After a solid season-opening win last weekend, Idaho showed more promise in the early moments of a tough nonconference game at Oklahoma. But the Vandals' six-point lead midway through the first half quickly disappeared, and the Sooners rolled to a 85-65 win at the Lloyd Noble Center in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
The Vandals (1-1) were outscored 29-12 to finish the first half after leading 17-11. Oklahoma (3-0) beat Alabama and North Texas to start the season and was an NCAA tournament team last year. The Sooners ramped up their full-court pressure, forcing the Vandals into 14 turnovers.
Idaho is back home Saturday night against Northwest Nazarene, an NCAA Division II team from Nampa. More after the jump.
A few notable stats and takeaways from Idaho's first loss:
- After a superb 21-point, 14-rebound opener, Stephen Madison had just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. He was 0 for 4 from the 3-point line. Connor Hill -- the other returning starter for UI -- was also held to seven points on 2-of-7 shooting. So the Vandals' most experienced returners, and two guys who played big roles against Western Illinois, were a combined 5 of 18 from the field.
- Senior point guard Glen Dean led the Vandals with 14 points, but he had just one assist and two turnovers. UI will need to get better at handling full-court defense, and Dean should play a key part in that -- along with guards Mike Scott, Sekou Wiggs, and Hill.
- The Vandals got encouraging performances from two freshman from Seattle -- Wiggs (11 points, two steals) and Perrion Callandret (10 points, two assists, one steal). Callandret, Dean's half-brother, scored his first points as a Vandal.
Here's the full write-up on tonight's game from Idaho:
NORMAN, Okla. – The Idaho men’s basketball team built an early lead in the first half, but Oklahoma stormed back to take control and never let up in an 85-65 victory over the Vandals on Wednesday night in the first of four games for Idaho in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Idaho lead 17-11 midway through the first half but the Sooners closed out the half strong and took a 40-29 lead into the locker room at the break before adding to their advantage throughout the second half.
“We got off to a good start, no question about it,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “You’ve got to credit Oklahoma, they made some adjustments and really turned up the pressure and we didn’t handle that very well. I was really happy with our start, I thought in spurts of the game we played really well, we just weren’t able to sustain our intensity against a good, well-coached Oklahoma team.”
Idaho senior Glen Dean led Idaho with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Freshman Sekou Wiggs came off the bench to chip in with 11 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of play, and went 7-of-10 from the free throw line and fellow freshman Perrion Callandret added 10 points, two rebounds and two assists off the bench as well. Senior Stephen Madison and junior Connor Hill each added seven points and all 11 Vandals who entered the game scored.
The Vandals shot 36.7 percent (22-of-60) from the field in the game including 6-of-22 from 3-point range, while Oklahoma shot 46.8 percent (29-of-62) and 8-of-20 from long range. The Sooners also held a 45-35 advantage on the glass and converted 15 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points.
“I hope our guys can learn from this game, that’s what I challenged them to in the locker room,” Verlin said. “Oklahoma is a good team, they’re picked fourth or fifth in the Big 12, they’re 3-0, this is a good basketball team. We’ve got to make sure we learn from it, and when the heat is turned up again, respond to it.”
Five Oklahoma players scored in double figures, led by 14 points from Cameron Clark. Ryan Spangler and Buddy Heild each added 13 points and Je’lon Hornbeak and Tyler Neal chipped in with 12 apiece.
The Vandals return to action on Saturday, Nov. 16, when they host Northwest Nazarene in Memorial Gym at 7 p.m. The Vandals will then travel to Portland for their final three games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic when they face Portland (Nov. 21), North Texas (Nov. 22) and Columbia (Nov. 23).