Idaho women’s basketball beats familiar opponent Saturday
Back when the Idaho women’s basketball team was in the WAC, the Vandals and Seattle U Redhawks were the heavy hitters in the conference.
The former conference rivals continued the annual showdown Saturday when Idaho beat the Redhawks 65-50 in the Emerald City.
The Vandals were led by strong play at the guard positions with junior Christina Salvatore and senior Stacey Barr leading the team with 15 points and 13 points, respectively. Junior Connie Ballestero and sophomore Karlee Wilson also added a combined 17 points for Idaho.
“The play from our guards was great,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. “I like seeing the scoring between Connie and Karlee. It is almost like having another scorer out there. Connie shot with confidence and I like to see her do that. It is a nice luxury to be able to play them both together, they are kind of my two-headed point guard monster.”
The win was the fifth straight for Idaho (3-2) over Seattle U (1-4) and no Redhawk players reached double digits in scoring. Idaho had three double-digit scorers, with sophomore post Brooke Reilly joining Barr and Salvatore as Idaho’s leading scorers.
“(Reilly’s) second half really led to us getting going,” Newlee said. “I told her at halftime ‘Let’s go.’ We needed to get some more boards and I thought she did a great job of that. She was really active down low today and it was key for us.”
Idaho’s toughest game of the season to date could be its next contest against No. 19 Oregon State. The Vandals’ three-game road streak continues against the Beavers Thursday in Corvallis, Oregon.
Oregon State is undefeated this season at 6-0 with their most recent wins coming over Butler and BYU at the Tom Westin Invitational in Laie, Hawaii. In the Beavers last home game, they beat Concordia 92-35.
Idaho’s nonconference schedule is daunting this season. The Vandals already played former NCAA Tournament team Cal State-Northridge in addition to two other tough California teams in UC Santa Barbara and San Diego. OSU isn’t the only ranked tem Idaho faces either as the Vandals play No. 13 ranked Baylor on Dec. 10.
Idaho’s next home game is Sunday against Multnomah in the Cowan Spectrum. It will be the Vandals’ first game in the Spectrum this season as both Idaho basketball teams play in Memorial Gym while the football season is in progress.
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at email@example.com