When your team is up 17 points at home to one of the WAC's worst teams, you don't expect to lose. And the 1,279 in attendance Thursday night at the Cowan Spectrum had to feel pretty good in the first half about Idaho winning its second straight game. But then turnovers started to mount for the Vandals, and Texas State completed a huge comeback to nab a 78-73 win.
Our game story, from correspondent Theo Lawson, can be found here. A few notes to pass along:
Idaho (7-11, 3-5) blew its biggest lead of the season, and Texas State won for just the sixth time this season.
Vandals center Kyle Barone had a career-high 27 points and 16 rebounds to become the career scoring leader among Idaho post players, passing Riley Smith. Barone is having a superb final season at Idaho, and he's been especially good at the free-throw line in recent weeks (he was 11 of 12 vs. Texas State). But the production from the WAC's leading rebounder hasn't been nearly enough to offset UI's turnover issues and inconsistency from much of the rest of the roster.
Idaho junior Marcus Bell, who did not travel with the team last week for what Don Verlin called an attitude issue, didn't play for the third straight home.
From UI media relations: Joel Wright’s 37 points are the most Idaho has ever surrendered in a WAC game. The previous high was 32 points, twice. It’s the most points an Idaho team has surrendered overall since Kenny Daniels of Cal State Northridge scored 39 on Dec. 3, 2009.
The Vandals host UTSA on Saturday night at 7:05 before two more home games next week with Utah State and San Jose State. If UI had won Thursday, it would have been just a game behind Utah State for fourth place in the WAC. As it is, the Vandals are tied for sixth with SJSU.