After connecting on the game’s opening shot, the Idaho men’s basketball team stayed ahead all of Saturday evening, rolling to an 87-61 win over Northwest Nazarene at the Memorial Gym.
Junior guard Victor Sanders led the Vandal offense with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
Three other Vandals finished in double-digits.
“We came out with a lot of energy tonight, I thought we played really well in the first 10 minutes of that basketball game,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said in a news release. “Our ball moved really well, I thought we were really active and played with energy to start the game.”
Idaho (5-5) relied on a strong post presence from junior forward Brayon Blake, senior forward Ty Egbert and junior small forward Jordan Scott to jump to a 46-25 lead at halftime.
The trio combined for 34 points in the paint.
Scott earned 13 points and five rebounds. Blake added 12 points and six boards.
Egbert added 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The Crusaders (4-5) shot 50 percent in the loss and were limited to 46 attempts from the field. The Vandals connected on 45.8 percent of shots and eight 3-pointers to maintain the insurmountable lead.
Northwest Nazarene found itself plagued by foul trouble early in the matchup. Power forward Carlos Garcia fouled out after 22 minutes on the court. He finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting and four rebounds.
Power forward Kaileb Rodriguez, small forward Maurice Jones and guard Bouna N’Diaye saw reduced time after earning four personal fouls apiece.
Idaho capitalized on 17 turnovers by Northwest Nazarene and shot 92.6 percent from the charity stripe. The Vandals outrebounded the Crusaders 36-26 and collected seven steals on defense.
N’Diaye finished with 16 points and six assists for Northwest Nazarene. Jones contributed eight points and three rebounds, while freshman guard Jayzen Bezzant added eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.
Nearly every member of the Idaho lineup saw time on the court, with the exception of senior guard Perrion Callandret. He missed his eighth consecutive game with a bone bruise in his right knee.
Idaho plays Stanford 7:30 p.m. Thursday in California.
Josh Grissom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GoshJrissom