New Mexico State Too Hot For Vandals - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New Mexico State Too Hot For Vandals

Head coach Don Verlin's Vandals couldn't get going in Las Cruces, N.M. on Saturday. Head coach Don Verlin's Vandals couldn't get going in Las Cruces, N.M. on Saturday.

by Idaho Athletics Media Relations

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The Idaho men’s basketball team was overmatched by New Mexico State in a 78-54 loss in Las Cruces, N.M., in Western Athletic Conference play on Saturday night.

The Aggies drained six of their first seven 3-pointers of the game and used a 16-0 run to open up a 20-point, 24-4, lead early and never allowed Idaho back within 10 points en route to their seventh straight victory, improving to 14-5 on the season and 3-0 in WAC play while the Vandals fall to 7-11 overall and 1-3 in the WAC.

“You’ve got to learn from this, this is the best team in our league,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “Our game-plan kind of backfired on us, they started out 6-for-7 from three, get the lead and it was never really a basketball game after that. I told our guys, this is what the best team in our league looks like. The thing that disappointed me is they were getting to the loose balls, the 50-50 balls.”

The Vandals shot just 34.6 percent from the field (18-of-52) and 28.6 percent from 3-point range (4-of-14). Idaho also gave the ball away 17 times and was out-rebounded 38-37 by the Aggies, including 15-13 on the offensive end, although the Vandals held a 17-16 edge in second-chance points. New Mexico State shot 42.2 percent (27-of-64) from the field, and 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from long distance.

“This is a very good New Mexico State team,” Verlin said. “They’re as good as advertised and when they shoot it like that they’re going to be awfully hard to beat.”

Idaho's 54 points are a season-low for the Vandals, and the 24-point loss is the largest margin of defeat of the season.

Mike Scott led Idaho with 12 points, including a 2-for-2 performance from long range and a 4-for-4 effort at the free throw line. Junior Bira Seck finished with nine points and nine rebounds for Idaho, coming up just shy of his third double-double of the season. Senior Stephen Madison failed to score in double figures for the first time in a month, finishing with nine points. He was last held below 10 points on Dec. 11 at Montana.

The Vandals return to Moscow for five out of their next games, beginning Jan. 16 against Utah Valley and continuing against Bakersfield on Jan. 18. Both games are at 7 p.m. in the Cowan Spectrum.

“It’ll be a tough game against Utah Valley,” Verlin. “Those are two big games for us as we’re sitting at 1-3 in the conference. It’s nice to get this trip out of the way and get a split. If you can get a split on every trip you’re doing alright.”

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Vandal Women Sign Australian Corrigan to NLI

    Vandal Women Sign Australian Corrigan to NLI

    The University of Idaho women’s basketball program signed one player to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday head coach Jon Newlee announced.Tayla Corrigan (Adelaide, Australia/Mineral Area College) will join the Vandals for the 2014-15 season.>>
    The University of Idaho women’s basketball program signed one player to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday head coach Jon Newlee announced.Tayla Corrigan (Adelaide, Australia/Mineral Area College) will join the Vandals for the 2014-15 season.>>
  • WSU Women's Basketball Signs Aussie to NLI

    WSU Women's Basketball Signs Aussie to NLI

    Washington State head women’s basketball coach June Daugherty announced that Louise Brown has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the program as a freshman next season. Brown, a 6-2 forward out of Park Orchards, Victoria, Australia...>>
    Washington State head women’s basketball coach June Daugherty announced that Louise Brown has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the program as a freshman next season. Brown, a 6-2 forward out of Park Orchards, Victoria, Australia...>>
  • EWU Basketball Signs Third-Ranked Californian Junior College Forward to NLI

    EWU Basketball Signs Third-Ranked Californian Junior College Forward to NLI

    Eastern Washington University added the final piece to its men’s basketball program with the addition of power forward Kyle Reid from Los Angeles Trade Tech Junior College. Eastern head coach Jim Hayford made the announcement Wednesday, April 16, after Reid signed a letter of intent to play for the Eagles and attend EWU.>>
    Eastern Washington University added the final piece to its men’s basketball program with the addition of power forward Kyle Reid from Los Angeles Trade Tech Junior College. Eastern head coach Jim Hayford made the announcement Wednesday, April 16, after Reid signed a letter of intent to play for the Eagles and attend EWU.>>
  • IdahoIdahoMore>>

  • Vandal Women Sign Australian Corrigan to NLI

    Vandal Women Sign Australian Corrigan to NLI

    The University of Idaho women’s basketball program signed one player to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday head coach Jon Newlee announced.Tayla Corrigan (Adelaide, Australia/Mineral Area College) will join the Vandals for the 2014-15 season.>>
    The University of Idaho women’s basketball program signed one player to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday head coach Jon Newlee announced.Tayla Corrigan (Adelaide, Australia/Mineral Area College) will join the Vandals for the 2014-15 season.>>
  • Idaho Football Completes Second Spring Scrimmage

    Idaho Football Completes Second Spring Scrimmage

    There were more gaudy numbers by the University of Idaho but in the ebb and flow of the Vandals’ second scrimmage of the spring, coach Paul Petrino saw some highlights from the defense as well.>>
    There were more gaudy numbers by the University of Idaho but in the ebb and flow of the Vandals’ second scrimmage of the spring, coach Paul Petrino saw some highlights from the defense as well.>>
  • Vandals Prep for Second Scrimmage

    Vandals Prep for Second Scrimmage

    Scrimmage No. 2 is only hours away for the University of Idaho football team and coach Paul Petrino heads into it with a good feeling after the first scrimmage last weekend and two solid practices in the books this week.>>
    Scrimmage No. 2 is only hours away for the University of Idaho football team and coach Paul Petrino heads into it with a good feeling after the first scrimmage last weekend and two solid practices in the books this week.>>