Vandals Use 2nd Half Run To Top Troy 69-63 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals Use 2nd Half Run To Top Troy 69-63

DENTON, Texas A 22-3 run midway through the second half gave Idaho (4-1) a lead it would not relinquish, as the Vandals took down Troy (2-3), 69-63, on Tuesday afternoon at the Mean Green Challenge.  The Trojans closed the game on a big run of their own, but Idaho’s lead proved to be enough to earn the win.

“I thought we did a great job moving the ball and attacked their zone,” said head coach Don Verlin.  “We showed a lot of heart, it’s tough to play in this kind of atmosphere, where it feels like a closed scrimmage.  I couldn’t be prouder of them for that.”

The Vandals took over midway through the second half.  With the game tied at 36, Idaho went on a quick 7-0 run to get things started.  After a bucket by the Trojans, Idaho then went on a 15-1 run, with Sanders scoring all 15 points. Victor Sanders had started the game 0-of-8 from the field, but then connected on four consecutive 3’s and hit three free throws to give Idaho its largest lead of the game.

“I don’t think he had any better shots in the second half than the first, he just made them,” Verlin said.  “I told him at halftime that he’s a shooter and that those shots would fall.  He really stayed with us mentally and hit some big shots for us in the second half.”

Troy closed the game on a 12-1 run to shrink the lead, but the damage was done as the Vandals had been ahead by a comfortable margin for much of the second half.

Sanders led the way with 15 points, all during his lights-out stretch in the second half.  Perrion Callandret added 13 points, while Arkadiy Mkrychyan scored 10 of his own. Nahshon George had a solid night, tying his career-high with eight points and setting a career-high with 10 boards.

The Vandal defense was impressive, holding Troy to 35.6 percent shooting from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc.  Idaho also held Jordon Varnado, the nation’s top scoring freshman, scoreless on the night.

Neither team took control in the first half, although the Vandals led for the majority of the period.  Idaho’s defense was up to the challenge against the cutting and slashing Trojans, drawing four charges in the opening half.

Idaho won the rebound battle, 42-35, but again had trouble controlling the basketball, finishing with 20 turnovers.

Idaho wraps up competition at the Mean Green Challenge tomorrow against Samford.  Tipoff is set for 12 p.m.

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