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Posts tagged: Vandals

Idaho releases road-heavy 2014 slate

The Idaho football team will open the 2014 football season at Florida — after its second-to-last game of 2013 was at Florida State — and play five of its first seven on the road. The Vandals announced their full slate for 2014, their first in the Sun Belt Conference since leaving the SBC to join the WAC prior to the 2005 season.

The Vandals have five home games, starting with Western Michigan (which went 1-11 in 2013, the same record as Idaho) on Sept. 13. Their other games in the Kibbie Dome are against South Alabama (Sept. 27), New Mexico State (Oct. 18), Arkansas State (Nov. 1) and Troy (Nov. 15).

“You have to win at home,” UI coach Paul Petrino said in a release. “It will important for us to make (the Kibbie Dome) a tough place to play. We need to win our home games.”

Idaho starts spring practice on March 28. We have more below.

Madison nets fifth weekly WAC award

Fresh off a 34-point performance in the final home game of his year, Idaho senior Stephen Madison was named WAC Player of the Week for a record fifth time this season on Monday. No other WAC player has won the award that many times during a season, according to the Idaho media relations department. Madison leads the WAC in scoring (19.8 ppg) and is fourth all-time in scoring at Idaho. With 1,495 points, Madison needs 91 more to become UI's second-leading career scorer. The Vandals (12-16, 5-8 WAC) have three road games left before the WAC tournament.

Madison, UI seniors get special sendoff

After Idaho gritted out an 83-77 win over Grand Canyon, it felt like a festive family reunion on the Memorial Gym court. Glen Dean's cousins shot hoops with a few of the Vandals. Stephen Madison took photos with his baby, girlfriend, sisters and parents. Dean and Madison had just played for the final time on their homecourt, and they wanted to soak it in.

You can read an early version of my story on Idaho's fourth straight win to close out its home schedule below.

Senior Day for Madison, Vandals

The last home game of the season at Idaho is usually Senior Night. Tomorrow, because of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest, it's Senior Day. The Vandals (11-16) will play host to Grand Canyon at 1 p.m. at Memorial Gym. And they'll bid farewell to one of the most accomplished seniors in recent program history. Read on.

Hill, Vandals erupt in win over Northridge

Connor Hill felt comfortable on Tuesday night, and why not? He was shooting at Memorial Gym, where the Vandals are unbeaten this season (albeit in just three games). Hill sank 8 3-pointers and finished with 28 points in Idaho's 96-88 victory over Cal State Northridge. The win over an old Big West Conference foe moved the Vandals to 11-16 with one home game left in the regular season (Saturday at 1 p.m. vs. Grand Canyon).

We've got our usual recap below.

Idaho’s Madison scores 42 in loss

Stephen Madison will go down as one of the best scorers in Idaho history. And Saturday night might very well go down as his masterpiece. Unfortunately for UI, it came in game with an all-too-familiar outcome — a one-point loss.

Madison, a 6-foot-6 senior from Portland, dropped in 42 points — the most for a Vandal since Orlando Lightfoot in 1993 — in a 89-88 setback at Utah Valley. The Vandals fell to 10-16 and 4-8 in the WAC despite Madison's career-best performance.

Before Saturday, Madison had made a strong case that he was the best player in the WAC. But his most convincing argument yet came against the WAC's leading team. He went 16 of 21 from the field, 8 of 11 from the free-throw line and missed just one shot from inside the arc.

Madison tied Steve Weist for the third-most points in a single game at Idaho, and he passed Kyle Barone for fourth all-time in scoring at UI with 1,440 points. The only Vandals in front of him are Lightfoot (2,102), Brian Kellerman (1,585) and Kenny Luckett (1,571).

We have more on Madison and Idaho below.

Defense lets Idaho down in second half

The Idaho Vandals had the lead, and a chance for their third straight win, in the second half at Cal State Bakersfield. But like has happened so many times this season, the Vandals fell flat down the stretch in a 76-67 loss to the Roadrunners. Idaho gave up 48 points in the second half against a team it beat by three points last month in Moscow to drop to 10-15 overall, 4-7 in the WAC. CSUB shot 60 percent after the break.

