Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Moscow, Idaho)
Alyssa Charlston
Idaho women roll in exhibition
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 11/02/2012
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MOSCOW - The Idaho women's basketball team dominated from start to finish in a 93-62 win over Western Oregon in its only exhibition game of the season on Friday night.

Several Vandal players turned in stellar performances, but none topped that of preseason first-team All-WAC junior Alyssa Charlston, who didn't miss a shot from the field, going 8-for-8 and finishing with game-highs of 21 points and seven rebounds, while adding an assist and a steal in 21 minutes of action.

But Charlston wasn't the only one doing damage for Idaho. Sophomore Stacey Barr and freshman Connie Ballestero each scored 12 points. Barr came off the bench and scored 10 of those points in the first half, going 4-for-6 from the field before the break. Ballestero did most of her damage in the second, scoring 10 of her 12 after the break, going 4-for-6 in the frame after a 1-for-7 performance in the first. Barr added five rebounds, four assists and a block for Idaho, while Ballestero also finished with two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Sophomore point guard Krissy Karr had eight points, eight assists and two steals for Idaho, and made both of her 3-point attempts in 22 minutes of play. Freshmen Christina Salvatore and Ali Forde, and junior Ashley Walters each added eight points as well. Walters added seven rebounds and four blocks, and Forde had a game-high five blocks, and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals.

The Vandals jumped out to a 10-point lead early in the game as a three-point play from Barr put Idaho ahead 15-5 with just under 15 minutes to go in the half. The lead hovered around 10 points for the next six minutes until a 13-2 Idaho run put the Vandals ahead 39-19 with three minutes to go in the half, before the Vandals took a 46-26 lead into the break.

"I liked our start, I liked our first half," fifth-year coach Jon Newlee said. "We came out with a lot of energy and we were pushing the ball well."

The Wolves cut Idaho's lead to 12 early in the second half, opening the period on a 10-2 run that lasted just more than two minutes. But the Vandals responded with a 12-3 run to pull ahead 60-39, and would lead by more than 20 points the rest of the way. Idaho's largest lead was 33 points, coming with 13 seconds to go when redshirt-freshman Natalie Lainhart's 3-pointer put the Vandals ahead 93-60.

"The second half started a little raggedy, but once it got rolling I was happy with the effort," Newlee said. "The intensity was up. It's the first exhibition game, so your execution is not going to be anywhere near where you want it, but overall I like the fact that everybody came in and contributed in one way or another."

Lainhart finished with seven points, all in the second half, on 3-of-3 shooting. She also added two blocks in the game.

"You can see we have the depth to rotate people in when they get tired, and we're going to try to keep things going as much as we can," Newlee said.

The Vandals shot 52.1 percent from the field, going 38-of-73 in the game, including a 10-for-21 (47.6 percent) performance from 3-point range. Idaho held a 44-36 advantage in rebounds and had 13 blocked shots. The Vandals also finished with 27 assists on 38 made baskets.

Idaho held WOU to a 34.3 field goal percentage, and forced 17 turnovers, which the Vandals converted into 18 points.

The Vandals get the regular season underway in exactly one week, as they visit Wyoming on Nov. 9 before playing at Colorado on Nov. 11. Idaho's home opener is Nov. 16 against Portland in Memorial Gym.

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