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The day after the Utah loss

The Cougars held in early, but couldn't hang with the Utes.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Following a 3-1 start to conference play, WSU is back to .500 in Pac-12 action after losing to Utah on Wednesday night. We knew it would be a tough test going into the game against the No. 12 team in the country and while WSU matched the Utes early, Utah's depth and overall talent eventually shined through.

The Cougars ran into issues defensively, especially during a rough stretch in the first half when WSU attempted to employ a zone defense. It worked on the first couple of possessions, but then the Utes shredded it. Ernie Kent discussed the defensive strategy and effort after the game.

From all appearances -- and barring major improvement in the zone -- WSU's best chance of not giving up easy shots is to play man defense. It will be interesting to see how Kent proceeds. He stuck with the zone despite it not working for long stretches on Wednesday. Maybe he will still try to work it in, or maybe at some point he'll determine it's just not working with this group and stick to man defense.

We might find out in a few days when WSU travels to play Colorado on Saturday.

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Men's basketball:

Taylor leads No. 12 Utah to victory over Washington State | Reuters
Much of the spotlight in Utah's backcourt has belonged to senior guard Delon Wright this season. Wright's all-around play is a big reason why the Utes have climbed the ladder in the Pac-12 season.

Utah routs Washington State | Cougar Basketball | The Seattle Times
Brandon Taylor had 18 points and seven assists, and Delon Wright added 17 points and eight assists to help No. 12 Utah beat Washington State 86-64 on Wednesday night.

No. 12 Utah Utes bounce back with rout of Washington State Cougars | FOX Sports
Almost everyone in college basketball by now knows about Utah's player of the year contender, Delon Wright. They might forget about the "little warrior."

Football:

Former Saginaw High, U-M standout Roy Manning lands on his feet at Washington State | MLive.com
Former Saginaw High and University of Michigan standout Roy Manning landed on his feet Sunday when Washington State added the former Michigan coach to its coaching staff.

Women's basketball:

Cougars women's team loses leading rebounder to injury
Washington State center Shalie Dheensaw will miss the rest of the season after suffering a right knee injury last Friday at Oregon State.