|Vandals Ready For Home Opener|
MOSCOW—For the first time since early March the University of Idaho women’s basketball team will take to its home-court on Saturday, welcoming UC Irvine to Memorial Gym for a 2:00 p.m. PT tip off.
“I hope to see us come and out play with a lot of energy,” head coach Jon Newlee said. “It is always exciting to have your first game in front of the home crowd. We need to come out with a lot energy and enthusiasm and play hard.”
UC Irvine (3-1) is coming of a 78-73 victory over the University of Denver on Thursday. Senior forward Camille Buckley led UCI with a season-high 21 points and eight rebounds with 19 points and five rebounds coming in the second half. Junior guard Madison McKenney came off the bench to record her UCI career-high 15 points, shooting 6-11 from the field, including two three-pointers.
“They are a very talented team,” Newlee said of the Anteaters. “They are rough and physical inside. They have a couple of guards that can really shoot it. We are going to have to do a great job on defense. We are going to have to move the basketball and knock down some shots to beat those guys.”
The Vandals are off to the best start to a season (2-1) since the 2010-11 season, when they started 3-0. Idaho leads the all-time series against UCI, 12-7, including last season’s 72-55 win in Irvine. Christina Salvatore had a game high 20 points and three other Vandals scored in double-digits.
This is the first of two possible meetings between the two schools. If it plays out the right way the two teams have the chance of playing again on Dec. 7 as part of the Lady Griz Classic in Missoula, Mont.
Idaho is 7-0 all-time at home vs. the Anteaters.