Idaho men’s basketball sought redemption Saturday against CSU Bakersfield but fell short, losing 66-55.
The Vandals came out hot with three-point shots from senior small forward Jordan Scott and senior guard Victor Sanders to claim an early lead.
Idaho held onto this advantage for a while, but CSU Bakersfield overtook the lead near the eight-minute mark in the first half thanks to a Roadrunner 15-0 run.
CSU Bakersfield extended its lead out to as many as ten points in the opening half, but Idaho was able to reign it in and head into the break down 29-23.
The Vandals came out swinging once again to start the second half on a 6-0 run to level the score at 29 points with 17 minutes left to play.
Both teams went cold for a long stretch, going nearly four minutes without a score. Senior forward Arkadiy Mkrtychyan broke the drought with a layup to cut the Roadrunners advantage down to 32-31 and evened it out at 32 with an and-one play.
CSU Bakersfield kept Idaho at bay from there, making another 11-0 run over the Vandals to push its lead out to 11 points.
From there it was all CSU Bakersfield. Idaho was able to pull the game to within three points, but the Roadrunners were quick to extend their lead once again.
The opponents claimed their largest lead of the night at 13 points with less than a minute to play. Idaho got the last word with another layup from Scott to close the game.
Sanders lead the team in scoring with 20 points on 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Vandals have won four out of five games when Sanders hits 20 or more points.
Senior guard Perrion Callendret finished the game with a career-high eight rebounds.
Turnovers slowed the Vandals all night. Idaho finished with 27 turnovers, the most by any Don Verlin squad.
“You can’t win a basketball game on the road against a quality basketball team and turn it over 27 times,” Verlin said in a news release. “That was obviously the difference in the game. I thought our guys played extremely hard. We talked a lot in the pregame about rebounding, we had a lot of guys working really hard. When you turn it over 27 times and they get 13 more shots than you, that’s not going to work.”
Idaho moves on to the final nonconference home game of the season against Simon Fraser 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Cowan Spectrum.
Meredith Spelbring can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @mere0415