|Vandals Claim Win No. 22|
MOSCOW, Idaho—The University of Idaho women’s basketball team closed out the regular-season careers of seniors Alyssa Charlston and Addie Schivo with a 70-63 win over Kansas City on Saturday at the Cowan Spectrum.
Idaho (22-8, 15-1 WAC) finished the regular season with a hard fought win that came down to the final minutes. Sophomore Christina Salvatore came through in the clutch with a three-pointer to put Idaho up by five with 28 seconds left on the clock. Junior Stacey Barr iced the win for the Vandals with a pair of free-throws with 10 seconds to go.
“We executed really well down the stretch,” head coach Jon Newlee stated. “I was not happy that it got to be a game after we got that 14 point lead. I thought our intensity level went way down and we let [Calli] White get loose and she hit some uncontested three’s. That got them right back in it. I thought at that point we were on the verge of blowing it open. We battled back and made some big shots of our own and finally got the stops we need defensively.”
Charlston shook off the emotions early on, netting the game’s first points from beyond the three-point line. At the half she totaled 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. She finished with 20 points and four rebounds.
“They [the emotions] kind of disappeared quick,” Charlston said. “That was a nice way to start. It was fun and it definitely was not in my mind during the game.”
Kansas City (11-18, 7-9 WAC) took control of the lead, 18-15 with 8:51 to play in the first. Five straight points from Salvatore and Barr gave Idaho the 20-18. Idaho took at 34-30 lead into the break, Barr finished the half with a game-high 14 points.
The Vandals came out firing in the second half. Idaho opened the first 3:46 of the half on an 11-1 run, capped by a Charlston jumper. UMKC would chip into the lead and get to within three points off a White three with 8:20 to play.
Eiliese O’Connor, the Western Athletic Conference’s leading scorer, tied the game at 53 with a three-point play at the 7:41 mark. Charlston answered right back with an inside layup to put Idaho up, 55-53.
Salvatore drilled a three-pointer with 4:46 to put Idaho up, 63-57. She finished the day with 3-of-9 shooting for 10 points. Her three, three-point field goals moved her into fourth all-time with 165 career three-point baskets.
UMKC’s Kim Nezianya cut Idaho’s lead to two with 47 seconds remaining. Salvatore and Barr then shut the door on the ‘Roos. Barr closed the regular season with a game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds. Saturday marked her 16th career double and 12th this season.
“It was definitely a close game,” Barr said. “It was good preparation for us going into next week. Hopefully we can bring all this excitement and get the wins there [WAC Tournament].”
Ali Forde was back in the starting lineup after missing the start on Thursday. The WAC leader in field goal percentage finished the day 7-of-10 shooting, totaling 15 points. She also snagged seven boards and recorded two blocks.
Schivo cracked the starting lineup for the second time this season. She finished with two points, four rebounds and two assists in her 22 minutes.
“It was cool,” Schivo commented. “I had not started in a while, but I have started before. It was not any different. It was nice because we also had Connie on the floor, so I did not have to start at point guard. I thought it was cool that I was able to start on Senior Day.”
Idaho will practice on Monday before heading to the airport to depart for the WAC Tournament. The Vandals earned the No. 1 seed and will play No. 8 Chicago State at the Orleans Arena Wednesday at noon.
Notes: Idaho hit the 22 win mark for the first time since 2003-04…The Vandals have made at least one three-point basket in 195 consecutive games…Barr has made a three-point basket in 14 straight games and has scored in double digits in 34 of the past 36 games…Idaho finished 10-2 at home this season, its best since 2003-04 (12-1).