|Vandals Can't Hold on at USD|
SAN DIEGO—The size of the San Diego Toreros proved to be unsurmountable for the Vandals on Tuesday night. Idaho could not contain USD in the post, falling 74-64 at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
“We had a span of eight minutes where the wheels came off,” head coach Jon Newlee said. “Defensively, we started giving up points in the paint and offensive rebounds. They just kicked our butt inside. They had 36 points in the paint. We did a great job in the first half effort wise in keeping them out of there [the paint].”
In the second half alone the Toreros outscored the Vandals 22-8 in the paint and recorded 11 second-chance points off eight offensive rebounds. USD was able to outgain Idaho, 42-30, in rebounds over the full 40 minutes.
“We have got to learn from this, get tougher and move on,” Newlee emphasized. “We need to learn on the road especially that we need to play with effort for a full 40 minutes. I think we are going to learn that we need to be physical, no matter who is out there playing. Everybody has to block-out and go after the basketball.”
The first half was a tale of back and forth runs for both teams.
In the first five minutes of the game the Toreros and Vandals traded baskets. Idaho was fueled by junior Stacey Barr, the reigning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week, who had seven of the Vandals first 11 points. The Silver and Gold extended its lead to 17-12, before USD put together a 10-2 to take the lead 22-19 with 6:32 to play in the opening half.
Idaho (3-2) closed the first half on a 12-6 run over the last 5:34. Connie Ballestero had five of her eight first-half points during the span, giving the Vandals the lead at the half, 31-28. She finished with 10 points on the night.
Barr finished with her second double-double in as many games, totaling 14 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the second half.
As a team Idaho shot 6-of-21 (.286) from three-point range, just below its season average (.305). From the field Idaho was 23-of-61 (.377). The Vandals saw their best performance of the season from the charity stripe on Tuesday, shooting 12-of-14 (.857).
A pair of Toreros totaled 14 points on the night. Amy Kame finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Sophia Ederaine came off the bench and recorded 14 points and eight rebounds.
Idaho will look toward its next matchup with Nevada on Friday. The Vandals will play in the opening game of the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Classic against the Wolfpack at 5:00 p.m. PT. They will face either Cal or Wake Forest on Saturday to close out the tournament.
NOTES: USD’s 74 points was the most allowed by the Vandals this season…Barr moved into a tie for sixth on the Idaho all-time three point list now with 126…Idaho had four players score in double digits for the third game this season…The Vandals have now hit at least one three-point basket in 170 straight games…Idaho was without Ali Forde who was with the volleyball team at the WAC Tournament.