|No. 1 Idaho Set for Tourney|
LAS VEGAS, Nev.—The University of Idaho women’s basketball team enters the Western Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday as the No. 1 seed after closing out the conference season 15-1. Idaho opens the tournament against No. 8 Chicago State at the Orleans Arena.
“Our slogan is we are going to go play hard for 120 minutes,” WAC Coach of the Year Jon Newlee said. “We have to focus on the first game and take it one game at a time and play hard. That is the key, playing hard and playing focused. We really have to defend for hopefully the next three days and good things will happen.”
Wednesday will be the third meeting between Idaho and Chicago state this season. The Vandals have defeated Chicago State by a 100-point margin in the first two games this season. Idaho defeated CSU 91-41 in the last week of regular season play. Alyssa Charlston, recently named Second Team All-WAC, finished the night with her 24th career double-double, totaling game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Agueda Trujillo Fernandez posted a season-high 19 points off the bench.
Idaho (22-8, 15-1 WAC) cruised to a 92-42 victory at Chicago State in the teams’ first meeting. Junior Stacey Barr, the 2014 WAC Player of the Year, recorded on of her 12 double-doubles on the season. She paced Idaho with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Christina Salvatore totaled 16 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Chicago State (3-26, 0-16 WAC) averaged 54.5 points per game in the regular season. Idaho this season has scored 73.4 points per game and allowed an average of 61.6. The Silver and Gold finished the regular season first in the WAC with a 11.9 margin of victory (30th NCAA).
A win on Wednesday (12 p.m.) moves Idaho into the semifinals with a possible matchup with No. 4 Texas-Pan American or No. 5 New Mexico State. Idaho swept the season series against both the Broncs and Aggies.