Idaho beats Santa Clara to advance in Great Alaska Shootout - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Idaho beats Santa Clara to advance in Great Alaska Shootout

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – It took another come-from-behind effort but Idaho got it done in the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout, defeating Santa Clara 69-59.  The Vandals will take on the winner of CSU-Bakersfield and Alaska-Anchorage on Friday night at 9 p.m. Pacific.
Both teams got out to slow starts, with neither team able to take much of a lead in the first half.  Perrion Callandret would lead the way for Idaho in the opening frame with nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc, as the Vandals took a 25-24 lead into the break.
The teams went back-and-forth to start the second half before Santa Clara took control.  The Broncos would lead by as many as 10 in the second half, before the Vandals made their comeback.
Idaho chipped away at the lead, eventually cutting the deficit to 57-55 on a free throw from Callandret with 6:13 to play.  Santa Clara hit a layup one minute later to go up 59-55, and then the Vandal defense took over.
Idaho didn't allow another point the rest of the way, closing on a 14-0 run.  Victor Sanders got it started with an 8-0 run of his own, on two free throws and two 3's.  Nate Sherwood hit a layup, followed by some free throws from Sanders and Callandret to ice the win, 69-59.
Sanders finished the night with a game-high 24 points in just 25 minutes.  Brayon Blake, also battling foul trouble, finished with eight points and nine boards.
Idaho was outstanding shooting the ball, finishing the night 22-of-48 (45.8%) from the floor and 11-of-20 (55%) from range.  The Vandals, as has been the case all season long, won the battle of the boards, 33-27.
The Idaho defense was stellar, holding Santa Clara to 38 percent (19-of-50) from the floor and 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from 3-point range.  The squads finished tied with 12 turnovers, despite Idaho committing 10 in the first half.
Perrion Callandret.  Callandret finished with a season-high 20 points and a career-best seven assists.  He finished the night 5-of-5 from beyond the arc, tying the Idaho record for makes in a game without a miss.  Callandret held things together for the Vandals while Sanders and Blake battled foul trouble and provided the spark early when both teams were struggling to score.
Callandret's 5-of-5 performance ties Stephen Madison (2/14/13) and Mauro Gomes (1/21/89) for the most makes without a miss in program history.
Victor Sanders knocked down his 200th career 3-pointer, becoming only the second Vandal ever to do so.  Connor Hill has the most 3's in program history with 340.
Idaho dropped its opening round game in its only other appearance at the Great Alaska Shootout, in 1991.  The Vandals lost to New Orleans before beating Coastal Carolina that year.  Idaho fell to host Alaska-Anchorage in the final game.
First of all, I'm very proud of our guys.  They fought and fought like crazy, especially in that last 8-10 minutes of the game.  We hadn't guarded them very well in the second half and then we really locked it down.
We had a number of guys step up and have great defensive performances.  I thought Jordan Scott was extremely good defensively in the second half, keeping it out of Caruso's hands at the post and keeping him in front of us.  I thought he was doing a lot of damage early.  I thought Perrion Callandret was extra special on Feagin who is a tough guard, a tough matchup.  And really it comes down to our defensive rebounding, and all game long I thought Brayon Blake gave us a good lift rebounding the basketball.
Well Perrion's a good player.  I knew this was going to happen, it was just a matter of when.  It was nice to see him knock off the rust and make some shots.  He's had a number of practices like this, it was just a matter of time.
Fans can stay up-to-date on all things Idaho men's basketball by following the team on twitter, @VandalHoops.  Tickets are on sale for what is shaping up to be an exciting season of Vandal basketball, get yours today at

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit  Fans can also find Idaho on Twitter and Instagram, @Idaho_Vandals, or on Facebook by searching Idaho Vandals.

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