By Drew Lawson
The Times 

Area sports roundup-Dec. 31 issue


Last updated 12/31/2020 at 1:09pm

Courtesy Gonzaga Athletics

Gonzaga senior wing Corey Kispert glides to the hoop for a layup against Northwestern State. Kispert won WCC Player of the Week after several strong performances last week, including a 32-point output against Virginia.

Some won awards. Some tied school records. Many won their contests. It was a successful week for area sports teams and many individual athletes...especially for those playing hoops in Spokane and Pullman.

Oh, and the Seahawks clinched the NFC West thanks to an outstanding defensive effort against the Sean McVay-coached Rams, which had historically been a thorn in Pete Carroll's side.

The game included an interception thrown by Rams quarterback Jared Goff that was such a bad throw, local Davenport and Reardan quarterbacks started warming up immediately at home, expecting a call from McVay the next week.

"Maybe eight-man 2B football should be my next coaching move," McVay likely thought.

Not a bad week to be a Northwest sports fan.

Here's a rundown of what occurred for many of the Eastern Washington teams.

WSU football

PAC-12 award season honored two Cougars that were named to the All-Conference Second Team: right tackle Abraham Lucas and punter Oscar Draguicevich III. Nine were named All-Conference Honorable Mention: Wide receivers Renard Bell and Travell Harris, defensive backs Daniel Isom and Jaylen Watson, center Brian Greene, left tackle Liam Ryan, edge Brennan Jackson and kicker Blake Mazza.

WSU men's basketball

The Cougars won their lone contest last week, a 62-52 victory over Northwestern State. WSU improved to a perfect 8-0 on the season while failing to lose a nonconference game...all of which were played at home.

Freshman Efe Abogidi led the Cougars with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He was subsequently named PAC-12 Player of the Week.

Wazzu tips off conference play this week, with two more home games against Arizona State and Arizona on Dec. 31 and Jan. 2.

WSU women's basketball

The Cougars pulled away from EWU for a comfortable 76-52 victory Dec. 22 in WSU's only game last week. Four players scored in double figures, with Ula Motuga pacing Cougs with 13 points. Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 12 points. She was named PAC-12 Freshman of the Week for the second time this season.

WSU opens PAC-12 play this week with a New Year's Day visit to Utah and a Jan. 3 trip to Colorado. The Cougars will look to ride the momentum of a successful 4-1 start to the season.

Gonzaga men's basketball

What got into Corey Kispert against Virginia?

The senior wing tied a school record by knocking down nine three-pointers on 13 attempts during a career-high 32 point effort against No. 15 Virginia on Dec. 26, as the No. 1 Zags cruised past Tony Bennett's Cavaliers 98-75.

Kispert's 32 points were the third-most against Bennett's Virginia teams in the last 10 years. He was named WCC Player of the Week.

Lost in the hype of Kispert's standout performance was a career-high 29 points from Drew Timme.

Coupled with Dec. 22 and Dec. 28 victories over Northwestern State and Northern Arizona, Gonzaga easily moved to an 8-0 start to the season. Freshman Jalen Suggs won WCC Freshman of the Week.

The Bulldogs' game against Dixie State Dec. 29 occurred after press time. Next up for the Zags is the start of conference play, with a home game against San Francisco Jan. 2.

Gonzaga women's basketball

The Bulldog women got off to a good start in WCC play with a narrow 68-65 victory at Loyola Marymount in the Zags' lone contest last week Dec. 28. No. 23 Gonzaga improved to 6-2 this season.

The seniors were paramount for Gonzaga. Jill Townsend led with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Jenn Wirth added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Three more games are on the tilt this week for the Bulldogs, including a Dec. 30 contest at Pepperdine that occurred at press time. Additionally, Gonzaga is set to take on St. Mary's Jan. 2 and Pacific Jan. 4. Both games are at home.

EWU men's basketball

EWU didn't play last week amidst a 12-day gameless stretch following a conference-season-opening dub over Northern Arizona Dec. 19.

The Eagles open conference home play with two matchups against Portland State Dec. 31 and Jan. 2.

EWU women's basketball

The Eagles lost their lone contest last week in Pullman at Washington State. Liberty (Spangle) product Maisie Burnham had a career-high 16 points for the Eagles, which open conference play with two games in the Rose City Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 at Portland State.

– Don't see a team you want covered in the area sports roundup? Email reporter Drew Lawson at

Author Bio

Drew Lawson, Reporter

Drew Lawson is a reporter and sports writer for Free Press Publishing, including the Cheney Free Press and Davenport Times. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.

Phone: 15092356184


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