Vandal raidWhile Gonzaga leads its conference, the only area Division I team with an undefeated conference schedule thus far is Idaho. Led by all-everything 5-8 junior guard Stacey Barr, who is averaging 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, and 6-1 senior post player Alyssa Charlston, the Vandals have pillaged their way to a 7-0 record some two games shy of the halfway point for the Western Athletic Conference slate. The Vandals are a terror inside, with Barr, 6-2 sophomore post Ali Forde and Charlston all averaging better than seven rebounds a game. Charlston is also the second-leading scorer with 15.1 points a contest. Idaho plays Saturday at Seattle University (10-10) in the first of three-consecutive road games. The Saturday game could be pivotal because Seattle is currently second in the WAC at 5-2.
Legacy PirateThe Whitworth women’s basketball team has raced out to a 12-5 record and currently sits in a solid third place in the Northwest Conference standings at 6-2 halfway through league play. As little as she wants to talk about it, the Pirates team is only four wins away from notching 300 for coach Helen Higgs. She would be the first women’s coach to attain such a feat in the Northwest Conference. “That’s what I’m told,” Higgs said. “We are eight wins from a potential conference championship. That is the way I look at it.” The league is led by undefeated Whitman, (17-0, 8-0) and George Fox (16-1, 7-1), which lost its only game to Whitman. George Fox won a close 59-56 game Jan. 17 at home against Whitworth. The Pirates also lost 62-57 Jan. 21 at Whitman. Both teams, which are ranked 3rd and 8th in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, must travel to Spokane during the second half of conference play. “We took a good hour before practice to talk about what we are doing well,” Higgs said. “I’m really happy with how we are playing. If we continue to improve and grow, there are more good things ahead of us this year.” As for the milestone, Higgs – who is in her 20th year at Whitworth – said she may take time to reflect one the season is over. “People obviously bring it up,” she said of her impending 300th win. “One, it means I found a place where I fit. And second, I’ve had great teams, great players and great staff.”
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