Preseason exhibitions often allow substitutes to receive additional playing time and showcase new talent on the court.
Freshman guard Tyler Brimhall took advantage of the opportunity Tuesday, scoring 14 points off the bench in an 80-62 victory over Carroll College in the Memorial Gym.
“Tyler Brimhall, man he can shoot the ball really good, and that’s what we need,” junior guard Victor Sanders said. “We need to be able to depend on somebody who can shoot like that.”
After holding Carroll College scoreless from the field for a four-minute period, Idaho jumped to a 32-20 lead on consecutive 3-pointers from Brimhall and junior small forward Jordan Scott.
“I thought our ball moved really well, I thought we got a lot of wide open shots and knocked down quite a few of them there in the first half,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said.
The Vandal defense held the Saints to 42 percent from the field in the first half. Idaho carried a 45-31 lead into the break.
Brimhall and Sanders combined for 18 points in the first half. Senior point guard Pat Ingram went 3-of-3 from the field.
“It felt pretty good to get back out there,” Brimhall said. “I haven’t played a game in a long time because of the redshirt (year).”
Saints junior guard Ryan Imhoff provided the bulk of Carroll’s offense in the first half with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Senior guard Zach Taylor added four assists for Carroll College.
The Vandals outrebounded the Saints 37-30 to secure the home win in front of a crowd of over 700 fans.
Strong post play from junior forward Arkadiy Mkrtychyan helped Idaho tally 36 points in the paint, compared to 18 by Carroll College.
Sanders led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Brimhall added four 3-pointers and two assists, while Ingram finished with eight points and two rebounds.
“Never had a doubt that Tyler could shoot the ball, he’s a very good shooter,” Verlin said. “As he knows, he’s got to get better defensively, and that’s where his minutes will increase if he does that.”
Imhoff led the Saints with 16 points on seven baskets. Taylor added 14 points and four assists.
Idaho returns to the court against regional rival Lewis-Clark State College 7 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Memorial Gym.
“There’s going to be a lot of competition for (playing time),” Verlin said. “And that’s what makes it good, that’s what will make us as good as we can possible be — it’s the competition.”
Josh Grissom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GoshJrissom