Ogwumike propels Stanford past Washington State

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Lady Cardinal were able to roll past the Lady Cougs led by National Player of the Year candidate Chiney Ogwumike

With the industrial revolution well underway, people spend less time marking the seasons around the planting and harvest cycles that made up their livelihoods in agrarian societies. Nowadays, they are turning to the sports they follow in their leisure time to remind them of important anniversaries and dates that are probably not all that far around the corner. Saturday marked the first day of March, a month of national excitement in the sporting world because of its ongoing association with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

My personal favorite sporting month of the year is October. Pro and college football are in full swing, the MLB playoffs give you inning after inning of interesting and strategic baseball, and you can hear basketballs pounding gym floors everywhere as teams at almost all level are getting in their preseason workouts. However, March is a not too distant second to October in my book. March features the NCAA basketball tourneys, the reconvening of Cougar Football for Spring Camp, and the sounds of baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field or Rick Rizzs calling Cactus League baseball games on my car radio between errands.

March and October are interesting to me because they are months of seasonal sports transition. Certain sports are reaching their climax, while the settings and plots are just beginning to thicken in other sports. This seasonal transition was observable yesterday with several WSU sports from the different seasons either in action or receiving headlines.

Women’s Basketball

The WSU Women’s Basketball team faced a rather daunting task yesterday having to play their final regular season on the road at No. 5 Stanford. With the projected No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft and National Player of the Year candidate Chiney Ogwumike being honored on her Senior Day, the chances that the Lady Cougs would catch The Lady Cardinal sleeping were even further diminished.

Just over three weeks ago, Ogwumike, a four year starter, almost singlehandedly fought off a valiant upset bid by the Lady Cougs in Beasley Coliseum by pouring in 24 of her 36 total points in the second half. Her effort allowed the Cardinal to pull away from a 61-61 tie with 5:34 left to play to earn a 77-69 victory.

Unfortunately, Ogwumike never let the Cougs come that close yesterday. Scoring a game high 37 points and pulling in 13 rebounds, Ogwumike led Stanford to a 84-64 victory over the Lady Cougs. Leading the way for the Cougs was Lia Galdiera with 16 points and five rebounds. The loss dropped the Cougs to 15-15 (9-9) on the season. Sitting right at the .500 mark, the WSU Ladies will now head across the Cascades to compete in the Pac-12 tournament in KeyArena. Sitting right at the .500 mark, the WSU Ladies will now head across the Cascades to compete in the Pac-12 tournament in KeyArena.

A first round win against a Thursday opponent to be determined would secure a guaranteed.500 season that would make the Cougs postseason eligible for the first time since 1995. Hopefully, the Cougs will be able to rely on a supportive crowd of alumni in Seattle to help push the program towards this big step. If you haven’t had the chance to catch the Lady Cougs in person this year, do yourself the favor. They are really fun to watch.

Washington State Cougars vs. Stanford Cardinal - Box Score - March 01, 2014 - ESPN
NCAA Women's Basketball Box Score: Final statistics from the Washington State Cougars vs. Stanford Cardinal game played on March 01, 2014

Baseball

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

Those are the words of Albert Hammond, whose 1972 hit "It Never Rains in Southern California" peaked on the Billboard Top 100 at No. 5. While some music critics may dismiss Hammond as just another soft pop singer in a decade when the genre flourished, the reality is that he offered a lot of insight on this weekend’s baseball series between WSU and California State Northridge.

Rain prohibited the Cougars and the Matadors from taking the field on Saturday for a second consecutive rainout. A doubleheader is scheduled for Sunday with the opening pitch at 10:00 am. Even if both games are played Sunday, the series will be shortened to three games.

The rain is a setback for a Cougar team that frankly needs to be on the field right now finding its rhythm before heading into Pac-12 play. WSU is sitting on a 1-6 record after Thursday’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of CSNU in 10 innings. The positive from that game for WSU was the starting pitching of Jason Monda, who only gave up four hits and two walks in 6.2 innings of shutout baseball. Unfortunately, WSU’s offense did not put any runs up on the board until the ninth inning to force extra innings and the defense committed five errors in the game to allow the Matadors to walk away victorious. Today is a big day for WSU to right the ship before heading home next Friday to play a very good Texas State squad.

Saturday Baseball Postponed - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
A doubleheader is scheduled, Sunday.

Adam Conley Earns Spring Training Win - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Former Cougar is in big league camp with Miami.

Track and Field

Jorgensen Wins 800m at MPSF T&F Champs - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Jesse Jorgensen out-kicked a prestigious field to win the MPSF men's 800m Saturday.

Swimming

Washington State Stays in Eighth - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The final day of the Pac-12 Championships will begin Saturday at 10 a.m.

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