A lot has changed since 1985. Ronald Reagan was president, the Chicago Bears won football games, and gas was…not $8.76 a gallon like it is now.
It was also the last time the Idaho women’s basketball program went to the NCAA Tournament…until now.
The Idaho women won the 2013 Western Athletic Conference tournament Championship Saturday afternoon, taking down Seattle University 67-64 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
In a season that’s been anything but pleasant for Idaho’s team sports, the women’s basketball program has provided a point of pride for the school.
“I just want everybody in Moscow, and all Vandals everywhere to be proud of this team because these girls worked really hard to get where they are right now,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee said.
Going off of record, conference, overall and by RPI Seattle was the best team in the conference. The Redhawks won the regular season crown and will get an automatic berth to the WNIT because of it, unfortunately for the Redhawks they ran in to the Vandals for a third time.
Utah State could’ve told them how hard it is to beat a good team three times.
At one point it did seem like the Redhawks had Idaho on the ropes. Seattle was taking Idaho to school on the boards, creating turnovers in the press and overall beating Idaho when it came to hustle plays, making getting over the hump all the more difficult.
Then Krissy Karr started to drive the ball and dish for open lay ins. Then Idaho started to clamp down on the boards. Then Stacey Barr started doing Stacey Barr things – Slicing through Seattle’s defense for 16 second half points to clinch the tournament MVP award.
This was despite the Redhawks annihilating Idaho on the boards, 52-38, including an insane 25 offensive rebounds. Idaho turned it over 18 times as well, 10 times in the second half when Seattle went to its full-court press more – Seattle scored 44 of its 64 points on points off turnovers and second-chance points.
“We talk about that a lot, just keep working, when things went a little south there I told them ‘hey, if you want to win this game then you’re going to push back, you’re going to rebound, you’re going to this,'” Newlee said. “And every one of them sat there, and people behind the bench were buying in saying ‘yep, that’s what we’re gonna do’ and you see the (rebound, turnover) numbers really aren’t in our favor but ultimately that final number is.”
We’ll have more coverage later. For now, we’re on our way back to Moscow.
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And be sure to check out the post-game video below