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It took long enough. But as Idaho heads into the Big Sky Conference Tournament, the Vandals now have a picture in their heads of how things are supposed to go when they play the way they can.
Damen Thacker had 22 points as Idaho ended its season-opening 19-game losing streak, edging past Montana State 74-69 on Friday.
Embedded in its team statistics is information that may reflect, in a broad way, a significant reason Idaho is pressing on through a winless season.
James Scott scored 16 points to power Portland State (8-9, 5-5 Big Sky) past Idaho for a 71-40 win at Memorial Gym in Moscow, Idaho.
Portland State scored 34 points off 26 Idaho turnovers to help the Vikings pull away for an 84-64 victory Thursday in a Big Sky men’s basketball game in Portland.
Tarik Cool tied his season high with 22 points and Daxton Carr forced overtime with a 3-pointer at the end of the second half as Idaho State defeated Idaho 64-58 on Saturday.
Tarik Cool scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead Idaho State past winless Idaho 69-43 on Thursday in Pocatello.
Eastern Washington saw more of Idaho than it wanted. The Vandals were only down two, 54-52, with 13:34 to play, after 6-10 Tanner Christensen was caught out on the perimeter as the shot clock ticked down and launched a successful three-pointer for Idaho.
Return on investment is highly prized at a place like the University of Idaho. The Vandals never enjoy the security of a money clip fat with $100s. They take on the challenge of NCAA Division I athletics with a pocketful of singles.
Gina Marxen scored 21 points and dished out four assists as Idaho bounced back for a 74-57 victory over Northern Colorado on Saturday in Greeley, Colorado.
Matt Johnson led a balanced Northern Colorado attack with 18 points as the Bears dominated Idaho 74-54 on Thursday at Memorial Gym in Moscow, Idaho.
Jenna Dick scored 21 points, Aaliyah Alexander notched a double-double and Eastern Washington topped Weber State 78-57 Thursday night in Cheney for its third straight Big Sky win.
With a miniscule margin of error against a dynamic scorer, Idaho was on task and gritty enough to methodically reduce an 11-point second half deficit and take a short-lived lead, 70-67, against Northern Arizona when Scott Blakney blocked the Lumberjacks’ Cameron Shelton’s drive, the Vandals recovered the loose ball, and Ja’Vary Christmas buried a three from the right corner.
Czar Perry had 14 points as Cal State Bakersfield defeated Idaho 76-66 on Saturday.
Bryce Fowler had 17 points to lead five Sacramento State players in double figures as the Hornets beat Idaho 73-57 on Saturday.
The University of Idaho men's basketball games this week at the U.S. Bank Portland Invitational against Seattle University (Nov. 25), University of Portland (Nov. 27), and William Jessup (Nov. 28) have been canceled in conjunction with Oregon state policies/protocols relating to COVID-19.
In any other year, the first week of basketball practice would involve knocking off rust that playing pickup games won’t scour away and working with coaches to intentionally shape a team and identify and focus on goals for the season ahead.
Bill Belknap, who led the University of Idaho athletic department to new heights during his 10-year run as athletic director, died Friday at the age of 81.
With the closest thing to basketball in the era of COVID 19 being games of H-O-R-S-E played remotely and broadcast by ESPN, the six-year-old The Basketball Tournament was more than ready for its star turn when games tipped off July 4.