|Idaho Wins Home Opener, 68-63|
MOSCOW, Idaho—Junior guard Stacey Barr recorded her first double-double of the season and matched her season high of 21 points on Saturday, helping the Vandals to a 68-63 victory over UC Irvine. Barr notched career-high 16 rebounds in front of the home crowd at Memorial Gym.
“It was great to be back in Mem. Gym,” Barr said following the victory. “It was good to get our first win here.”
For the second time this season the Vandals trailed at the half, 31-30. Idaho shot 11-of-27 (.407) from the field in the first 20 minutes, but allowed UCI to shoot 4-of-14 (.286) from three-point range to take the lead at halftime.
“We talked at halftime about just settling down and playing our game,” head coach Jon Newlee said. “I think our players were extremely hyped up for the first home game. Some had jitters and some were just way too excited. I thought that adrenaline rush really was detrimental to us. I think by halftime we were settled down and I thought we made a couple defensive adjustments and got after their people inside a little better than we did in the first half. I think our offensive play calmed down and we were able to execute much better in the second half, which led to better shots and certainly better shooting."
Idaho (3-1) saw its best second-half shooting performance of the season from behind the three-point line. The Vandals hit 6-of-15 (.400) in the second half. Barr and senior Addie Schivo both were 2-of-4 (.500) from beyond the arch in the half. Schivo finished the game matching her career-high with three made three-point field goals and a season-high 14 points. Sophomore Christina Salvatore added three of her own to help her match a season best with 14 points. The Vandals had four players reach double digits for the second time this season.
Barr totaled 11 of her 21 points in the second half while dishing out two assists.
“I got some open shots, which was great,” Barr commented. “My teammates passed me the ball and got me open. The posts did really well inside, trying to defend their big girl down there. Overall I was happy with how I played.”
For the 22nd time in her career senior Alyssa Charlston posted a double-double. She finished the night with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Charlston did a good job down low, getting to the free throw line. She made 6 more free throws on Saturday, making her 17-of-20 on the season. Charlston hit four free throws in the final minute to help put away the Anteaters.
As a team Idaho shot 20-of-59 (.339) from the floor and 9-of-28 (.321) from downtown. For the third consecutive game Idaho out-rebounded their opponent, 49-46.
UC Irvine (3-2) was led by Madison McKenney and her game-high 22 points. Camille Buckley recorded 18 points and 13 rebounds.
The Vandals will spend next week in San Diego as they are set to take on the Toreros of San Diego on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Idaho will finish the week in Reno, Nev., as they take part in the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Classic, Nov. 29-30.
Notes: Maren Austgulen earned her second start of the season on Saturday…Barr moved into a tie for seventh on the all-time three point list with 124 for her career…The Vandals have now made a three-point basket in 169 straight contests…Charlston has now scored in double digits in all four games this season…Barr improved on her streak of games with a three-pointer, moving it to five straight games…Idaho is now 1-1 on the season when trailing at halftime...Idaho's 3-1 start is the best since 2010-11 (also 3-1).