Defense Leads to Idaho Win Over UTSA - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Defense Leads to Idaho Win Over UTSA

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In perhaps its best defensive effort of the season, the Idaho women's basketball team blocked 13 shots, allowed just 45 points, held UTSA to 27 percent shooting and grabbed 22 more rebounds than the Roadrunners in a dominating 64-45 Western Athletic Conference win Saturday night.

The win is Idaho's third straight and fourth WAC road win in as many tries, and the Vandals improve to 9-11 overall and 6-3 in the WAC. UTSA falls to 11-9 on the year and 5-4 in the WAC.

Four Idaho players scored in double figures, including 13 apiece from Christina Salvatore, Connie Ballestero and Jessica Graham. Salvatore and Graham each made three 3-pointers, and Ballestero added two. Alyssa Charlston had 11 points, six rebounds and five of Idaho's blocks, and she went 5-of-10 from the field. Ali Forde had five blocks as well and added 12 rebounds and four points.

"This was nothing but a total team effort, defensively and offensively, and I couldn't be prouder of them," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "UTSA has been playing pretty good lately, four wins in a row heading into tonight including knocking off (first-place) Seattle U."

Idaho shot 42.3 percent from the field in the game, and 50 percent, 10-for-20, from long range. On the other end, UTSA made only 16 of its 59 shots, and went 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from 3-point range. The 45 points scored by UTSA are the fewest for a Vandal opponent this season and its field goal percentage was the second lowest, while Idaho's 13 blocks are the most for the team this year. Idaho owned a 49-27 rebounding advantage, and outscored UTSA 9-4 in second-chance points.

"Our posts did a great job of defending without fouling," Newlee said. "We did a great job of interior defense tonight, and it was huge for us."

Graham, who had made just two 3-pointers all season entering Saturday, went 3-for-4 from long range. Ballestero's 2-for-2 3-point performance gives her five consecutive made 3s in Idaho's last two games, as she went 3-for-3 on Thursday at Texas State.

"I guess their theory was leave Ali and Jess alone, and Jess made them pay tonight," Newlee said of Graham. "She's confident out there for sure, and she if knows she is she's wide open out there she's got the green light."

Idaho scored the first five points of the game and didn't trail until UTSA pulled ahead 16-15 with 9:17 left in the first half. That lead was short lived, and turned out to be the sole Roadrunner advantage of the game. On the very next possession Ballestero made her first 3-pointer to put Idaho back on top. The teams were tied at 20-20 for more than three minutes when Idaho went on a 9-0 run towards the end of the half. UTSA got the last bucket of the period to go into the break trailing 29-22.

The Roadrunners cut Idaho's lead to as little as five points early in the second half, but a Graham free throw with 13:30 to play gave Idaho a 10 point lead, and the Vandals led by double figures the rest of the way. That lead grew for the remainder of the game, and got to as many as 21 with just more than a minute left.

"It was going to be a war, that's what UTSA wants it to be," Newlee said. "Our kids did a great job of keeping their composure as our lead grew. We buckled down defensively and did what we needed to do. We defended and rebounded extremely well."

Idaho is on the road again next week as it visits Utah State on Jan. 31 and San Jose State on Feb. 1 before returning home to host New Mexico State on Nov. 7 and Denver on Nov. 9.

  • College

    • Lewis-Clark State beats top-seeded Oklahoma City 8-7

      LEWISTON, Idaho –Top seed Oklahoma City and No. 5 seed Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) decided to flirt with disaster in their winner’s bracket game at the 61st annual Avista-NAIA World Series on Monday night.

    • Husky softball heading to Women's College World Series

      UW Athletics SEATTLE— Sixth seeded Washington punched its ticket to the Women's College World Series with a 2-1 victory over 11th seeded Utah on Sunday at Husky Softball Stadium.

