Idaho Gets Revenge in Moscow - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho Gets Revenge in Moscow

Stephen Madison and the Vandals got their revenge on New Mexico State on Thursday night. (Courtesy: Spencer Farrin) Stephen Madison and the Vandals got their revenge on New Mexico State on Thursday night. (Courtesy: Spencer Farrin)

by Idaho Athletics Media Relations

MOSCOW, Idaho – Less than a month ago New Mexico State handed Idaho its worst men’s basketball loss of the season, a 78-54 defeat in Las Cruces, N.M. But Idaho got revenge Thursday night with a 73-67 win over the Aggies in the Cowan Spectrum, Idaho’s first top-75 RPI win of the season.

Idaho’s 23-8 second-half run against the Aggies lasted 7:20 and gave the Vandals a lead they would never relinquish. Idaho pulled ahead 67-60 with less than four minutes to play and spend the rest of the game furiously fighting off the Aggies. New Mexico State pulled within four points with less than three minutes to play but never got any closer. Idaho improves to 9-14 overall and 3-6 in Western Athletic Conference play and gets a boost of confidence after a series of close defeats in league play. NM State falls to 17-8 and 6-3 in the WAC.

“I couldn’t be happier for the guys in the locker room,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “It’s always hard on your fans, it’s always hard on your coaching staff, but it’s really hard on the players to lose close games. Those are the guys putting in the work and I couldn’t be happier for those guys who’ve been busting their tails and everybody contributed tonight in a great win.”

The Vandals were led by senior Stephen Madison, who poured in 24 points and added eight rebounds and two steals. Madison’s 24 points move him into fifth-place on Idaho’s all-time scoring list with 1,335 points, passing Steve Weist’s (1973-76) 1,334 career points.

Freshman Sekou Wiggs came up one point shy of his career-high, finishing with 16 on 6-of-9 shooting, Mike Scott added 11 points, three rebounds and two assists, and Connor Hill added 10 points and three boards in the game.

Sophomore Paulin Mpawe played 10 minutes, all in the second half, and came up with four rebounds, including three momentous offensive boards.

Idaho shot 41.3 percent from the field while NM State connected on 47.5 percent of its shots, but the Vandals owned a 38-34 rebounding edge over the taller NM State team, and held a 16-12 advantage in second-chance points. Idaho also did a good job taking care of the basketball, finishing with just six turnovers -- one more than the team’s lowest total this season – and the Vandals had an 8-6 edge in points off turnovers.

“Guys just stepped into their shots with confidence and didn’t think about the end results,” Idaho senior Glen Dean said. “They just stepped up and knocked them down. Coach said all week just be aggressive, and that was everybody’s mentality the whole game and that freed up our minds.”

Dean finished with five points for Idaho, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:16 to play that gave the Vandals a 61-58 lead. Hill added to Idaho’s lead on its next possession with a 3-pointer of his own to put the Vandals ahead by six.

NM State was led by 20 points from Daniel Mullings while DK Eldrigde and Kevin Aronis each added 12 for the Aggies. Sim Bhullar, New Mexico State’s 7-foot-5 center finished with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting and added seven rebounds and five blocked shots.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Wiggs said of the challenge of facing Bhullar’s presence. “You’re trying to figure out a way to score over him. That doesn’t work. Then you try to go around him. That doesn’t work. It’s not impossible. He’s big, he’s a good player and a good shot-blocker and a presence down there, but there’s always a way that you can get around him or score over him. You just have to figure out those ways.”

Idaho wraps up its three-game home stand on Saturday when Texas-Pan American visits the Cowan Spectrum at 7 p.m. The last time the Vandals and Broncs got together Idaho won 86-85 in double-overtime. After that game Idaho will be on the road for five of its final six WAC games leading into the conference tournament Mar. 13-16 in Las Vegas, Nev.

“There’s no question it’s anybody’s conference,” Verlin said of the parity in the WAC. “I think the conference tournament is going to be anybody’s ball game. Most of our games are on the road but who know what could happen. There’s not a team that we can’t beat in this conference and not a team I don’t expect to beat. What we’ve got to do is keep getting better. I thought we played one of our better games and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

  • College

    • 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.

    • Bennie Seltzer returns to WSU as assistant basketball coach

      PULLMAN, Wash. – A former Cougar standout on the basketball court and 20-year coaching veteran, Bennie Seltzer returns to Pullman to join Ernie Kent's staff as an assistant men's basketball coach, Kent announced Friday.

    • 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...

    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).

    >>