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Cougars can't keep pace, fall to Ducks

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It was nice for a half!

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. The Cougar Men's Basketball team faced its biggest test of the season Saturday night, when the 15th-ranked Oregon Ducks came to Pullman. This was clearly a giant step up in competition compared to previous conference foes Washington and Oregon State, and that would be reflected in the final tally. It wasn't exactly a blowout, as you'll see.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair, and when Ike Iroegbu hit a three-pointer with 13:44 to go, WSU took a 16-15 lead. That's when things got a little weird. While going for a rebound, Oregon's Dillon Brooks lost his balance and fell to the floor. Here's what happened next (the play in question begins around the 20-second mark):

So, uh, are we trying to take Grayson Allen's bush league act to another level or something? The officials assessed Brooks a Flagrant Foul 2, which meant Brooks was a goner. Brooks' ejection was a big deal, as it removed a guy averaging nearly 14 points-per-game. WSU took advantage, eventually building a 28-22 lead on a Malachi Flynn three-pointer with eight minutes left. Oregon steadily chipped away, and the teams headed to the locker room tied at 37.

While there was a glimmer of hope that the Cougs could pull off their biggest upset in quite some time, it was going to take a monumental effort. Welp. The Cougs managed to hang in there for about eight minutes, and when Josh Hawkinson put back a Conor Clifford miss, WSU was within three points at 53-50. That's as close as they would get, as Oregon's Chris Boucher decided he'd had about enough.

In the span of five minutes, Boucher's actions went like this: three-pointer, dunk, three-pointer, three-pointer, dunk, three-pointer. It's one thing when a guy is raining threes or getting inside for dunks. When the same guy is doing both, the opponent is in big trouble. Between the span of two TV timeouts (at 11:32 and 3:10), the score went from 55-50 to 80-58. That, my friends, is a textbook way to put your foot on the gas and bury an inferior opponent. All told, Oregon outscored WSU 48-29 in the second half.

Four of WSU's five starters scored in double figures, led by Iroegbu's 12 points. The only starter who didn't break the 10-point barrier was Clifford, who made up for it by fouling out in 21 minutes. Boucher came off the bench to lap the field in scoring, pouring in 29 points in 25 minutes, on 11-15(!!!) shooting. He also contributed eight rebounds.

Despite the fact that Oregon ended up covering the 15-point spread, the game wasn't your typical blowout, and WSU showed a good amount of fight. Oregon is just far more talented, and will probably make a pretty deep run in the NCAA tournament, so long as their guys stop kicking opponents in the pills.

The Cougars will take the court at Stanford Thursday night at 8 p.m. The Cardinal sit at 0-3 in the Pac-12, which will almost certainly turn to 0-4 at the conclusion of the UCLA game Sunday afternoon. Led by new coach Jared Haase (I had to Google that), Stanford presents a good opportunity for WSU to win its third Pac-12 game in four tries. The game will air on the Pac-12 Networks, which is in 61 million fewer homes than ESPNU.

Basketball

Chris Boucher leads No. 15 Oregon to win over Washington State | The Spokesman-Review
The Cougars led by as much as six points over the Ducks, who return nearly everyone from last year’s Elite Eight team, and the teams were tied at 37 at halftime.

Oregon Ducks pull away from Washington State Cougars in second half; Dillon Brooks ejected early | Oregon Ducks Basketball | Eugene, Oregon
Chris Boucher picked up the offense in Brooks’ absence with a career-high 29 points, including 6-for-9 on three-pointers, to go with a team-high eight rebounds.

Beer

Best beer I had this week - My slow descent into the craft beer abyss has really picked up steam of late. CougCenter's resident beer shaman and beard non-colorer Craig Powers told me that most breweries are active on Instagram. As a result, I joined Instagram for the sole purpose of finding out what new/rare beer is available around here. Probably not the best move.

Funky Buddha, a brewery based near Fort Lauderdale, turns out some really great stuff. Among their best is Last Snow, a coconut coffee porter. A couple weeks ago, they announced a very limited release of Last Buffalo in the Park, a version of Last Snow aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Had. To. Try.

Several days of checking Untappd and Instagram produced a couple leads, but I never got a chance at either a draft pour or a bottle. That changed Saturday, when my go-to beer store got a keg. I was there when the place opened (did I mention my descent has picked up steam?) and finally tried it. It is amazing. Prior to that, a bit of research on the Funky Buddha website told me that Last Buffalo was available in bottles at a liquor store nearby, so we went there after we left the beer place.

I went into the store and straight to the Funky Buddha shelf. Nothing. Disappointment again set in. The nice lady behind the counter asked if there was anything I was looking for. I told her, and she pulled this up from behind the counter:

Finally. Finally.

A photo posted by Patrick Kendall (@deathby105) on

I can't be the only person who finds it odd that people keep freaking beer hidden behind the counter, but something tells me this happens from time to time. Either way, my first journey to find a rare beer was rewarded.

It's Time for America to Thank Buffalo Wild Wings for Craft Beer | VinePair
Buffalo Wild Wings is probably more often associated with the kinds of big American lagers you’d expect to find at a casual dining and sports bar franchise. But if Bud is the beer you’d associate with Buffalo Wild Wings, you’d be wrong.

Gambling

How I used maths to beat the bookies | 1843
To the uninitiated, the world of online betting can be somewhat overwhelming.