Vandal Women Headed to WAC Championship - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Vandal Women Headed to WAC Championship

Posted:
Stacey Barr scored a career-high 35 points and grabbed 10 boards in Idaho's win over NMSU in the WAC semifinals on Friday. Stacey Barr scored a career-high 35 points and grabbed 10 boards in Idaho's win over NMSU in the WAC semifinals on Friday.

by Idaho Athletics Media Relations

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—The University of Idaho advanced the Western Athletic Conference Tournament’s championship game with a 75-65 come from behind win over No. 5 New Mexico State at The Orleans Arena on Friday. Junior Stacey Barr led the way for the Vandals with a career-high 35 points.

Idaho (24-8, 15-1 WAC) overcame a 2-for-14 start from the field to trail by six at the half, 41-35. Barr recorded 15 points in the opening half to pace Idaho. She was 9-of-10 from the free-throw line, matching her career-high.

The Vandals opened the second half on heater. Senior Alyssa Charlston recorded the first three points of the half to cut NMSU’s lead to three. Sophomore Ali Forde hit a pair of free-throws to get to within one at 41-40. Idaho gained its first lead of the game off a Barr three with 16:16 to play to complete the comeback.

“Our club was really resilient out there today,” head coach Jon Newlee stated. “We got in that hole quickly. [Sasha] Weber was on fire, we know they are prone to do that. We took their [NMSU] best shot in the first half. Everything was kind of conspiring against us in the first half. We went into the locker room only down six and I felt really good about that. I knew we would come out and play Vandal basketball in the second half.”

New Mexico State (11-20, 7-9 WAC) hit a Vegas cold-streak at the start of the second half. NMSU opened the first 8:10 on a 0-for-18 run from the floor. The Vandals took advantage of the Aggies’ mishaps and went on a 15-0 run to jump out to a 50-41 lead at the 12:31 mark. Both Barr and Charlston recorded five points in the opening run.

“To comeback the way we did and play with all that excitement and keep the foot on the pedal was awesome for our team,” Barr said. “It shows we have a lot of leadership and that our younger players can really work. Ali was huge on the boards, Christina [Salvatore] was massive on defense, getting the big stops when we really needed it. Connie [Ballestero] did a really good job running our offense and playing great defense on Danesia [Williamson].”

The Aggies jumped out to an early 8-3 lead in the first four minutes of play. Sasha Weber would extend the lead to 10 points, hitting a three-point basket with 13:42 to go in the first half. Weber shot a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes. Williamson hit one of her three, three-pointers to give NMSU its largest lead of the game, 28-15, with 7:54 to go.

The Vandals outscored NMSU 17-13 in the final six minutes of the first half to cut the lead to six. Idaho shot 13-of-16 from the free-throw line in the first half to compensate for its lack of success from the floor.

“If we were not making free throws in the first half this game could have gotten out of control,” Newlee said. “I liked the way we knocked them down. I liked our aggressiveness of getting to the rim. We knew those guys foul a lot and we knew we could take it at them.”

A Christina Salvatore three gave the Silver and Gold a 62-56 lead with 5:23 to play. Forde would give Idaho a 12 point lead with 2:38 left on the clock, before New Mexico State could slim the lead to six with 58 seconds to go. A Barr layup with 39 seconds iced the win for Idaho.

Idaho only got scoring numbers from four players, including three double-doubles. To go along with Barr’s 35 points she added 10 rebounds to record her 17th career double-double. Charlston added 16 points and 12 boards giving her, her 25th double-double of her career. Forde snagged 11 on the glass to match her 11 points. The sophomore now has seven double-doubles in her brief career. Salvatore finished the day with 13 points and seven rebounds.

As a team Idaho was 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) from the field in the second half, finishing 37.7 percent for the game. Barr made eight of the Vandals’ 13 field goals in the final 20 minutes.

“In the second half my teammates were getting me open,” Barr noted. “Ali was huge on the boards, tipping it out to me and I got some easy baskets that way. Really the team working hard, got me open.”

The Aggies were led by Williamson and her 26 points. Idaho held New Mexico State to 28.6 percent (10-of-35) shooting in the second half. Weber and Abby Scott finished with 16 and 10 points, respectively.

Idaho will play either No. 2 Bakersfield or No. 3 Seattle U in Saturday’s championship game. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 1 p.m. PT.

Notes: Idaho’s 23 free-throws and 30 free-throw attempts were the most this season…Barr now has 50 points in two games in the WAC Tournament…she has now scored in double figures in 36 of her last 38 games…the Vandals have made at least one three-point field goal in the last 197 consecutive games…Idaho has hit 20 three-pointers in two WAC Tournament games…Idaho’s seven turnovers were the least amount in Idaho tournament history.

  • College

    • Eags denied playoff spot as Sblendorio picks up final weekly honor

      By EWU Athletics A near record-breaking performance by wide receiver Nic Sblendorio earned him an honor on Sunday (Nov. 19), but earlier in the day the Eastern Washington University football team was dealt a shocking blow when it was not selected to play in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.   Eastern wrapped up a 7-4 finish overall and 6-2 record in league play with a 59-33 romp over Portland State on Saturday, a game in which the senior caught nine ...
    • Gonzaga uses huge 2nd half to beat Utah State 79-66

      The 3-point shooting of Utah State gave No. 17 Gonzaga fits in the first half on Saturday night. The Aggies threw a scare into Gonzaga before the Bulldogs woke up in the second half and rolled to a 79-66 victory.

    • Eagles win big over Portland State 59-33

      After receiving first-round byes in the previous five appearances in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, the Eagles are in a wait-and-see mode following a dominant 59-33 Big Sky Conference victory over Portland State.

    • Vandals struggle in 13-7 loss to Coastal Carolina

      Idaho found the end zone on the game’s opening drive, but Coastal Carolina accounted for the rest of the scoring as the Vandals (3-7, 2-4 Sun Belt) suffered a 13-7 defeat in their home finale Saturday.

    • Cougars roll past Idaho State 83-62

      Robert Franks had 25 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists, Malachi Flynn added 15 points and Washington State used a big second-half run to beat Idaho State 83-62 on Saturday.

    • Bobcats win the 117th Brawl of the Wild 31-23 in Bozeman

      BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Montana State Bobcats defeated the Montana Grizzlies 31-23 to win the 117th Brawl of the Wild. It's the first time since 2005 that the Cats won a game against the Griz in Bozeman.  The Bobcats ran for 322 yards on the ground, making it the second consecutive year that they have put up over 250 yards of rushing on Montana's defense. Cats sophomore quarterback Chris Murray accounted for 133 yards of that total, as well as throwing the ball for 98 yards. The G...
    • Whitworth start 2017-18 campaign with 87-59 win over Whittier

      The Pirates start the 2017-18 campaign 1-0, while the Poets fell to 0-1. Grace Douglas led Whitworth with 21 points and 5 assists.

    • Whitworth men's basketball welcomes Gallaudet University to the Fieldhouse

      The entire team and coaching staff is either deaf or hard of hearing, with the exception of the equipment manager who serves as the team's interpreter. Despite what some might think is a disadvantage, the Bison are a successful basketball program.

    • The MSU equipment team: the unsung heroes of game day

      Tucked in the south tunnel of the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse sit the unsung heroes of the Montana State game day experience, the Bobcat equipment team.

    • College scores 31 as Whitworth rolls past Gallaudet 92-56

      Ben College scored a career-high 31 points to lead Whitworth University to a 92-56 win over visiting Gallaudet University in a non-conference men's basketball game on Friday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/