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Tuesday, August 11, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Vandals’ rally comes up short

La. Tech hits free throws to help seal win

From news services

RUSTON, La. – Kyle Gibson scored 21 points to lead Louisiana Tech to a 74-63 victory over Idaho on Saturday, ending a three-game losing streak.

Playing just 40 hours after a tough loss at New Mexico State, Idaho was plagued by poor shooting, sloppy ball handling, and errant passes, while Louisiana Tech flexed its muscle with 38 points in the paint and 55 percent shooting in the team’s only game of the week.

The Vandals had only 18 points in the paint.

The Bulldogs (8-10, 2-3 Western Athletic Conference) took a 38-30 lead into halftime on 16-of-27 shooting (59.3 percent) and led by 14 points with 17:27 left.

The Vandals (8-10, 2-3) pulled within seven at 62-55 with 3:03 left on a 3-pointer by Mac Hopson, but Louisiana Tech made 10 of 12 free throws the rest of the game to seal the win.

“We talk in our program about ‘no excuses,’ and there is no excuse for the way we played tonight,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “We didn’t play hard enough or with enough passion and we have to give a lot of credit to Louisiana Tech.

“They did a great job preparing for us and taking us out of what we want to do. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but they dominated us in every phase of the game.”

Gibson was 3 for 4 from 3-point range. Magnum Rolle added 19 points for Louisiana Tech and Jamel Guyton had 12.

Hopson led all scorers with 25 points, outscoring his Vandals teammates 19-14 in the second half. Marvin Jefferson finished with 10 points, but the 62 percent shooter missed all four shots in the second half and finished 3 of 10 from the field.

Kashif Watson started out strongly with seven points in the first half for Idaho, but scored just two in the second half after getting into foul trouble and eventually fouling out.

Idaho shot just 20 of 49 (.408) from the floor, but hit eight 3-pointers and finished 15 of 21 from the foul line.

The Vandals, who entered the contest with assists on 59 percent of their shots, had a season-low five assists on 20 field goals and the game even featured a free-throw miss from Trevor Morris, knocking him off school-record pace with 23 consecutive free throws.

Since Idaho joined the conference in the 2005-06 season, the Bulldogs have a 6-1 series lead over the Vandals.

Louisiana Tech 74, Idaho 63

 Idaho (2-3, 8-10)—Hopson 8-13 5-7 25, Simmons 1-4 0-0 3, Wiley 3-6 1-3 7, Watson 3-8 2-2 9, Jefferson 3-10 4-5 10, de Souza 2-4 2-2 8, Morris 0-3 1-2 1, Eisinger 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-49 15-21 63.

Louisiana Tech (2-3, 8-10)—Guyton 3-7 5-7 12, Rogers 1-3 0-0 2, Rolle 8-11 3-5 19, K.Gibson 8-13 2-3 21, Loe 2-5 2-2 7, B.Gibson 1-1 0-0 2, Ashaolu 3-4 0-0 6, Jackson 1-4 3-4 5, Oliverson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-49 15-21 74.

Halftime—Louisiana Tech 38-30. 3-Point Goals—Idaho 8-17 (Hopson 4-5, de Souza 2-4, Watson 1-2, Simmons 1-3, Morris 0-3), Louisiana Tech 5-10 (K.Gibson 3-4, Loe 1-1, Guyton 1-4, Jackson 0-1). Fouled Out—Simmons, Watson. Rebounds—Idaho 28 (Watson 6), Louisiana Tech 33 (Rolle 9). Assists—Idaho 6 (Hopson 2), Louisiana Tech 13 (Guyton 4). Total Fouls—Idaho 21, Louisiana Tech 19. A—1,875.

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