|Vandal women cruise to victory|
MOSCOW - Five Idaho players scored in double figures, three had double figure rebounds and two had double-doubles as a balanced Vandal women's basketball team cruised to an 82-65 Western Athletic Conference victory over San Jose State on Thursday night.
The Vandals even their WAC record at 1-1 and improve to 4-9 overall with the win. SJSU falls to 1-2 in the WAC and 4-10 overall.
Idaho junior Addie Schivo led the team with a career-high 18 points off the bench by shooting 5-of-6 from the field, 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
"Addie is capable of this, there is no question," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "She had some really good looks and knocked them down. She was more aggressive offensively and she defended well."
Freshmen Christina Salvatore and Connie Ballestero each scored 13 points. Ballestero added eight rebounds and five assists with no turnovers in the game. Sophomore Stacey Barr had 10 points and matched her career-high with 10 rebounds to go along with three assists and three steals, and junior Alyssa Charlston had 12 points and 10 boards. Freshman Ali Forde had a career-high 15 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, to go along with six points.
"That's always our game plan," Newlee said of having five double-figure scorers in the game. "It's an equal opportunity offense, it always has been. I liked the way we made the extra pass tonight, took some really good shots and shot the ball well. I loved the offensive rebounding effort, that was huge. Size-wise we matched up well with them and we knew it was going to be an effort thing, and we had great effort on the o-boards."
The Vandals jumped out to a 15-10 lead in the first half before San Jose State tied the game at 15-all. That's when the Vandals used a 16-0 run that lasted nearly six and a half minutes to take a commanding 31-15 lead. Idaho extended that lead to 19 points, 44-25, by halftime.
The lead increased to as many as 28 points at 59-31 with 15 minutes to play before SJSU was able to pull within 13 points twice in the final two minutes of the game, but never closer.
Idaho connected on 11-of-22 3-pointers on Thursday and in its two WAC games is 20-of-37 (54 percent) from long range, leading the conference in both 3-point percentage and makes during league games. The Vandals shot 30-of-75 (40 percent) from the field and 11-of-16 (69 percent) from the free throw line, and held the Spartans to 34 percent from the field and just 23 percent from long range.
The Vandals dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Spartans 60-39 overall and 23-14 on the offensive end to aid a 22-12 advantage in second-chance points.
Idaho senior Jessica Graham finished with six points, three rebounds and two assists and sophomore Maren Austgulen had four points, four rebounds and an assist in 10 minutes of play.
San Jose State was led by a game-high 20 points from Ta'Rae Cunnigan. Alexis Hill added 13 points and Jayzyl Tauala had 12 points. Riana Byrd added six points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans.
The Vandals wrap up their current three-game WAC home stand on Saturday when they face WAC preseason favorite Utah State at 2 p.m. The Aggies enter the week as the league's only 2-0 team, led by Preseason WAC Player of the Year Devyn Christensen, the second leading scorer in the conference.
"They're extremely talented offensively, they've got a lot of weapons starting with Christensen and going on down the line," Newlee said of the Aggies. "They can really shoot the basketball, they like to press some and get out in transition. We're going to have to get after shooters, play hard defensively and take care of the basketball."