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Fri., Dec. 9, 2011, 10:32 p.m.

Vandals net big Pac-12 upset

Coming into the year, Idaho coach Don Verlin looked at this week -- with games at home against Washington State and at Oregon State separated by three days -- and knew it would be telling for the Vandals. Could they hang with two Pac-12 schools? It turns out they could, and they almost went 2-for-2 in upsets for the week.

UI squelched every Oregon State rally attempt in the second half and rolled to a 74-60 rout of the Beavers in Corvallis -- its most decisive win over a Pac-12 school since 1992. Idaho moved to 5-4, while OSU dropped to 6-2. We've got more below.


Below is the wrap-up from Idaho media relations. One thing to note: Since going scoreless for much of an ugly home loss to Eastern Washington, Vandals guard Deremy Geiger has come up big in two wins. He had 18 points at UC Davis, going 4-of-6 from the 3-point line, and tonight he scored a career-high 27 points with seven 3s. Said Verlin, "Deremy Geiger made everything he looked at tonight."


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Senior guard Deremy Geiger torched the nets to lead University of Idaho men’s basketball to a 74-60 road victory at Oregon State on Friday.
Determined to avoid a repeat performance of Wednesday’s last-second loss against Washington State, the Vandal men jumped all over Oregon State from the outset and opened the game on a 12-4 run. It was pretty much all Vandals after that point.
Idaho (5-4) led by double figures the entire second half, and played tough defense all night long. Oregon State (6-2) missed its first 12 three-pointers and finished just 3-of-23 (.130) from long range.
It was Idaho’s biggest win over a Pac-12 opponent since its 80-61 victory at Oregon on Dec. 12, 1992.
“It didn’t feel like that – it felt like it was two most of the night,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said of the margin of victory. “I thought our guys did a great job of coming up with the big play when we needed to. We didn’t do that against WSU, but we did it tonight.”
Geiger was the star of the show with a career-high 27 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including a blistering 7-of-9 from 3-point range. He also added a season-high five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“Deremy Geiger made everything he looked at tonight,” Verlin said.
Sophomore guard Stephen Madison kept his hot streak alive with a career-high 12 rebounds, and came up just short of a double-double with nine points and tied his career high with five assists. Senior guard Landon Tatum knocked down seven of his 10 free throw attempts and finished with 13 points, six assists and six rebounds.
Time and time again, Geiger knocked down open 3-pointers, Madison soared in for defensive boards and the Vandals held tough against a team that entered the game 6-1 and 4-0 on its home court. When Geiger needed a break, freshman Connor Hill came in and knocked down a pair of triples, dished a pair of assists and drew a charge.
Verlin also pointed out the post play of junior Kyle Barone and Djim Bandoumel, who combined for 14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists on combined 7-of-11 shooting.
OSU’s Jared Cunningham, who entered the game as the Pac-12’s leading scorer with 19.9 points per game, was held without a made field goal on nine attempts, and finished the game with just seven points. The Beavers got 16 points from Roberto Nelson off the bench and 15 from forward Joe Burton.
Idaho held a 42-36 rebounding edge. Oregon State outscored the Vandals 26-20 in the paint, 17-11 off turnovers and 18-9 on second chance, but Idaho put in 30 points from outside the 3-point arc and shot 50 percent from the field for the fourth time this season to cancel OSU’s advantages.
The only blemish on an otherwise starry night was the team’s 18 turnovers in the face of OSU’s constant pressure, but the Vandals turned it over just six times after the half and dished up 12 assists over that time span.
“That pressure they had up front really bothered us offensively, and in the second half I thought we were able to execute,” Verlin said. “We were able to execute and get the shots we needed, then the guys went up and knocked them down.”
Idaho used a 10-0 run early in the first half to eliminate OSU’s 2-4 lead – the Beavers’ only lead of the game – and took a 12-4 advantage at the 14:30 mark of the first half. Oregon State scored the game’s next four points to get within four at 12-8, but Geiger answered with back-to-back treys and the team’s lead never dropped below six points for the remainder of the game.
The Vandals scored the first half’s final five points to take a 35-24 advantage into the break, then opened the second half on a 9-4 run to extend their lead to 44-28 on a Bandoumel lay-up at 16:58. The Vandals stretched their lead to as many as 18 points and knocked down 10 of their 14 free throws over the final three minutes to ice the victory.
The win is the team’s second-consecutive road win against a Pac-12 opponent after its 69-65 victory at Oregon last year on Dec. 21, 2010.
The celebration will be tempered though, because the Vandals hop on the bus tonight and head to Seattle, Wash., for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Seattle University – another team that thrives on defensive intensity and constant pressure.
“It’s a huge win at this point in the season, and now we’ve got to build on it,” Verlin said. “When we get up tomorrow, it’s all Seattle U. We’ve never had an easy bout with them.”
Sunday’s game at KeyArena tips off at 3 p.m. (PT).

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