Idaho moves to semifinals
RENO, Nev. – Shaena Kuehu scored a career-high 22 points and Yinka Olorunnife added 23 points and 10 rebounds as fourth-seeded Idaho defeated fifth-seeded New Mexico State 75-63 in the Western Athletic Conference tournament at the Lawlor Events Center.
Kuehu finished 7 of 15 from the field and added 10 rebounds and four assists for the Vandals (11-19). Olorunnife went 9 of 11 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and had four steals and two assists.
The Vandals registered their seventh win in their last 10 games, while New Mexico State finished 18-13. Idaho will face Fresno State at noon Friday with a title-game berth on the line.
“It feels great,” Idaho senior Charlotte Otero said. “We’ve done so many things this year and I’m really proud and happy to be a part of this team, and knowing that these are the girls who are helping to make my senior year keep going as far as it can go.”
The Vandals broke to a 41-33 lead 4 minutes into the second half. After NMSU rallied to tie, Idaho soon scored eight straight points for a 52-45 advantage. The Aggies fought back to within 58-57 with 4:35 remaining, but Otero slammed the door shut with a 3-pointer.
“Every time they made their runs, one of these guys right here made a big shot to keep us in front, and I thought it was important that we keep the lead down the stretch,” Idaho head coach Jon Newlee said.