The Idaho women’s basketball team had won all four WAC road games heading into Thursday night’s matchup against Utah State, but the streak came to an abrupt end when the Aggies dominated Idaho 81-50 in Logan Thursday night.
The Vandals shot cold all night, going 14-of-70 from the field, which Idaho coach Jon Newlee wasn’t happy with.
“What I wasn’t okay with is I think we shot the ball with no confidence tonight, which is strange” Newlee said. “(We) looked very hesitant tonight.”
The Vandals will have another opportunity to nab a road win when they travel to San Jose State on Saturday. The Vandals will be looking for the season sweep of the Spartans after Idaho beat them at home earlier in the year.
Newlee said a big part of the loss was his team’s inability to handle the physical Aggies.
“When it happens, you can’t get flustered and get out of your own game, and that certainly happened tonight,” Newlee said. “Utah State did a good job at getting after us physically, and you saw the results.”
The Vandals had a tough first half, largely because of 12 first half turnovers. Both teams started the night shooting cold, but Utah State soon warmed up and established a 9-3 lead early. The Vandals fought back and got within two, but the Aggies once again took over the momentum and built a double-digit lead, which they took into the half, leading 35-21. The Vandal offense struggled in the second half of the period as the shots weren’t falling. The Vandals only shot 21.9 percent in the first half.
The Aggies started the second half in control and increased their lead to 18 before the Vandals struck back and cut the lead to 10 with 12:07 left on the clock. Utah State called a timeout and came out of it on fire, going on an 11-0 run reestablish a big lead. After that the Aggies never looked back and cruised to an easy victory.
Newlee said he didn’t like the attitude his team came out with against the Aggies.
“I thought we played very soft and passive,” Newlee said. “We’ve won these road games because we attacked people and got after them and tonight it just wasn’t there.”
The Vandals have shown a balanced offense all season, but it wasn’t there in this one. Sophomore Stacey Barr was the only Vandal in double figures with 13.
Newlee said he’s confident his team will recover and come ready to play on Saturday.
“It was our worst game of the year arguably,” Newlee said. “…We’ll be ready to face the Spartans on Saturday.”
Kevin Bingaman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org