Vandal women fall to Nevada - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandal women fall to Nevada

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MOSCOW, Idaho – The Nevada Wolf Pack took advantage of 15 offensive rebounds, including 11 in the second half, to edge the Idaho women's basketball team 69-63 Thursday night in the Cowan Spectrum, in a see-saw game that featured seven ties and 12 lead-changes.

Senior Yinka Olorunnife had her 12th double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds, but the no other Idaho (13-11, 6-6 Western Athletic Conference) player had more than three rebounds, and Idaho was out-rebounded 41-27 in the game.

"We kind of rely on Yinka a lot, and we can't do that, we can't leave her hanging," Idaho senior Derisa Taleni said. "We can't just have her rebound all the balls, because she has to fight one or two people. In our game plan our coaches really stressed five on the glass, and we've got to do that."

Nevada dominated the battle in the paint and on the second chance. The Wolf Pack held a 36-24 lead down low, and a 22-10 advantage in second chance points.

"It's frustrating, because this is the time of year that we really need the wins," Olorunnife said. "It's almost March, the conference tournament is in a few weeks, and we can't be having games like this. It's a disappointment."

Taleni finished with 10 points in the game, as did freshman Alyssa Charlston, and Keri Arendse finished with eight points and a career-high five assists.

Senior Rachele Kloke, who came returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with an injury, scored six points on 2-of-5 shooting, and had three assists.

Nevada (18-7, 7-5 WAC) was led by 27 points from Tahnee Robinson, who went 9-for-16 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Robinson's long 3-pointer with 59 seconds left put the Wolf Pack up by six, and the Vandals wouldn't pull any closer than three. Shavon Moore had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Nevada.

Idaho finished the game with just 13 turnovers, but 10 of those came in the first half, which led to 16 of Nevada's 26 first half points.

"Everybody took a turn at not being able to catch the ball and everybody took a turn at throwing the ball away," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "It wasn't just one person, it was everybody out there. They act like they've never seen each other before and it's the middle of February, and that's very disappointing to me."

The Vandals fell behind early, trailing 13-5 eight minutes into the game. But a 20-4 extended run by the Vandals gave Idaho its own eight point lead, at 25-17. The Wolf Pack, however, was able to cut into the lead by halftime, as Idaho took a 29-26 lead into the break.

Neither team led by more than five points through nearly the first 14 minutes of the second half until Nevada went on a 7-0 run to pull ahead 56-50 with 6:10 to play. Idaho would pull within one, at 59-58, but couldn't get over the hump.

"I understand what happened, believe me," Newlee said. "When they get 11 offensive rebounds in the second half, they out-worked us, they out-played us, they out-hustled us, they got to every 50-50 ball. That's embarrassing to me at home, to not give the effort needed in a huge game like this."

Olorunnife's 13 rebounds lift her career total to 987, just 13 shy of becoming the second player in Vandal history to reach 1,000 career rebounds. She is 19 rebounds shy of breaking Idaho's all-time rebounding record of 1,005, and 39 shy of breaking the WAC's all-time record of 1,025.

The Vandals have another crucial WAC game upcoming, as third-place Utah State visits the Cowan Spectrum on Saturday at 2 p.m. Saturday's game is Senior Day, and five Vandals seniors will be honored in a special presentation before the game.


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