Vandals struggle to put away Crusaders
MOSCOW, Idaho – For a good part of Saturday night, it was hard to tell if Idaho was playing poorly or if Northwest Nazarene – an NCAA Division II school from Nampa, Idaho – was playing way over its head.
Either way, Vandals coach Don Verlin looked perturbed on the sideline. And his frustration carried over to his postgame message to Idaho players after a 78-64 victory in front of 1,148 at Memorial Gym.
“He wasn’t happy,” said junior-college transfer Bira Seck, who had 14 points, all in the first half. “He’s been like that since after the loss at Oklahoma. We just got to listen to him because he only wants us to get better.”
The Vandals (2-1) led by just five points with under 12 minutes left and didn’t fully separate until Connor Hill’s four-point play with 6:10 left put them up 69-52.
Two bright spots were Seck, a 6-foot-6 forward who carried the Vandals early, and Hill. The junior guard from Post Falls had a game-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
“I think we can get a lot better,” Hill said. “We’re not where we need to be yet.”