Posts tagged: Vandals
A great crowd. A great atmosphere. A great game. But Idaho couldn't come up with one last shot — or one last rebound — against its border rival on Saturday night. The Vandals fell 67-66 to Washington State, and we have a recap from UI's perspective below.
Austin Rehkow plays football for the University of Idaho. And he may soon play basketball for the Vandals, too. Rehkow, a freshman punter and kicker, will spend the next week to 10 days with the UI basketball team and then decide if he wants to become a hoops walk-on.
If Don Verlin and the Idaho Vandals sign a high school player, chances are he's from the Northwest. That trend continued Tuesday when UI announced the signing of Arkadiy Mkrtychyan, a 6-foot-7 forward from Portland. Mkrtychyan has spent the last two years in Portland, but he's not a born-and-bred Northwest native. He originally hails from Moscow, Russia, and played his sophomore year in Honolulu. before transferring to Portland’s Columbia Christian High, where he had to sit out his junior season.
Verlin compared Mkrtychyan to Stephen Madison, Idaho's leading scorer and a Portland native, in terms of his versatility.
“He’s a multi-position guy who can play both forward spots, small and power forward,” Verlin said in a statement. “He has had extensive experience overseas. We saw him this summer and I really liked his ability to play around the basket and away from the basket, and he really fits into our system.”
Mkrtychyan joins Jake Straughan of Colton, Wash., as Idaho’s early period signees. “The things we’re excited about are his size, his ability, his ability to play multiple positions and getting another good, young high school player from the Northwest,” Verlin added.
For the second time in the first month of the season, Idaho small forward Stephen Madison has been named WAC Player of the Week. And he wasn't the only Vandal feted on Monday — freshman kicker/punter Austin Rehkow hauled in a national award for FBS independent schools after he capped a remarkable freshman season with a big day on Saturday in a loss to New Mexico State.
All the details are below.
Connor Hill scored a career-high 29 points, and Idaho shook off a sluggish defensive start to clip UC Davis 80-76 on Saturday afternoon. The Vandals rallied from 15 points down to move their record to 4-4.
Hill sank 7 of 9 3-pointers, while Stephen Madison had 15 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks for the Vandals. Glen Dean contributed 18 points, all in the second half.
UC Davis scored just 33 points in the second half. Vandals coach Don Verlin said the key was locking down on the Aggies' outside shooting. “We had given them way too many points at half. I said if we would buckle down defensively, we could get on a roll. We were actually playing pretty well offensively. The key stat is we got those 3-pointers down, they made six in the first half and one in the second, we were able to guard the 3-point line in the second half.”
UI connected on nine 3-pointers in the second half, outscoring UC Davis 27-3 from outside after halftime.
Paul Petrino's first season at Idaho ended on a familiar note, with more frustration and another loss. Idaho failed to score touchdowns in five chances inside New Mexico State's 20-yard line in a 24-16 loss to the Aggies at Memorial Stadium. The Vandals finished the year 1-11 after NMSU beat an FBS team for the first time since 2011.
The Vandals had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but Taylor Davis' fourth-down pass at the 19 sailed out of the end zone as the clock expired. Earlier in the fourth quarter, Davis had a pass intercepted that UI believed was a catch by Dezmon Epps (it was reviewed and upheld), and the Vandals dropped two surefire TD catches in the end zone before that.
Asked about his team's red-zone woes, Petrino said: “Yeah, that’s ridiculous. Two of the drives (we) just dropped wide-open touchdowns.”
Idaho lost seven straight to close the season after its win over Temple on Sept. 28. After winning 14 games in 2009 and 2010, UI is 4-32 in the last three seasons — with at least 10 losses each year.
What's the difference between 1-11 and 2-10? In five years, it won't seem like much to Idaho and New Mexico State. But for the Vandals who want to shed a six-game losing streak and head into Paul Petrino's first full offseason with positive vibes, today's game at New Mexico State definitely means something.
The Vandals and Aggies meet this afternoon in Las Cruces at 12:30 PST, and both teams will try to squeeze some joy out of the final week of what's been a trying season for each program.
The Idaho Vandals thundered back from 23 points down in the second half to make Boise State sweat, but the Broncos outlasted UI 98-89 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise on Wednesday night.
The Vandals (3-4) closed within five points, 94-89, with 43 seconds remaining on a Mike Scott layup to cap a 37-19 tear over seven-plus minutes. But BSU — and Derrick Marks specifically — was masterful from the free-throw line in the final minutes. Marks finished with a career-high 39 points. He was 21 of 23 from the foul line and scored the Broncos' final 15 points, all but two of which came from the line.
Stephen Madison poured in a season-high 26 points and eight rebounds. Glen Dean had 15 points and Scott contributed 14 off the bench. Still, tthe Vandals gave up 28 points in the paint in the first half, when BSU shot over 60 percent.
“I have to grow this team up, and I thought they grew up a little tonight,” coach Don Verlin said. “We got better. I’m not going to let them have a moral victory. You can’t accept that when you’re the coach of the Vandals, but you also have to build this team and I thought we got a little better tonight.”
This was the fifth straight win for BSU (5-0) in a rivalry that's turned into a once-a-season affair in Boise. Idaho's last win over the Broncos came on Feb. 6, 2010.
It was an up-and-down weekend in Portland for the Idaho men's basketball team, which followed up a decisive win over North Texas on Friday night with a disjointed effort in a 65-60 loss to Columbia to close the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Chiles Center. The Vandals lost two out of three in the final leg of the event to move their record to 3-3.
