Vandals Dismantle Aggies For Fifth Win In Six Tries - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Vandals Dismantle Aggies For Fifth Win In Six Tries

MOSCOW – Ali Forde scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting Thursday night as the Idaho women's basketball team got its fifth win in its last six games, a 72-53 victory over New Mexico State.

"It feels pretty good to be honest," the freshman from Woodinville, Wash., said of her career mark. "I made all my layups for once, but I got a bunch of really good passes so I've got to give it to my teammates."

The Vandals shot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the field and held NMSU to just 29.7 percent shooting. It was the seventh time in 12 WAC games Idaho's opponent failed to score more than 60 points, and the fifth time a Vandal opponent shot 30.0 percent or less from the field. New Mexico State's Stefanie Gilbreath scored a game-high 21 points but needed 26 shots to do it, going 9-of-26 from the field.

"Defensively we were extremely solid tonight, stuck right to the plan," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "Gilbreath is always going to get hers. We wanted to make her a volume shooter, and we did tonight. She had 21 points so it's kind of weird for me to say Jess (Graham) and Ali did a good job on her, but they did. They did a really good job on her, she's just at times unstoppable and we had to just keep running those two at her. I'm happy. If she's going to take 26 shots and only score 21 points, that works for us."

Idaho improves to 11-12 on the season with the win and 8-4 in the Western Athletic Conference, while New Mexico State lost for the eighth straight time, falling to 9-14 overall and 3-9 in WAC play.

Junior Alyssa Charlston scored 14 points for Idaho, going 6-for-11 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Freshman Christina Salvatore added 12 points, all in the first half, as she connected on all four of her first-half 3-point attempts. Senior Jessica Graham, who averages 5.6 points per game this season, scored in double-figures for the third time in her last four games, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.

"I told her yesterday that this is the best stretch that she's ever played for us," Newlee said of Graham. "She just gives us such a huge life coming off the bench. She's usually out there really early in the game and our leads seem to grow, or if we're behind we seem to take the lead. She's really embraced that roll of coming in and giving us that spark we need."

Freshman Connie Ballestero added six points, five assists and three rebounds in the game, and committed just one turnover. Her 1.97 assist to turnover ratio entering the game was second-best in the WAC.

New Mexico State's only lead in the game came 20 seconds in at 2-0. Idaho responded with a 7-0 run and took its first double-digit lead at 20-10 with 12:29 to play in the first half. The Aggies cut that lead to eight points, but Idaho built it back to 14 at halftime and led by double-digits the entire second half. Idaho's largest lead of the night was a 23-point advantage at 49-26 with just over 15 minutes to play.

Despite giving up 19 offensive rebounds, Idaho out-rebounded the Aggies 42-40. The Vandals finished with 17 assists on their 30 made shots and turned the ball over just 10 times, the second fewest of the season for the team.

The Vandals will have a chance to get to .500 for the first time all season when they welcome Denver to the Cowan Spectrum for a 2 p.m. tip on Saturday. Just five weeks ago Idaho was six games under .500, with a 3-9 record before its win on Jan. 3.

"We keep talking game-by-game," Newlee said. "You've got to defend home court and then take your chances on the road. Every game is huge, we know that. We want to keep winning and keep moving up the standings as best we can and know that March is coming."

  • College

    • Early Goal Enough for Battlin’ Bears Women to Defeat EOU

      The Rocky Mountain College women’s soccer team used a goal just over 90 seconds into the game to pick up a 1-0 win over Eastern Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Wendy’s Field...

    • Rocky Men's Soccer Celebrates Seniors with 10th Straight Win

      The seventh-ranked Rocky Mountain College men’s soccer team closed out its home slate of games with a 3-0 win over Eastern Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Wendy’s Field.

    • Eastern drops first Big Sky game at Southern Utah 46-28

      The first quarter seemed to come easy for the No. 8 Eastern Washington University football team. But the last three were excruciating.

    • Last Second Field Goal Lifts Cats to Win Over Northern Colorado

      Montana State made a furious second-half comeback that eventually led to the Bobcats converting on a 27-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Northern Colorado, 27-24, at Nottingham Field on Saturday.

    • Rocky Mountain Offense Struggles in Loss to Carroll

      Rocky Mountain compiled just 192 yards of total offense in the game.

    • Whitworth hits offensive strides; defeats Puget Sound 38-23

      SPOKANE, Wash. – Senior quarterback Ian Kolste made a successful return from an ankle injury to lead Whitworth to a 38-23 win over visiting Puget Sound and set his team's career record for total offense along the way. Kolste, who was injured on October 7th against George Fox and missed all of the following week's win at Pacific Lutheran, completed 20 of 32 passes for 224 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in two quarters of play, leading the Pirates to a 31-7 half...
    • Missouri routs Idaho 68-21

      COLUMBIA, Mo.- Idaho struck first, but Missouri scored 37 unanswered points en route to a 68-21 victory over the Vandals Saturday, in Columbia, Mo.   After Armond Hawkins intercepted Missouri quarterback Drew Lock on the first play from scrimmage, Matt Linehan found Kaden Elliss for a seven-yard touchdown as Idaho (2-5) took a 7-0 lead. Big plays helped the Tigers (2-5) answer the score and a punt return touchdown put Missouri on top for good. The Tigers led 51-14 at halftime....
    • Friday Night Blitz Highlights and Scores 10/20

      Check out your high school football from week 9, as well as playoff soccer in Class AA!

    • Eagles to play Southern Utah in Big Sky Conference matchup

      After a 31-19 home triumph versus Montana State, the Eagles are now 4-0 in the Big Sky Conference standings just ahead of Northern Arizona at 3-0.

    • Whitworth to host Puget Sound Saturday on SWX

      Whitworth University returns home to take on its oldest football rival on Saturday when the Pirates host the University of Puget Sound in the Pine Bowl at 1:05 pm.  The game televised regionally on SWX and will be heard live in Spokane on KSBN 1230am and on the world wide web at KSBN.net.  The radio broadcast will begin at 12:45 pm.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/