Vandals Use Late Comeback Effort to Take Down Host North Texas - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals Use Late Comeback Effort to Take Down Host North Texas

The Idaho men’s basketball team came back to beat North Texas in the Mean Green Showcase. The Idaho men’s basketball team came back to beat North Texas in the Mean Green Showcase.

by Idaho Athletics

DENTON, Texas - A 6-0 run to close the game gave Idaho (3-1) the 65-63 win over North Texas (2-1) in the opening day of the Mean Green Showcase. Idaho trailed by as many as nine in the second half, but stayed poised to earn the win.

"We obviously feel very good about it," said head coach Don Verlin. "We made a lot of really big plays down the stretch. The thing I was most proud of was that we kept fighting. There was no waiver to the commitment to what we were doing and I was proud of them. I was just happy with the way the guys kept fighting and found a way to win against a good North Texas team."

After an even first half, the Mean Green jumped out a quick start in the second to take the nine-point lead. Idaho chipped away at the deficit, but couldn't get closer than five until the final minutes. Trailing 60-54 with under four minutes to play, Idaho made its final push, closing the game on an 11-3 run to earn the win.

The run started with a baseline jumper by Nahshon George. Victor Sanders then rattled in a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one. North Texas' J-Mychal Reese nearly killed the Idaho momentum with a 3-point-play immediately after, but George came right back with another quick bucket. After yet another defensive stop, Perrion Callandret pulled up for a 3 to give Idaho its first lead since early in the second half.

The Mean Green thought they had retaken the lead with an and-1 on the next possession, but the officials confirmed that Jordan Scott had been set and called the play a charge.

The Vandals had plenty of opportunities to ice the game at the free throw line, but struggled to finish off the Mean Green. Ty Egbert went to the line for six attempts in the final minute, but only hit one. Chris Sarbaugh came up big for the Vandals with the offensive rebound on the final miss, but also missed both of his free throw attempts. North Texas' final attempt at the buzzer went begging.

Egbert scored a career-high 14 points on the night, going 4-of-6 from the floor. Sanders and Callandret also finished in double-figures, with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Idaho was in foul trouble all night, as the Vandals committed 30 fouls on the night. Seven Vandals finished with at least three fouls.

The Vandals were outrebounded, 32-31. Idaho shot 42.2 percent (19-of-45) from the field and 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from beyond the arc.

It was a back-and-forth first half, with neither team able to take complete control. Idaho led 28-20 with under four minutes to play, but North Texas closed the half well to level the score at 32.

Idaho takes on Troy tomorrow at 3 p.m. in its second game of the Mean Green Showcase.

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