Despite being called for 21 fouls in the second half and getting only seven points from leading scoring Stephen Madison, Idaho closed to within three points with 11 seconds left on a Sekou Wiggs' banked 3-pointer. But the Lions, an Ivy League school that likes to play at a slow pace, fit two free throws to seal the game.
Connor Hill led UI with 12 points, but the junior was just 5 of 14 from the field and 2 of 7 from the 3-point line. UI plays Boise State at CenturyLink Arena in Boise on Wednesday night.
Florida State got the lopsided victory it expected. Idaho will get the paycheck it signed up for.
The second-ranked Seminoles bludgeoned the Vandals 80-14 on Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium, moving their record to 11-0. UI (1-10) allowed the second-most points in school history, just behind the 84 points it gave up to Washington State in 1975.
In today's paper, I wrote about the shifting revenue streams for Idaho's athletic department and the increasingly important role of money games, like today's at Florida State. The Vandals are getting a princely sum — $950,000, the biggest payout in school history — to play the No. 2 Seminoles today (12:30 p.m., ESPNU). But there's a contingent of UI fans — and perhaps players, too — who don't think the huge amount of money is worth risking injuries and embarrassment on national TV.
Vandals athletic director Rob Spear had some interesting thoughts on this topic that I explored in the story. And I have more from Spear below.
Idaho's 14-point loss to host team Portland in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Thursday night was discouraging on a number of fronts. It wasn't just that the Vandals lost to what appears to be a good team; it was the fact they weren't competitive against the Pilots. But it was a whole different story Friday night in an 87-76 win over North Texas.
The Vandals rocketed to a 24-point lead in the second half and held on for a confidence-building win. “It would have been real easy to be heartbroken after the way we played last night, but our guys came out and competed,” coach Don Verlin said. “Hopefully next time we get in that position we can finish a little better than we did tonight, but I’m happy with the win and we’re excited to face Columbia tomorrow and I couldn’t be happier for our guys.”
The Vandals (3-2) will take on Columbia (2-3) of the Ivy League on Saturday at 4:30 at the Chiles Center to wrap up the event. Portland cruised past Columbia 69-52 on Friday night.
Fans had barely settled into their seats at the Chiles Center on Thursday night when the University of Portland delivered the knockout blow against Idaho. The Pilots rattled off 17 unanswered points early in the first half and went on to a more-decisive-than-it-looked 88-74 victory in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Portland (2-2) led 21-4 after its big run, and after the Vandals cut the deficit to 10 points at the half, the Pilots roared back to go up by as many as 24. Idaho (2-2) shot just 38 percent from the floor and made only three field goals in the game's first 10 minutes.
UI continues play in the event with a game against North Texas on Friday at 4:30. It then plays Columbia on Saturday at 4:30. Columbia beat UNT 70-66 on Thursday night.
The two biggest rivalry games for the Idaho basketball team will be on regional TV networks, and the Vandals' second-to-last football game of the season — Saturday at No. 2 Florida State — will be on ESPNU. Idaho is a 57-point underdog to the Seminoles, who are in line to play for the national championship if they win out.
We have a mix of Vandals basketball and football news to pass along — check it out after the jump.
The Idaho Vandals shot 52 percent and won by 14 points on Saturday night. What's not to like, right? Start with the fact they were playing Northwest Nazarene, a Division II school from Nampa. And add in the fact they led by just five points close to the midway point of the second half. UI coach Don Verlin wasn't happy on the sideline for much of the game, and you can read why in an unedited version of our game story below.
Jake Straughan, a 6-foot-1 guard from nearby Colton (Wash.) High, is the first member of Idaho's 2014 recruiting class. The Vandals announced the signing of Straughan this morning. He averaged 26 points per game last year as a junior for the Wildcats, who participate in Washington's smallest classification, and he's the starting quarterback for Colton's football team.
“As he grows up and makes the adjustment from where he’s playing now — a small school in Washington — to Division I basketball, he’ll be an excellent player,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “If I wasn’t convinced that he could make the transition, then obviously we wouldn’t have signed him. It’s going to be an adjustment, but it is for every freshman coming in. His character and his work ethic and all the things that Jake Straughan stands for will win out in the long run, without question.”
Straughan is the latest in a string of Northwest recruits that Verlin has signed, joining Ty Egbert, Perrion Callandret and Sekou Wiggs, among others.
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.
Idaho small forward Stephen Madison was named WAC Player of the Week on Monday after he kicked off his senior season with a 21 points, a career-best 14 rebounds and five assists in a 67-63 win over Western Illinois. Madison also won the weekly WAC honor from College Sports Madness.
“Steve played great the other night with 21 points and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “He shot the ball extremely well and played with a lot of energy on both ends of the court. I couldn’t be happier for the way he started his senior year. That’s a great start for him.”
The Vandals (1-0) open the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Wednesday night at Oklahoma, which is 2-0. UI then comes back home to host Northwest Nazarene on Saturday night.
It was more of the same for the Idaho football team this afternoon — a fifth straight loss, and another blowout to boot. Meanwhile, the UI men's basketball team gave 1,326 fans a taste of what might be in a 67-63 win over Western Illinois in its season opener.
We have our unedited game stories we filed from the Kibbie Dome and Memorial Gym on a busy Saturday afternoon/evening after the jump.
The Idaho football team plays its final home game this afternoon (vs. Old Dominion at 2 p.m.), just as the Idaho men's basketball team begins its season with a home game (vs. Western Illinois at 7 p.m.).
We have quick previews of both games below.