MACOMB, Ill. – The Idaho Vandals opened the second half Thursday with a 6-0 run to take a 42-25 lead over Western Illinois.
For the rest of the 18 1/2 minutes, the nonconference men’s basketball game shifted dramatically.
Garret Covington scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half to rally Western Illinois to a 78-75 victory over Idaho (4-4).
The Lethernecks’ comeback included a 20-0 run.
“We just made a ton of mistakes during that stretch,” Vandals head coach Don Verlin said. “You cannot turn the ball over the way we did. We were also making defensive mistakes that we did not have in the first half. I thought we played very well in the first half defensively. It was probably our best defensive half, followed by our worst.”
J.C. Fuller added 15 points for the Leathernecks (3-5), while Tate Stensgaard grabbed 10 rebounds.
Covington tied a school record with six consecutive made 3-pointers.
The Vandals closed to 74-72 with 1:03 left, but Fuller and Covington each made free throws. Idaho’s Sekou Wiggs made a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left before Mohamed Conde’s two free throws finished the scoring.
Wiggs finished with 17 points, Mike Scott 14 and Connor Hill 13 for Idaho.
“This is life on the road,” Verlin said. “You cannot play for 20, 25 minutes and expect to win.”
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