Vandals Win 'Battle For The Palouse' Down WSU 78-74 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals Win 'Battle For The Palouse' Down WSU 78-74

By Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho – In front of a raucous crowd at Cowan Spectrum, Idaho (6-5) knocked off Washington State (5-2), 78-74.  The win is Idaho’s second straight in the Battle of the Palouse, the longest annual rivalry west of the Mississippi.

“That was a good one tonight,” said head coach Don Verlin.  “I don’t know if it’s the best win we’ve had here, we’ve had some ranked teams, but this one was a really good for us because I had a tired basketball team.  I thought my guys really stepped up and played as hard as they possibly could, with a lot of energy and a lot of grit.”

Perrion Callandret had a fantastic night, finishing with 25 points on just 13 field goal attempts.  Victor Sanders finished with 20 points, 15 in the second half.  Sanders went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, 3-of-4 in the final 20 minutes.

“It’s great for the team, it’s great for the fans,” said Callandret.  “It’s great for the University and the community.  This rivalry means a lot to a lot of people, and it feels good to get the win.”

The Vandals took an eight point lead with 2:36 to play on a 3-ball by Sanders.  The Cougars battled back, using their size to their advantage to put Idaho on its heels, but the Vandals stood up to the challenge and closed the game at the line.

Washington State had an opportunity to tie it with seconds remaining, but the Idaho defense stood strong.

The win is the second straight in the rivalry for the Vandals.  Idaho hadn’t won back-to-back meetings since winning three straight from 1988-1990.  The Vandals hadn’t won at home since 2002.

The Vandals outrebounded the Cougars, 39-22, including 14-1 on the offensive glass.  The Cougar big men imposed their will on the defensive end, but Idaho did a tremendous job keeping them off the offensive glass.

“The difference in this basketball game is our effort on the boards tonight,” Verlin said.  “If you had told me that we would outrebound them by 17 I would’ve said ‘no way’.  I thought that really was the difference in the basketball game.”

Ty Egbert had a solid night, finishing with nine rebounds and four points.  Egbert was called on frequently to help neutralize the WSU bigs, and he made the most of his minutes.

Freshman Nick Blair played a career-high 12 minutes on the night.  He finished with just five points, but made a huge impact on both ends of the court.  Chad Sherwood seems to be coming out of his slump, as he went 2-of-4 from range and finished with eight points.

Idaho shot tremendously well from beyond the arc at 56.3 percent (9-of-16).  The Vandals finished the night 25-of-57 (43.9%) from the field.

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