RUSTON, La. - Offensive woes continued to haunt the University of Idaho men's basketball team as it lost 60-49 in a Western Athletic Conference game Saturday night at Louisiana Tech.
The Vandals trailed by just six, 29-23, at halftime but the low score was indicative of their offensive execution and ability to make shots, which were falling at a rate of just 34.5 percent in the opening period. Turnovers, too, were an issue but the biggest damage was a flurry of bobbles covering a one-minute span late in the game. During that time, the four turnovers enabled the Bulldogs to move from a 49-40 edge to a 55-40 advantage with 5:17 to play. Already struggling from the field, Idaho went further into catchup mode.
"I thought we played pretty hard defensively," said coach Don Verlin after his team dropped to 13-15 overall and 4-10 in the WAC. "We didn't offensively. We either turned the ball over or missed shots."
The Vandals never led in the game as Louisiana Tech, which had four players in double figures, improved to 22-7 and 9-5 in the WAC.
"You have to make plays," Verlin said. "Defensively, I thought we played well enough to win. But, you have to give credit to Louisiana Tech. This is a good team."
Idaho's lone double-figure scorer was Marvin Jefferson, who was perfect from the field (6-for-6) and the line (one-for-one) in accounting for 13 points. He also had six rebounds. It was guard Mac Hopson who led Idaho on the boards with eight. Hopson and Steffan Johnson also had three assists each.
Idaho wraps up the regular season next week at the Cowan Spectrum - Thursday against San Jose State and Saturday against Hawai`i.