MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho has rarely dominated opponents the past two seasons. But when it was presented the opportunity Saturday, it took full advantage.
The Vandals overwhelmed the Walla Walla Wolves 100-50 in nonconference play to even their record at 3-3. It was the first time the Vandals have touched triple digits since they lit up George Fox 101-62 in 2017.
Furthermore, Idaho did it with only seven healthy players, and one of them didn’t finish the game that way. The season’s leading scorer, Trevon Allen, injured a foot midway through the first period and missed about 5 minutes. Allen came back, and also played early in the second half, but he watched the last 8 minutes, as Idaho was leading 78-40 and his services were no longer needed.
In Allen’s absence, Damen Thacker drained 4 of 6 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 24 points. Chance Garvin got the nod to start and contributed a career-high 21 points, and B.J. Simmons added 18.
The Vandals also owned the boards 45-32, led by Quinton Forrest with 14 and Scott Blakney with nine.
Walla Walla (2-4) could manage only one scorer in double figures, Dylan Browning, with 16 points.
“We’ll take it,” Idaho coach Zac Claus said of the win. “We had seven healthy and ready to go. They competed sound, solid as best they could at both ends.”
“The team was passing me the ball at the right spot,” Garvin said. “It was nice.”
But Claus raved about the junior guard’s defense.
“Most of the time, he’s guarding someone bigger and stronger,” Claus said of Garvin.
The Vandals have run all season and that didn’t change. They outscored Walla Walla 10-4 on fast breaks, and they consistently lost Walla Walla defenders on switches.
But the Vandals had a breakthrough inside, outscoring the Wolves 46-24 in the lane.
Idaho was also relentless in keeping defenders in front of the Wolves. The result was 16 Walla Walla turnovers, and the Vandals outscored the Wolves 21-2 on points from turnovers.
Walla Walla was held to 20-of-68 shooting from the floor, while Idaho hit 38 of 69 (55%).
“All week they harped on us to respect our opponent,” Garvin said of Vandals coaches.
Idaho gave a determined effort against Walla Walla until the final 20 seconds, when Simmons dribbled out the remaining time and the Vandals enjoyed a slow, rolling ovation from the Memorial Gym crowd.
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