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A crucial homestand coming up for Cougs

My husband and I are attending the Jan. 30 UW-WSU men's basketball game in Pullman. I've only been to one other Cougar men's basketball game — when Wazzu came to Sacramento in 2007 for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. My husband and I saw the victory over Oral Roberts, but we couldn't make the next game, which was just as well because Wazzu was eliminated by Vanderbilt. I didn't go to any games as a student because the Cougs showed few signs of life until my senior year, when Robbie Cowgill, Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver were freshmen. By then, I was busy working nights at the school paper, so 7 p.m. game times conflicted with my job.

Five and a half years after graduating, I finally will get my chance to see a Wazzu home contest. This season's team is plenty talented. Klay Thompson is outstanding nearly every game, transfer Faisal Aden has been a wonderful addition, and DeAngelo Casto, Reggie Moore, Brock Motum and Marcus Capers have had fantastic games. However, Wazzu's 3-3 Pac-10 mark is cause for concern. The Cougs should beat Arizona State on Thursday night, but their next two games are against the conference's top two teams, Arizona and UW.

Playing at home could tip the scale in Wazzu's favor. At Beasley Coliseum, the Cougs are 6-1 overall and 2-0 in Pac-10 play. Arizona and UW each have a conference road loss. Also, last year in Pullman, the Cougs beat the Wildcats by 18 and briefly held a second-half lead against UW before losing by seven.

If the Cougs drop both games, that would not bode well for their postseason prospects, especially considering they visit Arizona and UW next month. And right now, the Cougs have only one Pac-10 road win to their credit: a three-point victory over Stanford. Therefore, there's very little margin for error for the Cougs on this upcoming homestand.

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