| March 22, 2018

M. Basketball: Defensive Showdown

A defense-heavy contest Tuesday did not favor the Idaho men’s basketball team.

The Vandals lost 58-49 to San Jose State in the Memorial Gym.

Idaho (3-3) ended the game on a three-and-a-half-minute scoring drought, its fifth of the night.

“Obviously a tough defeat, you have to tip your hat to San Jose State, who came up here and played great,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said. “We need to execute better, and we can’t just rely on Callandret, we need to learn to play without him.”

Verlin said senior guard Perrion Callandret has a bone bruise and is out indefinitely. A bone bruise causes fluid and blood to build up in and around the injured bone.

The Vandals struggled in the first half with eight turnovers and nine fouls.

Despite this, Idaho looked respectable in the first half, shooting 40.7 percent from the field with 20-of-26 points coming from the paint.

Idaho’s defense held the high-power San Jose State offense to 30 points and kept Spartan forward Ryan Welage out of double-figures.

Tight defense and inconsistent shots kept all players in single-digit points.

“We need to execute better,” junior forward Jordan Scott said. “It’s our job to come out every night and play with great energy and want to win more than the other team. We didn’t do that tonight.”

The Vandals failed to hold a lead after minute 16 of the first half.

The second half appeared to go Idaho’s way early.

Idaho used pump-fakes under the rim to continue scoring in the paint. The Vandals outrebounded the Spartans 23-22, but committed nine more turnovers to San Jose State’s two.

The Vandals’ offensive troubles came late in the second half. Spartan guard Brandon Clarke earned five blocks in the second half, three in the final three minutes.

Junior guard Victor Sanders netted 15 points on 5-for-13 shooting. Sanders was able to duck and maneuver around large San Jose State forwards to add nine points from the paint. Freshman guard Trevon Allen led the full-court press in his 24 minutes on the court. Allen added six points.

“Defensively I think we played great, that’s something we can hang our hat on,” Verlin said. “We’ve got to get better at taking care of the basketball, we need to know that you’re shot is our shot and that’s just as important as anything, we’ve got to get this team playing offense the way I’ve coached it for years.”

Idaho plays one more home game – 7 p.m. Saturday against UC Davis in the Memorial Gym – before playing Washington State in the Battle of the Palouse 7 p.m. Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.

San Jose State defeated the Cougars 88-76.

Colton Clark can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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