Vandals smother No. 25 Portland in home win - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Univ. of Idaho - Basketball

Vandals smother No. 25 Portland in home win

Posted: Updated:
Idaho's Kashif Watson led the Vandals in scoring with 15 points (Photo: Univ. of Idaho Athletics) Idaho's Kashif Watson led the Vandals in scoring with 15 points (Photo: Univ. of Idaho Athletics)

by Univ. of Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho – For the first time in school history, Idaho hosted a ranked non-conference team in a home game, and for the first time since 1982, the Vandal men took down a top-25 team, as Idaho smothered No. 25 Portland, 68-48.

Three days after Idaho (5-2) seemed punchless defensively in a 95-93 road loss at Cal State Northridge, the Vandal men took it personally and came up with all the answers against a Portland (5-3) team that entered the game averaging 76.1 points on .489 shooting.

Idaho used relentless pressure, active hands and all-around team effort to hound the Pilots into 17 turnovers and hold them to a season-low .322 field goal percentage on 19-of-59 shooting, as well as season-lows in points (48), free throws attempted (6) and made (4), and assists (9).

"That's probably as good of defense that we've played all year for that length of time, and that's a credit to our guys," Idaho head coach Don Verlin said. "They worked really hard these last two days in the film room and on the court about how we could get better defensively, and we did that tonight."

The Idaho offense was as efficient as usual. The Western Athletic Conference's field goal percentage leader hit .522 from the field as a team, its third time shooting above 50 percent in a game this year, and hit .429 (6-14) from 3-point range.

"We played the game at the tempo we dictated," Verlin said. "Not at the tempo that somebody else did, like what happened on Thursday night (at Cal State Northridge)."

Three Vandals scored in double digits, led for the second game in a row by senior Kashif Watson, who hit seven of his 11 shots and scored 15 points. Sophomore Luiz Toledo was 5-of-7 from the field for 12 points, while senior Mac Hopson dropped in 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting. Senior Marvin Jefferson led the team with nine rebounds, while senior Steffan Johnson had a team-high five assists.

Portland's three leading scorers, T.J. Campbell, Nik Raivio and Robin Smeulders, combined to average 45.9 points on .513 shooting coming into the game, but the Vandal defense held the trio to just 5-of-30 (.167) from the floor and 15 points. Luke Sikma led the team with 11 points, while Raivio added 10, but only one other Pilot scored more than five points in the game.

"We got some huge stops," Verlin said. "I thought Marvin Jefferson did a great job rebounding the ball, especially in the second half, and I thought Mac Hopson did a great job on T.J. Campbell.

"We were just able to get some stops down the stretch."

While the teams finished the game with 17 turnovers apiece, it was Idaho that took advantage, as the Vandals converted those into 23 points, compared to just nine for Portland. Idaho also led fast-break points by a 10-2 margin. Idaho out-rebounded Portland by a 36-30 margin and, despite giving up 12 offensive rebounds, only allowed UP four second-chance points.

Idaho started Sunday's game much the same way it had in its previous four wins – quickly. The Vandals scored the game's first six points and opened the first half with a 9-2 run. Portland pulled within three at 9-6, but the Vandals responded with a 13-2 run, 10 of which came from turnovers, from the 10:41 mark of the first half to the 5:46 mark.

Idaho extended its lead as far as 18 points at 31-13 with 1:29 left in the half. After UP's Campbell knocked down a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in the half, Johnson responded for Idaho by coming right back down and swishing a deep ball of his own to end the scoring in the half, and Idaho went into the break with a 34-18 lead.

Portland appeared poised to start a run when it opened the half with five straight points to get within 11 at 34-23, but a 14-2 run by the Vandals, capped off by a Hopson 3-point play, put the Vandals ahead 50-27 with 11:10 remaining. The Pilots never got closer than 17 points over the remainder of the half, as Idaho answered every Portland attempt to get back into the game.

Idaho will now face another tough opponent on Wednesday in Washington State (6-2), when the team heads to Pullman for the oldest active basketball series West of the Mississippi. The Vandals and Cougars will play for the 103rd consecutive year on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

"Any time you can win a game against a good basketball team like Portland, and then get ready to play your cross-town rival, it's huge," Verlin said. "They're obviously very good and it's a game I know our players have been looking forward to all year long."

Wednesday's game, which will be broadcast on Fox Sports Northwest, will tip off at 8 p.m. at Friel Court.

