LOGAN, Utah - The three-game win streak the Idaho women's basketball team brought into Utah State Thursday night was put to an abrupt end as the Aggies took advantage of Idaho's out-of-sync offense to win 81-50 in Western Athletic Conference play.
"The shot selection I was okay with, what I wasn't okay with was the hesitancy," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "We shot the ball with no confidence, it was really strange. We didn't have the attack mentality. We played really soft and really passive. That's on me, I have to get them ready to play and apparently I didn't get them ready to play because I can't think of one person who came out ready to play tonight."
The Vandals hit just 14-of-70 shots in the game to shoot a season-low 20 percent from the field. Idaho's 4-of-33 (12.1 percent) 3-point shooting performance was also a season low. Idaho's 17 turnovers, right on the teams' season average, led to 12 USU points. The Aggies also held a 45-43 rebounding advantage.
Idaho falls to 9-12 with the loss and 6-4 in WAC play, while Utah State improves to 11-10 and 8-2 in the WAC. The loss is Idaho's first WAC road loss of the season.
Idaho took its only lead of the evening at 1-0 after Ali Forde went 1-for-2 from the free throw line early in the first half, but the Vandals couldn't buy a bucket before the break. Idaho went just 7-of-32 from the field and 2-of-16 from 3-point range in the first half, to go along with 12 turnovers, aiding Utah State's 35-21 halftime lead.
"For about the first 15 minutes I liked what we were doing defensively," Newlee said. "But at about the three minute mark of the first half they went on a run and we kind of laid down which I was really disappointed with. I think we have a team of fighters and we didn't have any fight tonight."
The Aggies built their lead to 18 points early in the second half, before Idaho threatened to get back into the game. The Vandals used an 8-0 run to pull within 10, but Utah State responded with an 8-0 run of its own and led comfortably the rest of the way.
The Vandals wrap up their four-game road trip at San Jose State with a 2 p.m. (PT) tipoff on Saturday. Idaho will then return home for four of its final seven regular season games, beginning with home games against New Mexico State on Feb. 7 and Denver on Feb. 9.