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WSU men’s and women’s basketball set for rivalry matchups on the Palouse

The Cougar men are set to renew one of the longest running basketball rivalries in the country, while the women are set for a grudge match of their own.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougar men started fast and fell flat in their last game. The Cougar women started slow and but find themselves on a winning streak. Tonight, they’ll both look to pick up big wins on the Palouse.

A lot has been made of the start the WSU men have made this season. They started 6-0 for the first time since Klay Thompson was in Pullman. But then, Saturday happened. The Cougs lost to UC Davis 81-67, and they didn’t look good doing it (with the exception of Robert Franks of course). Now, it’s time to see what the Cougs are really made of against a very good Idaho team. The Vandals are 5-2 and return an experienced squad that was picked to win the Big Sky this season.

And, of course, this is a rivalry matchup — and one of the longest running ones in the nation. This season will mark the 112th consecutive year that the Cougs and Vandals have met on the hardwood, the sixth-longest continuous rivalry in the country (and the longest outside of the Ivy League). Overall, it’s the 273rd meeting, with Washington State holding the 163-109 edge.

It should be interesting to see how the Cougs bounce back from Saturday’s loss. Fans in the Spokane/Pullman/Moscow market can watch on SWX (channel 6.2 over the air or 112 on Comcast). Fans everywhere else can watch on something called Pluto.TV or WatchBigSky.com.

As for the women, hopes were high coming into the season. They were picked 7th in the preseason poll. Some, including Head Coach June Daugherty, thought they would overachieve. But so far, the haven’t. The Cougs started the season by losing 4 of their first 5 games. While those games weren’t exactly gimmes (the schedule included two ranked teams), they looked pretty bad at time, including getting shutout in the first quarter against UCF.

But recently, the WSU women have been on a roll. Since that lackluster performance in Florida, they’ve won four in a row. Wednesday night, for the third straight game, the Cougs are back at home looking for a fifth straight against their Eastern Washington rivals from Gonzaga.

The matchup will be the 29th meeting between the Cougs and Zags and, so far, Washington State has dominated. The Cougs are 20-8 all time against GU (although the Gonzaga notes have the record at 18-8, which would make this the 27th meeting... But whatever), but the Bulldogs have owned the series recently winning 3 of the last 5 matchups.

The Zags are 4-3 on the season and are coming off of a pair of Big Sky wins at home against Portland State and Eastern Washington.

Tip off is set for 7 o’clock with TV coverage on the Pac-12 Network.

(Also, it’s apparently national cotton candy day. The first 200 students at the game get free cotton candy. So... Get there early?)

Basketball

Washington State, Idaho bring contrasting styles, winning records into 273rd Battle of the Palouse | The Spokesman-Review
Wednesday’s game is the 273rd between the border rivals and marks the 113th consecutive season the teams have met. WSU holds the series lead at 163-109.

Washington State, Gonzaga women approach rivalry game with multiple goals | The Spokesman-Review
Zykera Rice might be the only one who thinks this is just another ballgame.

Football

Hercules Mata’afa, Cody O’Connell lead Washington State’s All-Pac-12 honorees; Mata’afa loses DPOY to UW’s Vita Vea | The Spokesman-Review
Of the nine Cougars recognized, Mata’afa and O’Connell were the only ones named to the first team. Safety Jalen Thompson, offensive tackle Cole Madison and kicker Erik Powell were recognized on the second team while offensive tackle Andre Dillard, quarterback Luke Falk, running back Jamal Morrow and linebacker Frankie Luvu all drew honorable mention.

5 Huskies, 2 Cougars make first-team All-Pac-12 | Sportspress Northwest
Washington placed five players on the All-Pac-12 first team and Washington State contributed two. Six Huskies and three Cougars made the second team.

USC football player won't face charges from postgame incident at Washington State – LA Times
Vicki I. Podberesky, the attorney for Liam Jimmons, said she received a letter Tuesday from the Whitman County prosecutor's office declining to file charges.

Know Thy (Future) Enemy: Michigan State

Scouting Report: Washington State Cougars - The Only Colors
Michigan State and Washington State meet on Dec. 28 in the Holiday Bowl

Bowl experience, shot at 10th win 'very important' to MSU
Michigan State was one of the youngest teams in the country this season, so every practice counts.