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Season-high 18 turnovers too much for Idaho Vandals men to overcome

Staff And Wire Reports

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Turnovers doomed the Idaho men’s basketball team in an otherwise decent performance in an 87-85 loss at South Dakota State on Saturday.

“We shoot 60 percent from the field, 67 percent from 3-point and 75 percent from the line. We just couldn’t find a way to win,” said Idaho coach Don Verlin. “We just couldn’t get the stops we needed to down the stretch.”

The Vandals (4-5) turned the ball over a season-high 18 times in the loss.

With the Vandals down 82-76 with just under two minutes to play, Connor Hill hit a 3-pointer, but SDSU’s Connor Devine went to the line 13 seconds later and made both shots for an 84-79 lead with 1:37 to go.

Mike Scott was blocked by Devine on Idaho’s next trip down court but he hit a 3-pointer on the in-bounds play to cut the deficit back to two, 84-82, with 1:19 to go. SDSU (6-4) responded with a Jake Bittle layup before Scott struck from 3 again to make it a one-point game, 86-85, with 34 seconds to go.

Deondre Parks added a free throw for SDSU with 25 seconds to play for what wound up to be the final point of the game as Scott was off target on a 3 with :03 to go and Sekou Wiggs’ follow spiraled out of the net.

“They battled,” Verlin said. “They played hard. They fought this trip. That’s a credit to those guys.”

Hill led the Vandals with 18 points with Bira Seck adding 15 and Scott and Arkadiy Mkrtychyan both with 12. Seck had nine rebounds as Idaho won the battle on the boards 25-22.

The Vandals’ 60.4 percent from the field came off 29-of-48 shooting, which included 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) from long range.

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