Idaho’s comeback attempt fell just short as junior guard Stacey Barr missed two 3-point attempts that would have tied the game for Idaho in the closing minutes of the Saturday game against Wyoming. Missed shots were the story of the game for an Idaho team that couldn’t seem to hit shots it normally makes en route to a 72-64 loss to Wyoming in the Cowan Spectrum.
“We had great wide open looks down the stretch. We were running our stuff perfectly, we just couldn’t get the ball in the basket,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. “Some nights are like that.”
After trailing by double digits most of the game, the Idaho women’s basketball team battled back to within three points of Wyoming with less than three minutes left in the game. But the timely comeback wasn’t enough for Idaho as missed opportunities presented the chance Wyoming needed to seal the win.
“We got great looks toward the end,” sophomore guard Christina Salvatore said. “Some of them fell some of them didn’t but the ones that did got us back in the game. I can’t say enough our team for fighting back.”
The loss was the first home loss of the season for the Vandals, who move to 3-1 at home and 7-6 on the season. The nonconference schedule has been brutal for Idaho so far this season as the team has faced two top 25 opponents and takes on Texas next Saturday. Wyoming moved to 9-2 on the season with the win.
Senior post Alyssa Charlston led Idaho with 22 points shooting 9-of-20 from the field. She also had four of Idaho’s nine blocks on the defensive end. Senior guard Addie Schivo added six points off the bench late in the game to help Idaho’s comeback attempt. Other than Charlston and Schivo, no Vandal player who had at least three shot attempts shot better than 30 percent from the field.
Some of Idaho’s offensive struggles may have been due to the absence of starting point guard Connie Ballestero. Ballestero was not in uniform for the game.
“We were throwing the ball around in the first half like crazy like we haven’t done all year long. Whether that’s because Connie wasn’t playing or not, I don’t know,” Newlee said. “When one player’s not there, everyone else has got to step up and I don’t feel like that happened in the first half.”
Freshman Karlee Wilson started Ballestero’s place. She finished with two points, one assist, four turnovers and two steals for Idaho.
“Not having one of your starters and someone you have great chemistry with that is playing 20, 30 minutes a game is obviously hard,” Salvatore said. “Karlee stepped up huge tonight. Her defense was awesome. She did a good job of executing plays down the stretch.”
Idaho plays its last nonconference game against Texas on Saturday before opening WAC play at Missouri-Kansas City on Jan. 2.
“After this game, we’re going to learn from our mistakes and head to Texas and try to get ready for WAC play after that,” Salvatore said. “You never want to lose at home but we’re just going to keep fighting and keep playing hard.”
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org