Utah might be out of the Pac-12 regular season title race, but that didn’t stop the Runnin’ Utes from stunnin’ Arizona State in a Pac-12 win. While trailing down the stretch, Jason Washburn and Brandon Taylor came through in the clutch to provide the offense necessary to finish the game on a 19-6 run and beat the Forks by five. It also helped that the Utes stifled Jahii Carson, as the fantastic Arizona State freshman point guard turned it over six times, dished out just one assist and fouled out at the end of the game.
The Sun Devils came into the game struggling from the free-throw line ,and it only got worse Wednesday night as they went just 4-10 from the charity stripe. On the Charli Turner Thorne side of things, 6-5 junior Joy Burke is making strides for Arizona State women’s basketball.
Up next was a nailbiter in the Palouse, where Roberto Nelson helped Oregon State avoid a heartbreaker. His putback in the final minute to give Oregon State a three-point lead would prove crucial in the Beavers’ 67-66 win over Wazzu. After a 1-8 start to conference play, the Beavs have now won two of their last three.
DaVonte Lacy really had a nice game for Ken Bone’s squad, finishing with 27 points and seven 3-pointers, but the Cougars missed Mike Ladd in the loss to Oregon State. Washington State’s starting point guard had to sit out with an injured knee.
The last game of the night took place in Seattle, and the Ducks came away with a convincing 65-52 victory thanks to Jonathan Loyd’s big second half that helped Oregon pull away from Washington. The diminutive Loyd scored all 11 of his points in the second half- let’s hope he is alright.
The Dawgs have now lost seven of their last eight after a promising start to Pac-12 play. You can’t fault Abdul Gaddy and the Huskies’ effort, but it wasn’t enough to succeed last night against the first-place Ducks. Let’s think happier thoughts though, so how about this? Washington is awesome in crew- the Huskies have won the last two IRA national championships, and on Saturday, the Washington rowers will get a historic London test by racing Cambridge on the Thames in London.
Three games on the men’s basketball ledger tonight, including a huge rematch in Boulder, where Colorado will entertain Arizona six weeks removed from a controversial finish between these two teams in Tucson. Since that loss, however, the Buffs have been learning how to close out games.
On the flipside, Solomon Hill has been a great leader for Sean Miller all season on and off the court. On the court, the great shape he is in allows him to log big minutes each night, and Hill likes the heavy lifting in Arizona basketball. I know it’s not related to the big game in Boulder tonight, but did you see RichRod rocking a UA-themed Tommy Bahama’s shirt?
Two huge games are going down in the Bay Area for Pac-12 pecking order and a certain tournament come March. For the Golden Bears, UCLA is the latest roadblock to Cal’s NCAA aspiration. Cal might be on the outside looking in right now when it comes to Big Dance talk, but a very strong finish could put them in at-large consideration.
UCLA has moved well past its early-season struggles, but the improved Bruins need to work on rebounding if they want to make any noise in the Big Dance (assuming an acceptable finish to conference play, of course).
The last game of the night takes us to The Farm, where Stanford will look to even up the season series with USC after losing a tight one at the Galen Center earlier this year. This is a much better Cardinal shooting team now, though, as Josh Huestis and Stanford are starting to rebound.
Wanna talk about improving teams? Look no further than USC, which has won its last three under the guidance of interim head coach Bob Cantu. For a guy who has seemingly had to talk his way into a lot of coaching jobs, persistence has paid off for Cantu. In baseball news, head coach Frank Cruz has been fired for violating NCAA rules on the amount of time his team can spend in activities directed or supervised by the coaching staff.