Idaho stomps NAU 65-49 for third straight win - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Idaho stomps NAU 65-49 for third straight win

Courtesy: Idaho Athletics Courtesy: Idaho Athletics

Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho – Make it three straight wins for the men as Idaho (9-9, 4-3 BSC) took down Northern Arizona (4-16, 1-6 BSC), 65-49, on Saturday night in Cowan Spectrum.

THE GAME

Idaho took a 30-23 lead into the half, using a quick, 7-0 run late in the frame to break away.  The Lumberjacks would cut the Vandal advantage to as little as two a couple of times early on in the second half and had it down to six on an Ako Kaluna jumper at 47-41 with 10:36 to play, but then the Idaho took over.

Idaho would go on a 13-0 run over the next 4:09, with four different Vandals contributing, to take a commanding lead.  Northern Arizona would chip away for the remainder of the game, but the damage had been done.

The story of the night was the Idaho bench, outscoring the Lumberjacks 35-5.  Brayon Blake was tremendous, scoring a team-high and career-high 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting.  He also connected on both of his 3-point attempts and grabbed seven boards.

As a squad, Idaho shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the floor and 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from beyond the arc.  The Vandals attempted just 12 free throws, way down from their usual average of nearly 23 per, but were successful on 11.  Both teams finished with 37 boards.

Victor Sanders put in a solid night, hitting 7-of-14 shots and finishing with 17 points to go along with three rebounds and three dimes.

THE NAME

Pat Ingram.  The senior chipped in with nine points, three boards and three assists in 18 minutes off the bench.  He was incredibly active on the defensive end as well, forcing the Lumberjacks into a number of difficult shots and picking up a block and a steal on the way.

Ingram was also a key member of Idaho’s 13-0 run in the second half.  He scored four points during the stretch, had one offensive rebound and one assist while helping shut down the Lumberjack offense.

THE QUOTES

“Yeah, it [the defense] was really good tonight,” said head coach Don Verlin.  “I thought we were very active and I thought our guys executed their gameplan very well.  I was really happy with the defensive field goal percentages after the game, to hold them to 30 and 15 that’s a man’s effort and I was really happy about that.

“Rebounding, they tied us on the boards, that’s an area we can get a little bit better in.  Like I said last week, we are built to defend and rebound and we have to do that at the very top of the Big Sky Conference if we want to get to all of our goals.

“I thought we just kind of wore them down.  They got some good looks early in the game, they got some layups, but then I thought there in the second half we just wore them down.  We were able to get some stops and get out in transition and get some easy baskets.

“It was nice to see BJ Blake make a couple 3’s, he played very well tonight.  Ingram came off the bench and gave us a great lift, a big offensive rebound there in the second half.  I thought our bigs battle hard all night long and really worked hard on their big guys.  At the end of the game they get 17 and 16, but I thought we really did a good job of making them earn their baskets.”

THE NOTES

  • Brayon Blake tallied a career-high 18 points in the win.
  • Idaho moves to 4-3 in the Big Sky and currently sits in a tie for fifth in the standings with Portland State.  A top-five finish will be incredibly important in Reno, as the top-five seeds receive a bye.
  • Pat Ingram tied a season-high with three assists.
  • Nate Sherwood tied a career-high with nine boards.
  • Victor Sanders scored in double-figures for the 16th time in 18 games this season.
  • Idaho got all 13 active players into the game on Saturday night.

Next up is the always difficult trip to Montana State and Montana.  Check back with GoVandals.com next week for more information.

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

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit GoVandals.com.  Fans can also find Idaho on Twitter and Instagram, @Idaho_Vandals, or on Facebook by searching Idaho Vandals.

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