|Vandals look to end skid|
MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho men’s basketball team is looking to get back on track Saturday against Chicago State after dropping its last three games, two of which by two possessions or less. Saturday’s game, which tips off at 7 p.m. in the Cowan Spectrum, will be the first ever Western Athletic Conference game for the Cougars, who are new to the league this season.
Idaho sits at 6-9 on the season and 0-1 in WAC play after an 80-74 loss to UMKC on Jan. 2 in a game that Idaho trailed by just two with 16 seconds to play. The Vandals are led by three-time WAC Player of the Week Stephen Madison, who grabbed his 500th career rebound on Thursday and is averaging 22.3 points and 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists on 57.1 percent shooting and 50.0 percent 3-point shooting in his last four games.
Idaho junior Connor Hill will spend the final season and a half of his career adding to his career 3-pointers made record, which he broke on Thursday with three 3-pointers to give him 169 for his career. Orlando Lightfoot previously held the record since 1994. He averages 13.3 points per game, which is tied with senior Glen Dean for the second-best average on the team.
Chicago State is 5-8 on the season and has dropped two straight games, and three of its last four. The Cougars average 71.2 points per game but give up 79.5. Four Chicago State players average double-figures in scoring, led by Quinton Pippen’s 14.6 points per game to go with 3.0 assists per game. Clarke Rosenberg averages 14.2 points and 3.5 rebounds and Matt Ross and Nate Duhon each add 10.8 points per game. Ross’ 6.8 rebounds per game are a team best.
The Cougars hold a 1-0 lead in the all-time series against Idaho, winning 68-65 on a neutral court in December of 1979.
After a pair of road games at Texas-Pan American and New Mexico State on Jan. 9 and 11, the Vandals will be back in the Cowan Spectrum for five out of six games, beginning Jan. 16 against Utah Valley.