|Vandals can't overcome turnovers|
LOGAN, Utah - If you're going to turn the basketball over 28 times, it helps to go 9-for-16 from 3-point range and 19-for-25 from the free throw line. And that's what the Idaho women's basketball team did, but it wasn't enough as Utah State outlasted the Vandals, 70-64 Thursday night.
All five Vandal (12-10, 5-5 Western Athletic Conference) starters scored in double figures, including two who finished with a double-double, but Idaho got no points off the bench. Senior Yinka Olorunnife had her 11th double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds while moving into second place in Idaho history with 966 career rebounds. Senior Derisa Taleni had her first double-double of the season with 11 points and a season-high 10 rebounds. Taleni also finished with seven assists, four steals and two blocks in the game.
"We told our team coming in, 'if you don't take care of the basketball, you're going to lose,'" Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "A lot of them were playing scared, playing back on their heels. I'm disappointed with that. I thought we shot the ball great tonight, but there were a lot of mental breakdowns."
Freshman Alyssa Charlston, in her third start of the season, scored 14 points, and had three rebounds and two assists. She was filling in for Rachele Kloke, who missed the game with injury. Bianca Cheever went 4-of-7 from 3-point range and finished with 12 points and five rebounds in the game, while Keri Arendse had 11 points, six rebounds and three assists.
It should come as no surprise that the Vandals and Aggies (13-10, 7-3 WAC) used all 40 minutes to determine the outcome of the game. Idaho and Utah State's last four meetings before Thursday have been decided by one possession or in overtime. With the game tied at 64-64 and just under a minute to play, Utah State's Banna Diop hit a layup to put the Aggies up by two.
Taleni's layup on the other end didn't drop, and Utah State hit four free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
The Vandals went 18-of-46 from the field, to shoot 39.1 percent for the game, and had 16 assists on their 18 made field goals.
Utah State scored 26 points off Idaho's 28 turnovers, while the Vandals turned 15 Aggie turnovers into 15 points. For just the second time this season, the Vandals lost a game in which they out-rebounded their opponent, as Idaho held a 41-32 advantage on the glass.
Idaho held Utah State to 39.3 percent (24-for-61) shooting from the field, and 6-of-18 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range, but the Aggies attempted 15 more shots than Idaho.
The Vandals led by as many as 14 points in the game, holding a 25-11 lead with over six minutes to play in the first half. Idaho's largest second-half lead was eight points, at 51-43 with 10 minutes to play, but the Aggies battled back to tie the game at 55-55, and neither team would lead by more than three until the final 20 seconds.
Idaho returns to action against Rival Boise State in the last of a three-game road trip on Feb. 12. The Vandals beat BSU 68-48 in Moscow last month. Idaho will return home to host Nevada on Feb. 17, before a rematch with Utah State on Feb. 19.
The game on Feb. 17 is Idaho's "Think Pink" night sponsored by Inland Cellular. "BeLIEVE" t-shirts will be on sale for 10 dollars at the game, with the proceeds going to cancer research. Idaho's on Feb. 19 is the last home game of the 2010-11 season, and five Idaho seniors will be honored for Senior Night.