? Not the champion! Both Cal and Stanford are 16-1 with a game to go in the regular season. How did they do it Thursday night? Well first off, Cal topped Washington State 73-60 in Pullman. Leading the way was Layshia Clarendon, who dropped 26 on the Cougs. Seen the #VoteLayshia and #LayshiaFacts hashtags on twitter? They are for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award, and she’s a finalist for it.
Stanford did the deed next, routing a depleted Washington squad by a score of 71-36 in Seattle. Another game, another double-double (24 points, 13 rebounds) for Chiney Ogwumike. Two 17-1 teams, perhaps? We’ll find out Saturday.
Two games on the women’s side, two games on the men’s side. Krystkowiak’s Kids couldn’t keep up with the Golden Bears after a hot start, as Utah fell apart in a 64-46 road loss to Cal after getting out to a 22-14 lead.
The night was capped off by a wildly entertaining battle in the Civil War, a game in which the No. 24 Ducks had to rally to beat Oregon State and reclaim sole possession of first place. Carlos Emory had a career-high 21 points on his Senior Night as Oregon came back from nine down in the second half to beat the Beavs. Not a bad 75th birthday present (four days after the fact) for Phil Knight, eh?
Another tough defeat for Oregon State, and to anyone who watched the game, you could tell that Eric Moreland’s dunk was a turning point in the game. Ruled an offensive foul, Moreland absolutely posterized Tony Woods before receiving a technical for taunting. Had the dunk counted, Oregon State would have been up 11. Instead, the lead was down to seven after a couple of technical free throws. Second straight game now that the Beavs have given up 51 second-half points to the Quacks.
Let’s look ahead to the weekend now. A huge one will occur in Pauley Pavilion, where the two preseason favorites (Arizona and UCLA) will meet up for a tilt that could help decide who ends up winning the men’s crown. When Jordan Adams arrived in Westwood, he was known mostly for his offensive prowess, but lately Adams has been getting defensive for UCLA.
Arizona needed to win out in order to control its own destiny for a share of the Pac-12 crown, but after losing to USC Wednesday night, the Wildcats have lost a bit of a grip on their title hopes.
Colorado-Cal will be a pretty juicy matchup as well on Saturday, even if it didn’t appear like it would be that way a few weeks ago. Not only because the Golden Bears were 3-4 in conference, but because Colorado won just two of its first eight true road games. But now, the Buffs are gaining valuable road swagger. Additionally, Josh Scott may be back to play against Cal, so that would help the Boyle effort.
After losing at UCLA in overtime, the Sun Devils really have their backs against the wall as far as grabbing an at-large bid is concerned. The 9-7 Pac-12 mark is good, but a weak non-conference schedule has hurt Arizona State. The Forks play at USC Saturday night.
Washington and Washington State will grind it out on the court for a second time this season on Sunday. The Cougars limp in to the weekend contest having lost their last eight, which has prompted Bud Withers of the Seattle Times to revisit the losses of Xavier Thames and Reggie Moore.
Who better to link to regarding spring football than Bob Condotta? Let’s get his spring football position preview of the Husky linebackers.
With the combine having taken place this week and the NFL Draft about two months away, Lane Kiffin has gone to bat for Matt Barkley, saying that USC’s defense hurt Barkley’s stock.