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Hopson ignites Vandals victory

By From News Services

BOISE – Mac Hopson had 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds to lead Idaho to a 71-52 victory over Lewis-Clark State on Tuesday night.

The Vandals never trailed and used an 18-0 run to build a 22-4 lead with 12:25 left in the first half.

Steffan Johnson added 11 points for Idaho (7-4).

Tanner McIntosh, Markus Monroe and Daniel Williams all scored 10 points for NAIA Lewis-Clark State. The game was an exhibition for the Warriors.

The Vandals had a 42-32 rebound edge, including 15 offensive rebounds.

“I thought we played pretty well at times,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said. “In the first half, I thought we played very well, especially defensively.”

Idaho’s biggest lead was 21 points, occurring when Luciano de Souza made a 3-pointer with 11:47 to play to make it 53-32.

The Vandals jumped out to a big first-half lead on the heels of 51.9 percent shooting and stifling defense that forced nine turnovers and held LCSC to 29.2 percent shooting. Idaho finished the game .500 from the field, while LCSC went .347 overall.

“I thought we rebounded the ball well and probably the thing I liked best was 17 assists, seven turnovers,” Verlin said. “We haven’t had a single-digit turnover game this year, so I was very happy with that part of the game.”

Idaho outscored the Warriors 15-3 on points off turnovers and 17-8 on second-chance points. The Vandals also scored 26 points in the paint while giving up just 14.

The schools are located 33 miles apart, but the contest was played in Boise in conjunction with the Idaho football team’s appearance in today’s Humanitarian Bowl.

Idaho plays Bowling Green in the bowl game.

Verlin said that he was happy with the turnout of 4,111 fans at the game and said that a similar kind of neutral site game in Boise is something he’d like to see the team work out every year.

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