Stephen Madison led UI with 18 points, Connor Hill contributed 12 and Sekou Wiggs had 10 off the bench. But none of the Vandals' top offensive threats shot particularly well — Madison was 7 of 15 from the field, Wiggs went 3 of 10 and Glen Dean was 2 of 8.

Idaho plays at Utah Valley on Saturday at 6 p.m. Pacific. UVU got thumped tonight by Seattle U, 71-57.

More below.

Madison, Vandals nudge UTPA in OT

Idaho finally got it going at Cowan Spectrum — just in time to say goodbye for the year to its primary home venue. After upsetting New Mexico State on Thursday, the Vandals gutted out a 70-63 overtime win over Texas-Pan American to collect back-to-back WAC wins for the first time this year.

Idaho is now 10-14 and 4-6 in the conference, which puts them in sixth place and a half-game behind Missouri-Kansas City. The Vandals finish the regular season with five of seven on the road, and their final two at home will be at Memorial Gym with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest in the Kibbie Dome.

The last crowd at the Spectrum was one of the best of the year — an announced 1,717. Our unedited game story is below.

Vandals upset New Mexico State, 73-67

It was hard to imagine before tonight. Idaho had lost eight of its last 10 games. New Mexico State had giant center Sim Bhullar back healthy and had just creamed league-leading Utah Valley. But the Vandals frustrated NMSU just enough and were clearly the more hungry team in pulling off a 73-67 upset of the Aggies at Cowan Spectrum.

Our story on the game is below.

Vandals go heavy on JC recruits, speed

Paul Petrino announced his second recruiting class at Idaho, one that's heavy on junior-college transfers and speedy players at almost every position. Idaho signed 17 players today and 27 in all, including three grayshirts. The biggest signing came at the end of the day, when highly regarded defensive tackle Alfonso Hampton sent in his letter of intent.

We talked to Hampton's JC coach as part of our story, which you can read below.

Vandals find a way to lose again

After another puzzling loss, this one a 68-67 defeat at home to Seattle U, Idaho coach Don Verlin was asked if his team had played its worst basketball of the year during an eight-minute stretch when the Vandals went from leading by 16 to trailing by five. “I don’t know if ‘worst’ is the way to describe it,” he said. “Lack of discipline, lack of fundamentals, lack of execution. So I guess if that’s worst, yeah it is.”

That pretty much sums up the Vandals' 14th loss of the season, and their sixth loss in seven games at Cowan Spectrum. The Vandals fell apart — not once but twice.

Our recap of the game is below, and we also have a note on part of the bleachers at the Spectrum collapsing before the game.

Stat-stuffing year for Idaho’s Madison

Idaho's Stephen Madison has improved in each of his four years in Moscow. That seems like a fair summary of a fine career for the 6-foot-6 small forward out of Jefferson High in Portland, and it's something that coach Don Verlin appreciates. “I couldn't be happier with his development in the program,” Verlin said last week.

Madison averaged 3.7 points per game as a freshman in 2010-11. The next year he bumped up his average to 12.1 ppg. Last year, he increased his scoring to 14.1 ppg, and as a senior he's averaging 17.5 points — in addition to career-bests in almost every other statistical category.

He came into the week as the only player in the nation to lead his team in five areas – points (17.5 per game), rebounds (7.8), assists (2.4), steals (0.8) and blocks (0.6). But is that a good thing for the Vandals, who are languishing at 8-13 and 2-5 in the WAC?

We explore below.

Idaho routed at D-I newcomer Grand Canyon

Idaho kept pace with Grand Canyon University at the free-throw line in the first half. But the Antelopes, a Division I and WAC newcomer, got to the line 10 more times after the break — and made more 10 more free throws to pull away from the Vandals in a 86-73 win in Phoenix.

Grand Canyon, coached by former NBA star Dan Majerle, went on a decisive 20-3 outburst after Idaho briefly took the lead early in the second half.

