Vandals Dismantle Aggies For Fifth Win In Six Tries - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Vandals Dismantle Aggies For Fifth Win In Six Tries

MOSCOW – Ali Forde scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting Thursday night as the Idaho women's basketball team got its fifth win in its last six games, a 72-53 victory over New Mexico State.

"It feels pretty good to be honest," the freshman from Woodinville, Wash., said of her career mark. "I made all my layups for once, but I got a bunch of really good passes so I've got to give it to my teammates."

The Vandals shot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the field and held NMSU to just 29.7 percent shooting. It was the seventh time in 12 WAC games Idaho's opponent failed to score more than 60 points, and the fifth time a Vandal opponent shot 30.0 percent or less from the field. New Mexico State's Stefanie Gilbreath scored a game-high 21 points but needed 26 shots to do it, going 9-of-26 from the field.

"Defensively we were extremely solid tonight, stuck right to the plan," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "Gilbreath is always going to get hers. We wanted to make her a volume shooter, and we did tonight. She had 21 points so it's kind of weird for me to say Jess (Graham) and Ali did a good job on her, but they did. They did a really good job on her, she's just at times unstoppable and we had to just keep running those two at her. I'm happy. If she's going to take 26 shots and only score 21 points, that works for us."

Idaho improves to 11-12 on the season with the win and 8-4 in the Western Athletic Conference, while New Mexico State lost for the eighth straight time, falling to 9-14 overall and 3-9 in WAC play.

Junior Alyssa Charlston scored 14 points for Idaho, going 6-for-11 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Freshman Christina Salvatore added 12 points, all in the first half, as she connected on all four of her first-half 3-point attempts. Senior Jessica Graham, who averages 5.6 points per game this season, scored in double-figures for the third time in her last four games, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.

"I told her yesterday that this is the best stretch that she's ever played for us," Newlee said of Graham. "She just gives us such a huge life coming off the bench. She's usually out there really early in the game and our leads seem to grow, or if we're behind we seem to take the lead. She's really embraced that roll of coming in and giving us that spark we need."

Freshman Connie Ballestero added six points, five assists and three rebounds in the game, and committed just one turnover. Her 1.97 assist to turnover ratio entering the game was second-best in the WAC.

New Mexico State's only lead in the game came 20 seconds in at 2-0. Idaho responded with a 7-0 run and took its first double-digit lead at 20-10 with 12:29 to play in the first half. The Aggies cut that lead to eight points, but Idaho built it back to 14 at halftime and led by double-digits the entire second half. Idaho's largest lead of the night was a 23-point advantage at 49-26 with just over 15 minutes to play.

Despite giving up 19 offensive rebounds, Idaho out-rebounded the Aggies 42-40. The Vandals finished with 17 assists on their 30 made shots and turned the ball over just 10 times, the second fewest of the season for the team.

The Vandals will have a chance to get to .500 for the first time all season when they welcome Denver to the Cowan Spectrum for a 2 p.m. tip on Saturday. Just five weeks ago Idaho was six games under .500, with a 3-9 record before its win on Jan. 3.

"We keep talking game-by-game," Newlee said. "You've got to defend home court and then take your chances on the road. Every game is huge, we know that. We want to keep winning and keep moving up the standings as best we can and know that March is coming."

  • College

    • Cougars Drop Series-Opener to No. 8 Stanford

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State dropped the series-opener with No. 8 Stanford 13-2 at Bailey-Brayton Field Thursday evening. The Cougars (24-27, 10-18 Pac-12) collected 10 hits led by junior Shane Matheny’s 3-for-4 performance, recording his third 3-hit game of the season. WSU also received two-hit games from sophomore shortstop Andres Alvarez, junior Cory Meyer and junior left fielder Blake Clanton. Meyer and Clanton each drove in a run in the ninth. S...

    • Offensive Surge Pushes Zags into Winner’s Bracket at WCC Tournament

      STOCKTON, Calif.—It took a few innings, but the Bulldog offense hit top gear Thursday afternoon, propelling the top-seeded Gonzaga baseball team past fourth-seed Saint Mary’s 11-3 and into the winners’ bracket of the West Coast Conference Championships at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. Saint Mary’s scored the game’s first runs, scoring twice in the top of the third off atypical wildness from GU starter Eli Morgan. Afte...

    • 7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas to play for Eagles

      Seven-foot center Benas Griciunas from UNC Charlotte will spend his senior season as a graduate transfer at Eastern Washington University and play for Shantay Legans, the new EWU head men's basketball coach announced Thursday (May 25).

    • Former Gonzaga player Vivian Frieson named NAU assistant coach

      FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women's basketball head coach Loree Payne completed her staff on Wednesday with former Gonzaga standout Vivian Frieson announced as assistant coach. "We're very excited to add Vivian to our coaching staff," Payne said. "The culture that she has been around playing at Gonzaga

    • Huskies host USC for final regular season series

      SEATTLE - Husky Ballpark will be abuzz starting Thursday as the Huskies have a big weekend in store for the final home series of the year. On the field, UW (26-25, 12-15 Pac-12) hosts USC (20-32, 7-20) in an important series, starting Thursday

    • No. 1 seeded Gonzaga begins WCC Championships against Saint Mary's

      This is the second time the Zags have been the championship’s top seed, also taking No. 1 in the very first tournament in 2013...Gonzaga has reached Banner Island Ballpark four times in the competition’s five-year history...Gonzaga and BYU are the only two schools to qualify for four WCC tournaments.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • IdahoIdahoMore>>

  • 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.

    >>
  • NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    The defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World SeriesThe defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World Series

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    >>

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    >>