      BYU bats blitz Bulldogs in WCC Championship

      Gonzaga Athletics STOCKTON, Calif.—The Gonzaga baseball team lost two games to BYU Saturday, falling in the West Coast Conference Championships at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton. Game One: No. 3 BYU 10, No. 1 Gonzaga 3 The Cougars forced the winner-take-all nightcap by jumping out to an early lead in game one. They scored four in the bottom half of the first inning on four hits. The first two batters reached via a pair of tough infield singles, and then Tanner Chauncey br...
    • Cougars drop season-finale to No. 8 Stanford on Senior Day

      by WSU Athletics PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State dropped a 15-1 decision to No. 8 Stanford in the season-finale in front of a season-high 1,776 fans at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday afternoon. Prior to the game, WSU recognized senior lefthanded pitcher Trenton Dupre, the only senior on the roster. The Cougars finished the season 24-29 overall and 10-20 in Pac-12 play, recording more overall wins from a year ago including four Pac-12 series wins and a . WSU finished the yea...
    • WSU’s 9th inning rally held off by No. 8 Stanford

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State put runners on first and second in ninth inning but No. 8 Stanford turned away the rally to post a 5-3 victory at Bailey-Brayton Field Friday afternoon.   The Cougars (24-28, 10-19 Pac-12) put runners on with one out in the ninth but the Cardinal (39-14, 20-9 Pac) ended the game with a strikeout and groundout.

    • Gonzaga one win away from a NCAA Tournament berth

      STOCKTON, Calif.--A host of scouts came out to Friday's WCC Championships game between top-seeded Gonzaga and second-seed Loyola Marymount to see LMU starter Cory Abbott Friday afternoon, but it was Gonzaga starter Justin Vernia who stole the show as he powered the Zags to a 3-1 win and a berth in the tournament title game.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • IdahoIdahoMore>>

  • Lewis-Clark State beats top-seeded Oklahoma City 8-7

    Lewis-Clark State beats top-seeded Oklahoma City 8-7

    Courtesy: NAIA World SeriesCourtesy: NAIA World Series

    LEWISTON, Idaho –Top seed Oklahoma City and No. 5 seed Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) decided to flirt with disaster in their winner’s bracket game at the 61st annual Avista-NAIA World Series on Monday night.

    >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho –Top seed Oklahoma City and No. 5 seed Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) decided to flirt with disaster in their winner’s bracket game at the 61st annual Avista-NAIA World Series on Monday night.

    >>
  • Idaho's Victor Sanders returns for senior season

    Idaho's Victor Sanders returns for senior season

    Courtesy: Idaho AthleticsCourtesy: Idaho Athletics

    MOSCOW, Idaho – After working out with a handful of NBA teams, junior guard Victor Sanders has elected to return to Idaho for his senior season in 2017-18.   He led the Vandals with 20.9 points per game a season ago, helping Idaho to a Big Sky Tournament Semifinal appearance and a first round win in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

    >>

    MOSCOW, Idaho – After working out with a handful of NBA teams, junior guard Victor Sanders has elected to return to Idaho for his senior season in 2017-18.   He led the Vandals with 20.9 points per game a season ago, helping Idaho to a Big Sky Tournament Semifinal appearance and a first round win in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

    >>
  • Lewis-Clark State College earns No. 5 seed in Avista NAIA World Series

    Lewis-Clark State College earns No. 5 seed in Avista NAIA World Series

    Courtesy: LCSC AthleticsCourtesy: LCSC Athletics

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The LCSC baseball now knows its path to a third-consecutive title and 19th overall National Championship.   The Warriors were named the No. 5 Seed in the 10-team 2017 Avista NAIA Baseball World Series. They will play No. 4 Keiser at 7 p.m. on Friday May 26.   LCSC finished the regular season with an overall record of 35-13.

    >>

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The LCSC baseball now knows its path to a third-consecutive title and 19th overall National Championship.   The Warriors were named the No. 5 Seed in the 10-team 2017 Avista NAIA Baseball World Series. They will play No. 4 Keiser at 7 p.m. on Friday May 26.   LCSC finished the regular season with an overall record of 35-13.

    >>