|Women's streak ends at three|
MOSCOW - The Vandals cut a 10-point second half deficit to just three with 18 seconds to play, but Stacey Barr's game-tying 3-point attempt on Idaho's final possession was off the mark and the Idaho women's basketball team fell to Louisiana Tech 61-57 Saturday night in the Cowan Spectrum.
It was a deep 3-pointer by Barr, followed by a pair of missed free throws by LA Tech's Whitney Jones that capped a late 9-2 Idaho run gave the Vandals a chance to tie the game on their final possession.
"It certainly didn't come down to that by any stretch of the imagination," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "The layups we missed in the first half, the O-boards we gave up, and I thought our transition defense really let us down. Not sprinting back and giving those guys the layups and letting them turn it into a full-court playground game, and that's what they're best at."
The loss ends Idaho's three-game winning streak, and drops the Vandals to 8-17 overall and 3-6 in Western Athletic Conference play. Meanwhile, LA Tech improves to 13-11 overall and 6-3 in the WAC.
"Everybody battled in the second half, you just can't get down 10 to a good team like LA Tech and keep trying to claw back, and unfortunately that's what happened," Newlee said.
The Vandals shot 43 percent (12-of-28) in the first half and took a 30-29 lead into the locker room at the break after the lead changed hands 15 times in the first half. Senior guard Keri Arendse was 4-for-4 from the field in the first half and 3-for-3 from long-range. She also made her first shot of the second half, another 3-pointer, but then missed her final six field goal attempts of the game, including five 3-point attempts. Idaho shot just 33 percent (9-of-27) after halftime, allowing LA Tech to go on a 16-3 run that lasted over seven minutes and put the Lady Techsters ahead 48-40.
"We started the second half and made bad decisions shooting the basketball, and that's been a problem with us," Newlee said. "Decisions with the ball, the turnovers, a lot of that was due to our own decisions, not their pressure. In the second half we missed some shots just because we were taking some bad shots. That's happened to us in games, when you're taking bad shots your percentage is not going to be good. We've got to learn and understand what a good shot is."
Arendse led Idaho with 14 points and added four rebounds and two assists, while Barr and sophomore Alyssa Charlston had identical 10-point, 10-rebound double-doubles. Freshman Krissy Karr finished with eight points, eight rebounds and an assist for Idaho.
"Tech is a good team," Arendse said. "We're going to keep our heads up and work on the things we need to work on, just push forward and start working for our next game."
Idaho went 21-of-55 from the field for the game, and 6-of-21 from long range. The Vandals were outrebounded 46-43, including a 16-8 discrepancy on the offensive end. The Vandals also had 15 turnovers, while LA Tech gave up the ball 12 times. However, Idaho outscored LA Tech 8-7 in second-chance points and 11-6 off turnovers.
LA Tech was led by Shantale Bramble-Donaldson who scored a game-high 25 points and collected 14 rebounds. Whitney Jones added 15 points for the Lady Techsters. LA Tech hit 25-of-69 (36.2 percent) shots, and 4-of-16 3-pointers.
The Vandals will play their next three WAC games on the road as they travel to Fresno State on Feb. 16 and Nevada on Feb. 18, before a single game at Utah State the following week on Feb. 25. Idaho will be back in the Cowan Spectrum to wrap up the regular season against San Jose State on March 1 and Hawai'i on March 3.