Northern Kentucky University came into Memorial Gym very aggressively Saturday night and defeated the Idaho Vandals, 79- 74.
“We have to give them credit,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said in a press release. “They came in and shot 57 percent and drove the lane to get to the basket. We are putting way too much pressure on our offense. We just did not defend well enough tonight.”
(Saturday night action at Memorial Gym in Moscow)
Idaho’s offense struggled in the first half, making just nine field goals on 28 attempts. NKU shot 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) in the opening half.
NKU (3-3) opened the second half with a 39-28 point lead, but by the 17:44 mark the Norse had extended that lead to 14 at 47-33, their largest of the game. Idaho then put together an 8-0 run over the next 1:53, cutting the NKU lead to 6 with 13:38 to go.
The game was tied for the first time at 68 with 2:33 to play, but NKU closed the game on an 11-6 run. Idaho did outscore NKU 46-40 in the final 20 minutes.
“That was an important road win for us tonight,” NKU coach Dave Bezoid said in a press release. “Our guys showed a lot of composure after Idaho battled back to tie the game, and we made the necessary plays down the stretch to pull out the victory. I’m proud of the way we fought from the tip to the final buzzer.”
(Idaho is now 2-3 on the season)
“We started playing a little tougher in the second half and ended up getting some stops,” Verlin said. “We just did a better job of staying between our man and the basket. Simply put, we did not do a very good job of that in the first half. Once we started to do that we were able to get out on the fast break and hit some shots.”
Conor Hill finished with a team-high 22 for Idaho. Bira Seck had 12 points and 14 rebounds. Perrion Callandret had 15 points and Sekou Wiggs had 14.
The Vandals return to action on Wednesday when they travel across the state line to take on Washington State, which finished fourth this weekend at the Great Alaska Shootout. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. PT.
Copyright 2014 Idaho Public Radio
Posted November 30, 2014