Thursday, March 4, 2010

Idaho wins 86-76

Maybe it was a pre-game overindulgence of those famous potatoes. It definitely was a big dose of Vandal senior-itis -- the positive ailment -- as Mac Hopson and Kashif Watson both scored 17 points, Marvin Jefferson 15 and Steffan Johnson 10 respectively. The four upperclassmen paved the way for Coach Don Verlin in an 86-76 Idaho victory over San Jose State in Moscow tonight.

Idaho started quickly, leading 6-0 very early, 17-10 at the 10:29 mark and 31-18 with 3:53 remaining.

At the half, it was 45-27 in favor of the Vandals, the scoring capped by Watson's three-quarter court bank shot just before the buzzer. Granted, 99.9% of such shots never go in but none of the five Spartans on the floor were even paying attention to who had the ball, let alone what he was doing with it.

SJSU crept closer in the second 20 minutes. It was 52-38 after an Adrian Oliver three-pointer but a four-point play (a trey plus a free throw) by Johnson made it 60-38. It was 64-51 after a Justin Graham jumper when UI countered to extend the margin to 69-51.

For the game, Oliver paved SJSU with 24 points. C.J. Webster added 17, along with nine boards and Graham totaled 12 points.

All told, the Vandals shot 56% (6-11 on treys) with 34 rebounds. The Spartans finished at 50% (9-22 on three-pointers) and 27 boards.

Numbers for the first 20 minutes: Idaho 56% shooting to San Jose State's 32%, 24 Vandal points in the paint to eight for SJSU and 21 UI rebounds (nine offensive) to 11 for the Spartans.

That sure looked like a moment of jubilation for Vandal frontcourter Jessica Graham when her brother made a pair of free throws in the first half -- dual loyalty is a tough one.

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