Idaho Stumbles at Sacramento State 68-65 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Idaho Stumbles at Sacramento State 68-65

Perrion Callandret led the squad with 14 points, but struggled from the field at 2-of-9. Perrion Callandret led the squad with 14 points, but struggled from the field at 2-of-9.

University of Idaho Athletics

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It was another close game for the Vandals, this time swinging in the favor of the opponent, as Idaho (17-11, 9-6 BSC) fell to Sacramento State (11-14, 4-10 BSC), 68-65, at The Nest on Saturday night.

The Vandals had an opportunity late to tie the game after a missed free throw by the Hornets, but Perrion Callandret’s last second 3-pointer went begging.

“They became the most aggressive team,” said head coach Don Verlin.  “We got up 11 and we didn’t finish this basketball game.  They grabbed the momentum, they outrebounded us, they outcompeted us on both ends of the court.”

Sacramento State came out more aggressive in the second half and quickly cut the Idaho lead to just three points.  The Vandals settled down a bit from there and rebuilt its 10-point lead, but it would be short-lived, as the Hornets continued their hot shooting throughout the half.

Sacramento State reclaimed the lead with 6:38 to play, at 55-54.  The Vandals tied the game back up at 58, but the Hornets then went on an 8-2 run to take the lead for the final time.

Callandret led the squad with 14 points, but struggled from the field at 2-of-9.  Victor Sanders went for 12 points, while Arkadiy Mkrtychyan and Nahshon George each had 11.  Chris Sarbaugh did a little bit of everything, finishing with eight points, six rebounds and six assists.

The Vandals were outrebounded for the first time in Big Sky play, 34-31.  Idaho had a tough night shooting, going 19-of-45 from the field and 2-of-11 from beyond the arc.  The Vandals did make the most of their free throw opportunities, connecting on 78.1 percent (25-of-32) from the charity stripe.

The Vandals took control early in the game, behind tremendous play down low.  Idaho scored 20 points in the paint in the first half and took a 30-22 advantage into the locker room.

The battle for positioning in the Big Sky standings is getting tighter than ever.  The Vandals currently sit in fifth, one game out of third and 1.5 games out of seventh.  Idaho closes the season against the teams currently in third, first and fourth in the standings.

“It’s obviously a very disappointing loss because we had a chance to get ourselves all the way to third tonight, but what we need to do is keep going, keep plugging along.  We’ve had a good road season and now we need to finish up the home season in style with three great games coming up.”

Idaho gets a day off on Thursday and will return to the court on Saturday against Eastern Washington.  Tipoff from Memorial Gym is 1 p.m., check back with next week for more information.

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