With just seconds remaining and down by one, Louisiana Tech’s Whitney Frazier banked in a long 3-pointer to beat Idaho 64-62 in Ruston Saturday night, handing Idaho its second straight loss.
Idaho’s Stacey Barr broke out of a slump in a big way, leading all scorers with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to make history by beating La. Tech for what would’ve been the first time in program history. The Vandals will now have 11 days off before their next game, which will start the last home stand of the season.
Idaho coach Jon Newlee said it was a tough loss to swallow, but he was also able to take away some positives.
“It’s a disappointing way to lose,” Newlee said. “We’ve got to defend better, rebound better and shoot the ball better and not let it come down to that. I liked our resilience tonight, we came out with a lot of heart and desire in a tough environment.”
It’s the first time all season the Vandals have lost consecutive conference games. Idaho entered the week in third place in the WAC, and is still there for the time being, but is only a half-game ahead of La. Tech and Texas-San Antonio. Seattle U. is atop the conference standings, but only a half-game ahead of Utah State.
Idaho and La. Tech battled all the way through their game and kept it close. The Techsters took a 34-30 lead into the half, but it wasn’t enough to keep Idaho from leading in the second half. For the second game in a row it came down to the last possession and for the second game in a row it didn’t go Idaho’s way.
Barr’s 21 points were one point shy of her career high. Barr has been struggling to find her shot recently, but broke out of that slump in a performance that Newlee was more than happy with.
“Stacey had been struggling the last few games, but she did a great job of attacking tonight and getting to the free throw line, “Newlee said. “She left everything out there tonight.”
Senior Jessica Graham was the only other Vandal in double figures. Graham came off the bench for 13 points and seven boards.
Statistically the two teams were close in nearly every category, with La. Tech having a slightly better shooting percentage and fewer turnovers. Idaho is now 0-17 against La. Tech all-time.
Kevin Bingaman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org