Vandals start of Big Sky play with 17-point win over North Dakot - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Vandals start of Big Sky play with 17-point win over North Dakota

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

GRAND FORKS, N. D. – Idaho got going early and often on Friday night, taking down the defending Big Sky Champions, North Dakota, 74-57, in the conference opener.
Idaho got up big in the first half behind some incredible defense.  The Vandals held the Fighting Hawks to 28 percent shooting from the floor and 11 percent from range in the first half, turning UND over 14 times in the opening 20 minutes.
The Vandals also shot well early on, connecting on 6-of-14 from deep to take a 35-18 lead into the break.
Things were much of the same in the second half as Idaho held on to its 20-point lead for most of the frame.   The Vandals went to Brayon Blake and Nate Sherwood late, pounding the Fighting Hawks down low to seal the game.
Three Vandals scored in double-figures, led by Perrion Callandret with 13.  Blake added 12, while Victor Sanders finished with 11 points.  Chad Sherwood was strong off the bench, connecting on 3-of-4 from beyond the arc to finish with nine points.
Perrion Callandret.  Callandret led the way for Idaho with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.  He also added three rebounds, two assists and two steals.   Callandret was also strong early, providing a pair of sparks in the form of explosive dunks for the Vandals.
Chad Sherwood connected on 3-of-4 from range, moving into a tie for seventh in program history with 137 career 3's.
Idaho has now won nine of its last 10 games that it hits at least 10 3's, including a 4-1 mark this season.
Idaho also won its Big Sky opener during the 2015-16 season, also at North Dakota (74-71).
"We were excellent defensively tonight, I couldn't be prouder of our guys," said head coach Don Verlin.  "We came in here and did what we needed to do, we took them out of their transition today.  I have to give credit to coach Earlywine for his game plan.  We slowed them down and took advantage.
"And it's another outstanding game for Perrion Callandret.  Two marquee opponents at the point, against Western Michigan and tonight, and he absolutely shut them down.
"If you told me Perrion and Vic were going to play 17 and 19 minutes and we were going to win by 17 I'd have told you you're crazy."
Next up is a quick turnaround to Northern Colorado for a 1 p.m. Pacific tipoff on Sunday.  Check back with tomorrow for more information.
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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