Vandals drop heartbreaker to Idaho State, losing 86-83 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Vandals drop heartbreaker to Idaho State, losing 86-83

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

POCATELLO, Idaho – A 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds to play did the Vandals in on Thursday night, as Idaho fell to Idaho State, 86-83.
Idaho State jumped out to a 21-11 lead in the opening minutes after starting lights-out from beyond the arc.  Idaho would cut that deficit to as little as four, on multiple occasions, but the Bengals were able to take a 45-38 advantage into the break.
Both teams came out hot to start the second, but Idaho couldn't find an answer for the ISU 3-ball.  The Bengals got up by as many as 11 in the second half, but then Idaho came storming back.
Nate Sherwood got going midway through the half, providing some much needed offense.  Brayon Blake was also able to get hot in the half, scoring 16 of his 19 points in the second as the Vandals continued to chip away.
It seemed that every time the Vandals were able to get it with four, the Bengals had an answer and were able to build their lead back, going up 81-71 with 3:08 to play.
Then Idaho turned it on.  Blake knocked down a jumper, followed by an and-1 to cut the deficit to five.  After a free throw from ISU, Chad Sherwood got in on the action with a bucket of his own.  Another free throw from the Bengals brought their lead back to five, before a pair of free throws from Blake made it a one possession game.  The defense stood strong on the other end, holding the Bengals to a contested look, giving Idaho one more chance.
Victor Sanders' first attempt to tie went begging, but Chad Sherwood was able to track down the rebound and find Sanders, who knocked down the triple to tie the game at 83 with 13 seconds to play.
ISU had one chance to end things before overtime, with Brandon Boyd bringing the ball up court and knocking down a pull-up 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds to play.  Idaho had to go the length of the court on the final possession, but could not get a shot off before the horn.
Nate Sherwood and Sanders led the way for Idaho with 19 points each.  Sanders also added five rebounds and a game-high six assists.  Blake added 18 points for the Vandals, to go along with eight boards.
Nate Sherwood.  In his 100th game as a Vandal, the younger Sherwood stepped up when he was needed the most.  He played limited minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but came alive in the second for 17 points.  He finished the night with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Idaho falls to 11-4 in Big Sky play, Idaho State moves to 8-7 and is still fighting for a shot at a first-round bye in Reno.
Idaho State knocked down 16 3's on the night, the second most ever against a Don Verlin coached team.
"Shoot, they made 16 3-point shots.  Shooter's chance game, we talked about that in the pregame.  We needed to take away rhythm 3's but we didn't do that early in the game and they got the rhythm going.  And then we guarded some really well and they hit some tough shots.  The last possession of the game, we guarded it very well, but they were able to get their confidence about them and get it rolling.  We were never able to make them uncomfortable tonight.
"At the end of the day, when they shoot 52 percent from the field and 59 percent from the 3, and make 16 3's, you're probably not going to win the basketball game.  We're probably lucky it was a three-point basketball game.
"We as coaches, we as players, have to get better defensively.  For a team that was so good early in the year, for whatever reason we've slipped a little bit and we have to get that fixed."
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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