March 6, 2010 in Sports

UI men win, will be 7th seed

Associated Press
 

MOSCOW, Idaho — Steffan Johnson scored a career high 28 points, including hitting a career high eight 3-pointers as Idaho beat Hawaii 78-69 on Saturday.

Mac Hopson added 15 points and 11 assists to help Idaho (15-15, 6-10 WAC) close out the regular season and secure a seventh seed in the Western Athletic Conference tournament next week.

Roderick Fleming scored 29 points for Hawaii (10-20, 3-13), which did not win a game on the road during the regular season and has been eliminated from the conference tournament.

With 7:29 remaining and the score tied at 54, Idaho went on a 16-7 run, putting the game out of reach for Hawaii with 3:24 remaining. Idaho hit five of their 14 3-pointers during that stretch.

“I thought Steffan (Johnson) and Mac (Hopson) did a nice job on offense,” said Idaho head coach Don Verlin. “They played solid offensively. I mean, we made 14 3-pointers. That’s hard to beat.”

Idaho played without the team’s second leading scorer, senior Kashif Watson, who has been suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team.

Verlin suspended Watson Friday after the senior made comments on Twitter that were critical of the Idaho basketball program. Verlin would not comment Saturday on the exact reason for the suspension.

“Anytime you lose a starter, it affects the entire team,” Verlin said. “The thing about Kashif (Watson) is we have a deep bench and we can draw from that.”

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