Late push not enough to help Vandal women - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Late push not enough to help Vandal women

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – The University of Idaho women's basketball team couldn't rebound from mid-game doldrums and, despite a late rally, lost 58-53 to San Jose State University in a Western Athletic Conference game Saturday night at The Event Center.

The Vandals (4-14 overall, 2-3 WAC) led in the early going but trailed 29-25 at the half. San Jose State opened leads of as many as 10 points before the Vandals battled back to take a 50-49 lead on Rachele Kloke's jumper with 2:28 to play.

The Spartans (5-13, 1-4 WAC) went back up on when Samantha Marez' rocketed in a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired for a 52-50 SJSU lead with 1:57 to go. It was a lead that would hold – although it was challenged repeatedly in the final 117 seconds.

"Once we got our late lead, we just squandered our chances," said coach Jon Newlee, as he expressed dismay at numerous missed opportunities down the stretch and the Vandals' inability to cope with the physicality of the game.

"San Jose State wants to make it a football game. If that's the way the game is going to be played, we have to toughen up and get tougher and battle harder than we did. We kind of folded with their style. We knew it going it. We didn't handle it very well offensively."

The Vandals, who went through some early-season struggles, were coming off back-to-back wins and were looking for a road sweep.

"Mentally, we just need to get tougher and finish out," Newlee said. "We told them you can't look at records. We're a lot better than our record indicates and San Jose is a lot better than their record indicates."

Rachele Kloke turned in a consistent effort with 19 points (7-of-15 from the field) and Shaena Kuehu contributed another 11.  Scrappy guard Charlotte Otero led Idaho's rebounding effort with six (and contributed nine points) as the Vandals controlled the boards 35-29. Yinka Olorunife, who struggled with foul trouble, had five rebounds and two points.

 

Becky Paull, Asst. AD/Media Relations, University of Idaho Vandal Athletics

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