|Vandals Spur Broncs, 85-52|
EDINBURG, Texas—Junior Stacey Barr recorded her 10th double-double of the season, leading the Vandals to an 85-52 win over the Texas-Pan American Broncs at the UTPA Fieldhouse. Barr finished with game-highs of 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Idaho (17-7, 10-0 WAC) continues to put together a historic run. The Vandals have matched the 1985-86 season, stringing together 10 consecutive wins. Idaho is the first team in the Western Athletic Conference to remain unbeaten this late into the conference season since Fresno State went 11-0 in 2011-12.
The Vandals arrived at UTPA just hours before game time, going without a shootaround inside the Fieldhouse. Idaho was forced to spend Thursday in Dallas due to travel delays, practicing at Southern Methodist University.
“It was crazy the way it worked out,” head coach Jon Newlee commented. “Travel was just horrendous again. I told the team in the locker room that they could have come out with a ‘poor me’ attitude and dragged around. They came out and just took care of business and that is the way we have handled adversity this year. I could not be prouder of them for their effort tonight.”
The Silver and Gold saw four players score in double digits for the 14th time this season. Along with Barr, Christina Salvatore and Ali Forde each contributed 13 points. Forde added eight rebounds and a game-high four blocks. Addie Schivo finished with 10 points, while Connie Ballestero totaled eight.
Barr tallied the first of her 11 first-half points a minute into the game. Forde added a basket and the Vandals led by four, two minutes into play. The opening 10 minutes of the first half featured four different lead changes. Tied at 16 with 9:34 remaining, Idaho put together a telling 7-0 run. Salvatore scored four of the seven points, helping give the Vandals a seven-point lead that they would never relinquish. Over the final 9:34 of the first half Idaho would outscore UTPA, 23-9, to take a 39-25 lead after 20 minutes of play.
“We have been harping on their [UTPA’s] transition,” Newlee said. “They made eight threes against us in the first half last game. Five of those came off of transition. We said we had to get out and not let them get going at home. They shoot well and play better at home. I feel we really got out and did a great job executing the game plan.”
The Vandals did not miss a beat in the second half. Forde recorded four points in the opening four minutes, as the Vandals extended their lead to 19 with 16:21 to play. UTPA cut the lead to 51-36 at the 14:36 mark, getting as close to Idaho as they would the remainder of the contest.
Barr hit a game-high five three-pointers, including all three of her attempts in just eight minutes of action in the second half. As a team Idaho finished 9-of-24 (37.5 percent) from long range.
The Vandals return to the Cowan Spectrum next Thursday to take on Bakersfield at 6 p.m. PT. Their match up on Feb. 15 with Utah Valley will mark the team’s annual “Hoops for Hope” game.