Idaho basketball escaped the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout with a come-from-behind 69-59 win against the Santa Clara Broncos Wednesday night.
Idaho’s strong defensive play helped lead the comeback win against Santa Clara to push the Vandals into the second round.
It was a rough shooting start for both teams in the first half, with a combined 12 points for both teams with a little over 11 minutes left in the first half. The game would be a back and forth battle for the rest of the half, with the Vandals taking a 25-24 lead at the break.
Senior guard Perrion Callandret led the way for the Vandals in the first half with nine points and shooting three-for-three from beyond the arc in the first half. Idaho as a team shot a three-point percentage of 55 percent.
Idaho’s defense held Santa Clara to only shooting 31 percent for the half, and 4-13 from 3-point range.
The second half action picked up where the first left off, a back and forth battle, until Santa Clara went on a 16-7 run to put the Broncos up 50-40 with ten minutes left to go in the ball game.
Idaho did not go down without a fight, slowly cutting away at the lead.
With the Vandals down by four with six minutes left in the second half, Idaho proved to be resilient the rest of the way.
Idaho went on a 14-0 run to finish the game, behind senior guard Victor Sanders very own eight-point run. The run lasted nearly four minutes, with the Vandal defense holding Santa Clara scoreless for five minutes of the ball game.
Sanders lead the way in scoring with 24 points. Callandret followed closely behind scoring a seaon-high 20 points and seven assists. Callandret finished the night a perfect five-for-five from 3-point range.
“Perrion’s a good player. I knew this was going to happen, it was just a matter of when,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said in a news release. “It was nice to see him knock off the rust and make some shots.”
Idaho will take on the winner of CSU-Bakersfield and Alaska-Anchorage in the second round of the Great Alaska Shootout 9 p.m. Friday.
Chris Deremer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org