Vandals move to 4-2 in Big Sky play after win over Southern Utah - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Vandals move to 4-2 in Big Sky play after win over Southern Utah

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Idaho stuck to its winning ways on Thursday night, topping Southern Utah 80-76 on the road to move to 4-2 in Big Sky play.
The Vandals built their lead early in the first, doubling up the Thunderbirds at 24-12 with eight minutes to go in the half.  Idaho was tremendous from beyond the arc in the first half, connecting on 7-of-12 from range.  Idaho would stay consistent to close out the frame, leading 38-26 at the break.
Idaho would stay up by double-digits for the majority of the second half, but Southern Utah made a comeback late.  The Thunderbirds cut the deficit to one point on a few occasions late, but the Vandals stayed poised down the stretch with some clutch 3-pointers from Chad Sherwood and Victor Sanders to seal the 80-76 win.
Idaho shot 53 percent on the night (28-of-53) and 57 percent (12-of-21) from beyond the arc.  The Vandals also won the battle-of-the-boards, 31-29.
Perrion Callandret.  After coming up scoreless on Friday night at EWU, Callandret responded with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting on Thursday night.  He connected on 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and grabbed five boards to go along with five assists.
Idaho moves into a tie for second in the Big Sky Conference at 4-2.  Southern Utah moves to 1-5.  The win is Idaho's fourth straight over Southern Utah.
Blake recorded his sixth double-double of the season with game-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds.  Idaho is 5-1 in games that he records a double-double this season.
The 80 points by the Vandals are the most in a Big Sky game this season.
Idaho hit 10-plus 3's for the seventh time this season.  Idaho is 5-2 in those games.
Idaho has now outrebounded its opponent in all six Big Sky games this season.
"Before we gets started I want to give a shout out to Todd Simon," said head coach Don Verlin.  "Obviously going through a tough time here with his family, thoughts and prayers are with him.  Sitting in the chair that we both sit in, it's really hard to leave your team but obviously he's got his priorities in order and I just hope everything works out for him and his wife and his newborn.  His team played their tails off.
"I thought we had a number of guys step up and have really good games.  I thought BJ Blake was probably as good as he's been, both offensively and defensively, in a Vandal uniform.  I thought Jordan Scott was excellent tonight again.  He made a couple of mistakes on McGee, but he did a real nice job for us.
"You have to give Southern Utah credit.  They're a talented ball club.  And they got the ball in the spots they needed.  When I told to the team in the lockerroom, one of my strengths or one of my weaknesses is brutal honesty.  I wasn't happy with the way we played in the second half tonight.  Did we play to the level of our opponent or did we play to our capacity.  And we definitely didn't play to our capacity today.  We allowed them to get in rhythm, we allowed them to shoot rhythm 3's."
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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