 

  • Local Sports from SWXLocal Sports from SWXMore>>

  • Whitworth Whips Poets In Whittier Heat

    Whitworth Whips Poets In Whittier Heat

    Visiting Whitworth jumped to a 23-0 lead in the second quarter then held on to defeat Whittier 30-17 in the scorching heat at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.The Pirates improved to 2-0 under conditions that cleared 100 degrees on the field, while the Poets fell to 0-1.More >>
    Visiting Whitworth jumped to a 23-0 lead in the second quarter then held on to defeat Whittier 30-17 in the scorching heat at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.The Pirates improved to 2-0 under conditions that cleared 100 degrees on the field, while the Poets fell to 0-1.More >>
  • Washington's WHL Teams Under Child Labor Investigation

    Washington's WHL Teams Under Child Labor Investigation

    Washington's Department of Labor and Industries is investigating the four Western Hockey League teams who call the evergreen state home. Spokesman for the Washington Department of LI, Matt Elrich, stated a 2013 complaint to the department pointed out how much money the players made in relation to the time they worked and that the allegation hinted it might be below the state's minimum wage.More >>
    Washington's Department of Labor and Industries is investigating the four Western Hockey League teams who call the evergreen state home for possible child labor law infractions.More >>
  • Stanton Tweets That He's 'Much Better' After Taking Fastball to the Face

    Stanton Tweets That He's 'Much Better' After Taking Fastball to the Face

    MIAMI - Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins says he's feeling "much better," one day after sustaining facial fractures and other injuries when he was struck in the face by a fastball. More >>
    MIAMI - Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins says he's feeling "much better," one day after sustaining facial fractures and other injuries when he was struck in the face by a fastball. Stanton took to Twitter on Friday, saying "I'm much better today deeply appreciate your prayers!"More >>
  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • WSU Finalizes Men's Basketball Schedule

    WSU Finalizes Men's Basketball Schedule

    Washington State University men's basketball opens up Pac-12 play, Friday, Jan. 2 at Stanford, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday, along with the entire 2014-15 Pac-12 men's basketball schedule.More >>
    Washington State University men's basketball opens up Pac-12 play, Friday, Jan. 2 at Stanford, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday, along with the entire 2014-15 Pac-12 men's basketball schedule.More >>
  • Cougars Rout PSU In Pullman, 59-21

    Cougars Rout PSU In Pullman, 59-21

    Washington State earned its first win of the 2014 season in the Cougars first "true" home game of the year vs. Portland State behind a 544-yard, 6 touchdown performance from senior quarterback Connor Halliday at Martin Stadium on Saturday night.More >>
    Washington State earned its first win of the 2014 season in the Cougars first "true" home game of the year vs. Portland State behind a 544-yard, 6 touchdown performance from senior quarterback Connor Halliday at Martin Stadium on Saturday night.
    More >>
  • Idaho Falls To WMU, 45-33

    Idaho Falls To WMU, 45-33

    Despite 362 yards on 27-of-41 passing by Matt Linehan and 153 all-purpose yards by Richard Montgomery, the Idaho Vandals couldn't overcome Western Michigan, losing 45-33 in a non-conference football game at the Kibbie Dome Saturday night.More >>
    Despite 362 yards on 27-of-41 passing by Matt Linehan and 153 all-purpose yards by Richard Montgomery, the Idaho Vandals couldn't overcome Western Michigan, losing 45-33 in a non-conference football game at the Kibbie Dome Saturday night.More >>
  • IdahoIdahoMore>>

  • Idaho Falls To WMU, 45-33

    Idaho Falls To WMU, 45-33

    Despite 362 yards on 27-of-41 passing by Matt Linehan and 153 all-purpose yards by Richard Montgomery, the Idaho Vandals couldn't overcome Western Michigan, losing 45-33 in a non-conference football game at the Kibbie Dome Saturday night.More >>
    Despite 362 yards on 27-of-41 passing by Matt Linehan and 153 all-purpose yards by Richard Montgomery, the Idaho Vandals couldn't overcome Western Michigan, losing 45-33 in a non-conference football game at the Kibbie Dome Saturday night.More >>
  • Vandals Fall To UL Monroe 38-31

    Vandals Fall To UL Monroe 38-31

    There was thunder and lightning and heartbreak in Louisiana Saturday night for the Idaho Vandals, who lost, 38-31, in the final seconds to Louisiana-Monroe in their season and Sun Belt Conference opener.More >>
    There was thunder and lightning and heartbreak in Louisiana Saturday night for the Idaho Vandals, who lost, 38-31, in the final seconds to Louisiana-Monroe in their season and Sun Belt Conference opener.More >>
  • Vandals Vs. Florida Not Rescheduled, Will Play In 2017

    Vandals Vs. Florida Not Rescheduled, Will Play In 2017

    University of Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley and University of Idaho Athletics Director Rob Spear have agreed that Saturday night's game has been declared a no contest and that not rescheduling the game is the only viable option for both programs.More >>
    University of Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley and University of Idaho Athletics Director Rob Spear have agreed that Saturday night's game has been declared a no contest and that not rescheduling the game is the only viable option for both programs.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and SWXRN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.