| March 17, 2018

MBB: Steady beyond the arc

December 2, 2014

Idaho coach Don Verlin wasn’t happy about his team’s defense after Saturday night’s loss to Northern Kentucky, in which Idaho allowed 79 points on 57 percent shooting.

On the bright side, the Vandals’ 3-point shooting in the past two games was consistent. Idaho shot a steady 37 percent (7-19) from 3-point range Saturday night and 61 percent (11-18) from beyond the arc Tuesday in a loss to Boise State.

“I got a good shooting team,” Verlin said. “When we execute, we get good shots, but we’re putting way too much pressure on our offense.”

Senior shooting guard Connor Hill was doing his part from 3-point land the past two games. The Post Falls, Idaho, native led the Vandals with 22 points against Northern Kentucky, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. Hill shot 4-of-6 from downtown against Boise State.

He started slowly Saturday night, scoring three points in the first half (all from the free-throw line).

“I just keep shooting,” Hill said. “That’s what I got to do. I’ve had a lot of games in my career where I come out and I miss a lot of my shots in the first half. You just got to keep shooting. You got to have confidence that the next shot’s going in.”

Hill broke the school record for career 3-pointers made last season. Since Hill is a threat from deep, the defense has to respect his 3-point shooting ability.

“Connor draws a lot of attention around the 3-point line,” sophomore guard Perrion Callandret said. “He’s proven himself here for years and it can take some attention away from us. Connor’s going to make his shots and we just hope that when we get our shots, we make our shots too and when he’s hitting, it does open it up for us.”

Callandret shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range against Northern Kentucky.

But Hill isn’t the only one who found success from long distance recently. Senior point guard Mike Scott chipped in against Boise State. Scott put on a 3-point shooting clinic against the Broncos, hitting 6-of-7 3-pointers to finish with 31 points.

“First of all, Mike in Boise was unbelievable,” Hill said. “He was hitting 3s, he was getting to the lane. He played a great game.”

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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