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Vandals drop Fresno St.

Idaho 5-1 in WAC after comeback victory

FRESNO, Calif. – Kyle Barone scored 18 points and Idaho pulled away in the second half to defeat Fresno State 67-57 Monday night.

Barone was 6 of 6 from the field and Shawn Henderson added 15 points for the Vandals (12-6, 5-1 Western Athletic Conference), who won their sixth in a row and sixth straight against Fresno State.

Greg Smith led the Bulldogs (7-9, 3-3) with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Fresno State has dropped three straight since starting WAC play 3-0.

The Vandals shot 61.4 percent from the field, going 7 of 14 from 3-point range, compared to Fresno State’s 35.8 percent.

Idaho trailed by two at halftime before pulling ahead by seven early in the second half. The Vandals later used a 14-3 run to put Fresno State away after the Bulldogs got to within 45-42 on Garrett Johnson’s 3-pointer with 11:39 left.

“That might be our best half of basketball since I’ve been here at the University of Idaho,” coach Don Verlin said about the second period. “It’s a credit to our guys executing the game plan.”

Jeff Ledbetter scored six of his 11 points during the surge, which gave the Vandals a 59-45 lead with 6:04 left.

Idaho led by 17 points, 63-46, before Fresno State cut it to 10 in the final minute.

Johnson and Kevin Olekaibe added nine points each for the Bulldogs, who were just 19 of 53 from the field.

Idaho outscored the Bulldogs 15-6 to start the second half and opened a 45-38 lead with 13:43 remaining.

Henderson’s running 3-pointer from two steps inside the half-court line at the halftime buzzer brought Idaho to within 32-30.

Henderson scored 11 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts.

The Bulldogs used an 8-0 run to take an early 15-7 lead.

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