|Vandals visit Portland for trio|
MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho men’s basketball team has played three games in the first two weeks of the season, and will play three more in the next three days as they head to Portland to face Portland (Nov. 21), North Texas (Nov. 22) and Columbia (Nov. 23) to wrap up the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Idaho enters the week with a 2-1 record with wins over Western Illinois and Northwest Nazarene and a loss at Oklahoma in the opening game of the event. Senior Stephen Madison leads the Vandals with 14.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Madison has 986 career points entering Thursday’s game, needing just 16 more to become the 14th 1,000-point scorer in program history. Madison has scored 16 or more points in two of Idaho’s three games this season.
Idaho junior Connor Hill is climbing some charts of his own when it comes to school records. The sharpshooter has drained 140 3-pointers in his two-plus year career at Idaho, and is tied for fourth on the program’s all-time list. With one more, Hill will pass Dwayne Williams (2002-04) for solo fourth in that category. Kris Brown (1994-98) is next on the list in third with 150, and Idaho’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made is Orlando Lightfoot (1991-94) with 168.
Portland is led by 17.7 points per game from Kevin Bailey and 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds from Ryan Nicholas. The Pilots are pouring on an average of 80.0 points per game in their first three games, and enter Thursday with a 1-2 overall record. The Vandals and Pilots square off at 5 p.m. (PT) on Nov. 21 at Portland’s Chiles Center. A free live web stream and live stats of the game will be available through Portland’s official athletics website at www.PortlandPilots.com.
North Texas is scoring even more than Portland in the young season, averaging 82.0 per game but giving up 80.0. Perhaps more impressive than UNT’s scoring prowess is its +12.3 rebounding margin. The Mean Green are 2-1 entering the week and are led by 20.7 points per game from Alzee Williams. The game tips off at 4:30 p.m. (PT) on Nov. 22.
Columbia enters the week at 1-2 on the season and plays a slower-tempo game than Portland and North Texas. The Lions average 65.3 points per game and give up 62.3. Columbia makes an average of 7.0 3-pointers per game, the most of any team in the tournament this week. Gran Mullins’ 12.0 points lead the way for Columbia. That game will begin at 4:30 p.m. (PT). Live stats will be available for games not involving host Portland at PortlandPilots.com.