The Vandals (8-13, 2-5) were called for 31 fouls, and the Antelopes made them pay. Grand Canyon connected on 35 of 41 foul shots, the most makes at the line for an Idaho opponent this year. Idaho, meanwhile, went 26 of 35 from the line, with five misses alone from reserve guard Sekou Wiggs.

More below.

Idaho’s Dean doubtful for Thursday

Idaho has just one game this week (Thursday at Grand Canyon) and one game next week (vs. Seattle on Feb. 1). It's a good thing, too. The Vandals are banged up. Starting point guard Glen Dean missed the Vandals' last two games with a sprained ankle and is doubtful for the GCU game. “It's not looking good,” said coach Don Verlin, adding that Dean is still day-to-day. If Dean's ankle doesn't progress, Verlin said he'll have an MRI next week.

More below.

Idaho finally wins at home in close game

Teams are supposed to have a big advantage at home, but that hadn't been the case for Idaho at Cowan Spectrum. In five games before tonight — three played without students in Moscow — the Vandals had lost five times. Yep, 0-5. But they made a string of winning plays down the stretch to dispatch Cal State Bakersfield 64-61.

An early version of our game story, and a few notes, are below after the jump.

Hobbled Vandals host Bakersfield

After six losses in their last seven games — four of them to conference opponents — the Idaho Vandals find themselves in last place in the WAC heading into tonight's tilt with Cal State Bakersfield (7 p.m., Cowan Spectrum). Idaho is 7-12 and 1-4 in the WAC, a half-game worse than Seattle and Texas-Pan American after dropping to 0-5 in the Spectrum on Thursday night with a 71-66 loss to Utah Valley.

We've got an update on the suddenly injury-plagued Vandals below, and where things have gone wrong during this extended slide.

NMSU pounds reeling Vandals

New Mexico State handed Idaho its worst of the loss of the season on Saturday night, a 78-54 beatdown in Las Cruces. And the Aggies dominated even more than the final score indicates.

NMSU, the WAC's top team at 14-5 and 3-0, thundered to a 24-4 lead in the first 8 minutes and led by 32 midway through the second half. The Aggies converted 17 Idaho turnovers into 30 points and held UI to 35 percent from the field. And they did all this without 7-foot-5 center Sim Bhullar, who missed the game with a foot injury.

The Vandals (7-11, 1-3) have lost five of their last six heading back to Moscow to host Utah Valley and Cal State Bakersfield.

More below.

Vandals snap 4-game skid with 2OT win

Idaho finally broke through with a clutch win. All it took was a basket in the final second from an unlikely source.

Freshman Perrion Callandret scored his only points of a wild game with 0.5 seconds left in double overtime to vault the Vandals past UTPA, 86-85, on Thursday night. Idaho (7-10, 1-2) ended a four-game losing streak and snagged its first WAC win of the season despite four starters fouling out and going 22 of 36 from the free-throw line.

UTPA (4-13, 0-2) has lost nine straight.

“I couldn’t be happier, especially for the guys in the locker room,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “When you lose games like that, they rip your hearts out, and it can be hard to get the pieces back together. Our guys hung together all night long and fought. At the end, we had four of our five starters fouled out. It’s hard to win on the road in the WAC, and when you miss as many free throws as we did, it makes it even harder. But what a great way to find a way to win and get our first WAC road win of the season.”

More below.

Idaho loses another nail-biter

It hasn't been a fun holiday stretch for Idaho. Four straight losses. The last three at home by nine combined points. And each crowd at Cowan Spectrum progressively smaller than the last.

Idaho fell 57-55 to Chicago State on Saturday night in front of 785 fans. The loss — another “rip-your-hear-out” game in Don Verlin's words — came after the Vandals clawed back from a 14-point second-half deficit.

Our story and a note on redshirt freshman Ty Egbert's ejection can be found after the link.

Idaho fritters away another lead, loses to UMKC

After Idaho blew another late lead at home, Don Verlin blew off the media. The Vandals sixth-year coach declined to make himself and his players available to reporters after an 80-74 loss to UMKC at Cowan Spectrum to open their final season in the WAC. Idaho, which twice led by five points in the final minutes, has dropped three straight games and now stands at 6-9 and 0-1.

Our story after the jump.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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