Straughan Leads Vandals to Win Over Northern Colorado - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Straughan Leads Vandals to Win Over Northern Colorado

The redshirt sophomore played just 15 minutes, but finished with a game-high 23 points. The redshirt sophomore played just 15 minutes, but finished with a game-high 23 points.

www.govandals.com

MOSCOW, Idaho – Jake Straughan stepped up in a major way to help lead Idaho (15-10, 7-5 BSC) past Northern Colorado (8-16, 5-7 BSC), 73-67.  The redshirt sophomore played just 15 minutes, but finished with a game-high 23 points.

“I thought they played with more energy than us in the first half,” head coach Don Verlin said.  “But I thought our team responded and played really hard.  We were able to lock them down, hold them to one shot and make it tough on them to score.”

Idaho trailed by two at the half, but came out with a fire in the second half.  The Vandal defense stepped up, allowing just nine rebounds in the second half.  Idaho held the Bears to 38.5 percent shooting in the frame, while forcing eight turnovers.

Idaho looked everywhere for offense in the second half, with eight different Vandals scoring.  Ty Egbert got things done early, grinding down low.  Arkadiy Mkrtychyan played limited minutes due to foul trouble, but was effective on the offensive end when needed the most.  Senior leader Chris Sarbaugh and Straughan closed out the game at the free throw line, hitting 7-of-8 combined in the final 30 seconds.

Straughan was untouchable on the night, hitting 6-of-7 shots from beyond the arc.  He got things started early, with the Vandals trailing by 13 and just over five minutes to play in the opening half.  Straughan went on a one-man run, draining his first four 3-point attempts over a three-plus minute stretch to keep the game close at the break.

“Jake came in and made a bunch of shots,” Verlin said.  “I thought we did a good job of executing our offense, I thought our point guards did a good job of finding Jake and I thought our big guys did a good job of finding Jake.  And Jake knocked them down.  He’s a good shooter, he’s been a good shooter his whole life.”

Sarbaugh finished with 14 points, seven boards and four steals, chipping in in a variety of ways.  Chad Sherwood also finished in double-figures, scoring 10 points.

Once again, the Vandals won the rebound battle, 30-22. 

Next up, the Vandals host North Dakota on Saturday at 7 p.m.  Check back with GoVandals.com tomorrow for more information.

Fans can stay up-to-date on all things Idaho men’s basketball by following the team on twitter, @VandalHoops.

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