January 11, 1998 in Sports

Vandals Keep On Doing Things Right, Win Again

By The Spokesman-Review

Idaho’s deficiencies have been well chronicled - too short, don’t jump well, etc.

Perhaps overlooked in all of the technical analysis is one major positive: The Vandals play pretty good basketball, which, at last check, was still the game’s ultimate objective.

They step in passing lanes, defend the post ferociously and scrap until they come up with rebounds. They pass well, cut and screen with purpose, and wisely utilize Avery Curry’s golden shooting touch as often as possible.

Further evidence was displayed Saturday as Idaho dismantled Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo 102-71 in front of 2,976 at the Kibbie Dome.

Idaho (8-4 overall, 2-0 Big West) has won six of its last seven, and three straight this week, including a non-league victory over Gonzaga. Cal Poly dropped to 7-7, 0-2.

“It was a pretty good week, wasn’t it?” Vandals coach Dave Farrar asked.

Farrar expressed his gratification by giving the players a day off today.

“For one of the few times in my career, we didn’t talk about Thursday’s game, we didn’t write anything on the board,” Farrar said. “We simply said enjoy this one for a while.”

Curry had another savory performance. He scored 23 points in the first half as Idaho barged in front 55-32. He made 9 of 11 shots, which dovetailed nicely with his 10-of-11 effort against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.

“We’re trying every night to earn respect,” Curry said. “We broke their press, and I found myself getting a lot of easy shots. Most of ‘em were layups.”

“Avery’s shot selection for two games has been inside the defense,” Farrar said. “He’s attacking the goal and he’s in a position of advantage.”

Cal Poly SLO, which won’t be giving defensive clinics anytime soon, kept its leaky full-court pressure on throughout. It helped Idaho reach its highest point total since scoring 107 in a double-overtime win over Boise State in 1993.

“Idaho played better in all phases,” said Mustangs coach Jeff Schneider, a former Washington State assistant. “They’re playing outstanding basketball.”

And it’s not just Curry.

Josh Toal didn’t start, but played 36 minutes. He put a defensive clamp on Mike Wozniak, the Big West’s leading scorer at 20.5 per game. Wozniak finished with nine points.

Toal had seven points, six assists, five steals and four rebounds. Many of Cal Poly’s 27 unsightly turnovers were his doing.

In a one-minute span in the second half, Toal intercepted a pass on the wing and drove for a layup, picked off another pass in nearly the exact spot and drew a charge as Cal Poly butchered a 3-on-1 break.

“If he eliminates a couple mistakes, he has a career night,” Farrar said.

Curry rested most of the second half and finished with 26 points. Troy Thompson quietly scored 13. Kris Baumann, benched after taking an ill-advised 3-point shot early, rallied to score 14. The Vandals shot 53 percent.

Jabbar Washington led the Mustangs with 20.

UI 102, Cal Poly SLO 71

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (7-7) - Washington 5-12 10-11 20, Bjorklund 6-12 3-12 15, Ketcham 1-5 1-2 3, Larson 0-2 0-0 0, Wozniak 4-6 0-0 9, Kinner 2-3 0-0 6, Fleming 0-1 0-2 0, Favors 3-9 4-6 10, Mayes 1-1 4-6 6, Beeson 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 23-53 22-39 71.

Idaho (8-4) - Banks 3-4 0-0 6, Tosi 0-1 2-2 2, Byrne 3-4 4-4 10, Baumann 5-10 0-0 14, Curry 10-15 6-8 26, Gray 3-11 7-10 13, Miller 1-3 2-2 4, Toal 3-6 1-2 7, Thompson 6-9 1-1 13, Hessing 1-1 0-0 2, Hampton 2-6 1-1 5. Totals 37-70 24-30 102.

Halftime - Idaho 55, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo 32. 3-Point goals - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 3-11 (Kinner 2-3, Wozniak 1-2, Washington 0-1, Bjorklund 0-1, Ketcham 0-1, Beeson 0-1), Idaho 4-12 (Baumann 4-9, Toal 0-2, Banks 0-1). Fouled out - Banks, Byrne. Rebounds - Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo 34 (Bjorklund 6), Idaho 41 (Gray 7). Assists - Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo 3 (Larson 2), Idaho 16 (Toal 6). Total fouls - Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo 26, Idaho 28. A - 2,976.

, DataTimes

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