Vandals cruise to 30-point win over Western Michigan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Vandals cruise to 30-point win over Western Michigan

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – After a slow start for both sides Idaho took over and never looked back, cruising to the 82-52 victory over Western Michigan on the road.  The Vandals will now make the return trip to the Gem State to take on UC Irvine in Boise on Thursday night.
 
THE GAME
 
Both teams got out to slow starts, but it was Idaho that got things going midway through the first half.  The Vandals would slowly build its lead to double-digits before a quick run from WMU made it 20-14 with 4:47 to play in the half.  Idaho would take over from there, going on an 11-0 run before a late bucket from WMU made it 31-16 at the half.
 
The Vandals kept up the momentum into the second half, starting on an 8-0 run to continue building its lead.  The lead stayed in the 20's for most of the half, surging to 30-plus at times.
 
Idaho was incredible offensively after the opening minutes, finishing the night at 56.7% (17-of-30) from beyond the arc and 50% (28-of-56) from the floor.  Idaho was also dominant on the glass, outrebounding WMU 45-29.
 
The defense was tremendous as well, holding Western Michigan to 34.4% (21-of-61) from the floor and 21.4% (6-of-28) from deep.  The point guards, Perrion Callandret and Trevon Allen, did an exceptional job defending Thomas Wilder, one of the top players in the MAC.  The Vandals held Wilder to 4-of-18 shooting and just eight points, only the second time in two years that he's gone for fewer than 10 points.
 
Victor Sanders led the way for Idaho with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting.  He also made six 3-pointers, tying his season-high.  Brayon Blake added 19 points, connecting on all five of his 3-point attempts.
 
THE NAME
 
Jordan Scott.  Scott notched his first career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.  He also facilitated well, dishing out four assists.
 
THE NOTES
 
Idaho allowed just 16 points in the first half, the first time holding an opponent to less than 20 points in the first half since holding San Jose State to 18 points in the first to start the 2015-16 season.  The 16 points allowed are the fewest for an opponent in a first half since Montana State scored 16 on February 19, 2011, a 65-50 non-conference win for Idaho in Bozeman.
 
Idaho went 17-of-30 from beyond the arc, the most made 3's in a game against a Division I opponent since Don Verlin took over ahead of the 2008-09 season.
 
Sanders and Arkadiy Mkrtychyan made their 100th career appearances as Vandals.  Both are on pace to finish in the top-5 all-time at Idaho.
 
Jordan Scott tied a career-high with 13 rebounds and recorded his first career double-double.
 
Blake went 5-of-5 from beyond the arc, tying the school record for makes without a miss.  Perrion Callandret also achieved the feat, against Santa Clara, earlier in the year.  It is the fourth time in program history that a Vandal has gone 5-of-5 from 3-point range.
 
Sanders reached 20 points for the sixth time this season.  Idaho is 5-1 in those games.
 
Sanders moved into 6th in program history in scoring, passing Kyle Barone (1,433).  Next up is Connor Hill (1,508).
 
THE QUOTES
 
"We played extremely well, and obviously we shot the ball very well," said head coach Don Verlin.  "But I start with Perrion Callandret.  I was on Perrion and Trevon for the last two days for the job that they had to do on their best player, Wilder.  He's a guy who will probably play in the NBA and I thought Perrion especially, and Trevon as well, was just terrific against him.
 
"I thought that was a huge key early in the game, allowed us to get off to a great start.  Then I thought we were able to sustain that defensive intensity throughout.
 
"The next guy that jumps out to me is Jordan Scott.  I challenged our guys, rebounding-wise.  We talked about rebounding in the pregame and Jordan gets five offensive rebounds and Brayon Blake gets four offensive rebounds.  We needed those extra possessions tonight and those two guys helped us do that."
 
"We shot it extremely well.  It sure helps when you make shots.  We got a number of good looks.  I thought out ball moved really well tonight, we made the extra pass.  I thought that was the key."
 
Next up is the trip to Boise to take on UC Irvine at 7:30 p.m. MST on Thursday.
 
"What we hope to do is go down and show the Southern Vandals that this is a pretty good basketball team.  If we play like we did tonight we're a very good basketball team.  Come out and support us down there, we're looking forward to getting to Boise tomorrow afternoon."
 
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 GoVandals.com/Tickets.

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

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