Idaho Women lose big at Fresno State - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Idaho Women lose big at Fresno State

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by University of Idaho Athletics

FRESNO, Calif. – The University of Idaho's women's basketball team learned first-hand Wednesday night some of the reasons Fresno State is atop the Western Athletic Conference standings and, now, has put together an 11-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs, undefeated in the WAC at 10-0 and 19-5 overall, dominated inside and out in beating the Vandals 85-38 before 2,345 fans at the Save Mart Center. Idaho dropped to 5-17 and 3-6 – a tie for sixth in the WAC as the race for a tournament berth continues.

"They certainly showed tonight what they are fully capable of," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "They are a great basketball team. That being said, we didn't play nearly as well as we could."

Newlee said historically close games with the Bulldogs might have contributed to the Vandals not approaching the game with the demeanor they needed.

"I'm going to take responsibility for that," said Newlee, whose team lost by just eight at home in early January. "I didn't have them as mentally prepared as they could be."

 Idaho was on its heels early as Fresno State shot out to big leads in the opening minutes en route to a 42-24 halftime margin. Defensive breakdowns transitioned to poor offensive execution to create a snowball effect the Vandals could not stop.

"We had some big defensive breakdowns early," Newlee said. "We didn't attack their pressure the way we needed to."

While the Vandals struggled from the field (26.8 percent overall and just 7.1 percent on 3s), Fresno State sizzled at 56.5 percent with a noteworthy 46.2 percent from 3-point range. Similarly, the Bulldogs controlled the boards by pulling down 42 to 31 for Idaho.

While four Bulldogs reached double-figure scoring, just one Vandal hit that mark with Rachele Kloke striking for 13 and, along with Charlotte Otero, drawing praise from Newlee for battling from the outset. Kloke also led the Vandals on the boards with six and Otero's three assists were a team high.

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