Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Morning Placekicker: Nursing the Zag blues, a big win at Eastern, 'hawks are back

Posted By and on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

RYAN SULLIVAN PHOTO
  • Ryan Sullivan photo
So here's a fact: The Gonzaga men's basketball team's last two losses came at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats.

Those losses didn't feel the same. Not at all. The one last March was a 23-point beatdown that was over by halftime. Saturday's loss, though, was different. Oh man, it was different. Zag fans can still feel it down in their gut at the mere mention of the overtime loss. It was one of those defeats that your mind won't let go of.

The thinking goes something like this: How did they give up those layups down the stretch? What about that last possession in overtime? What the hell was Sabonis doing when he double dribbled? Isn't that, like, fourth grade stuff? And the air ball free throw that could have prolonged the game? How does that happen? Why have you forsaken me, Gods of Basketball? Why do the Zags always struggle in big games like this? We might as well give up now.

Calm down, Zag Nation. Things are going to be fine. That was a very, very good team that's only going to get better and is likely to run the tables in the Pac-12 (except if a surging Utah team has anything to say about it). That loss is not a bad one, at least in the grand scheme of things. Yes a win would have been a hell of a lot nicer, but look, the Zags didn't even slip in the polls! Kevin Pangos still is growing a great head of hair! The guys are back in action on Wednesday night in the Spokane Arena against Washington State (8 pm on ESPNU if you didn't snag a ticket).

That one might still hurt, but you need to move on.

EAGLES ROLL
Playing in dreadful conditions (38 degrees and raining, the scientifically verified most disgusting weather phenomenon) the Eastern Washington footballing organization began its roll toward the Football Championship Subdivision national championship by knocking out regional rival Montana by a score of 37-20.

Vernon Adams tossed for an uncharacteristically low 182 yards, which was good enough to put him over the 10,000-yard mark for his career. Reminder: Adams is only a junior and has another year to add on to that total. The dude is going to have some insane numbers by the time he's done playing out in Cheney.

The win takes the Eagles to the quarterfinals where they'll meet Illinois State at EWU's Roos Field at 1 pm on Saturday. As of the time we published this, there were still tickets available. 

HOW SEAHAWKS GOT THEIR GROOVE BACK
By winning games, obviously. But not just winning games, really, but doing so in a manner that convinces a country of naysayers that the Seahawks are back in championship mode and are coming to eliminate their opponents' histories of ever existing on this planet if they don't get the hell out of the way.

Seattle won at Philadelphia 24-14 yesterday against an Eagles team that a lot of people think might be headed to the Super Bowl. But that score is misleading, given that the Hawks all but gift wrapped a touchdown for the Eagles thanks to a rare miscue by World's Greatest Punter John Ryan, leading to a fumble. And the Seahawks could have scored even more if Marshawn Lynch hadn't fumbled.

The Seahawks defense made butt-fumbling quarterback Mark Sanchez invisible and held the team's offense to less than 200 yards, a rarity for a Chip Kelly-coached team. At one point I think I saw Kam Chancellor take the very will from an Eagles kick returner and stomp it beneath his feet. You'd think this is all hyperbole, but it's not. The Seahawks are back and they're coming for you.

They play the 49ers in Seattle next Sunday. The 12s will be in full force.

WOMEN ZAGS WIN
Perhaps like the rest of Zag Nation, the players for the women's team were still a bit blue about the ending of the men's game Saturday when their own tip-off arrived Sunday afternoon, because it's hard to remember an uglier start to a game at any level.

There's cold shooting, and then there's what the Gonzaga women were doing Sunday. They opened the game on an 0-for-16 streak that would have buried them if they competition were someone better than 1-6 Portland St. The Vikings had shooting issues of their own, opening up with a 1-11 shooting clip themselves. The one positive is that it was a relatively foul-free game, so even though it was roughly 2-1 halfway through the first half, at least the bricks were coming quickly, not between missed foul shots. The shoddy shooting led the Bulldogs to grab a season-high 52 boards on the day.

The Bulldogs eventually got hot from 3, surging to a 32-12 halftime lead and pulling away from there to win 73-41. Elle Tinkle played well in front of her visiting pop, Oregon State men's coach Wayne Tinkle, scoring 10 and adding 12 rebounds.

Next up, the streaking WSU Cougars in the Kennel on Tuesday at 6 pm. 

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