A 21-point loss to his former team wasn’t the way Idaho coach Jon Newlee and the Vandal women’s basketball team wanted to start 2015, but the veteran team rebounded with a 67-60 win over Weber State Jan. 3 at Ogden, Utah.
The win was also Newlee’s the 100th at Idaho.
“It is a great accomplishment,” he said. “It just means I have been around for a long time already. It is a reflection of all the great players that we have been able to bring in here. They are the ones out there doing the work.”
In their New Year’s Day conference opener, the Vandals fell flat against Idaho State in the second half. Despite leading for much of the first period, Idaho lost 71-50 and finished the game shooting a measly 27.3 percent.
“We did not do anything we talked about,” Newlee said after the loss. “We had a lack of effort and a lack of intensity. We were certainly rusty after the break.”
Newlee’s squad didn’t stay down after the loss though, as the team came back two days later to grind out the win at Weber State. Idaho’s usual star, senior guard Stacey Barr, led the way again with 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
“Monster game from Stacey,” Newlee said. “Stacey did all the things Stacey does. She was the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year for a reason. She can do this against Baylor, she can do it against Weber, she can have this kind of game against anybody.”
Barr was the only Vandal to score in double figures, but it was enough to get the win over the Widcats.
Now 1-1 in conference play, the Vandals end their three-game road skid with a game at Eastern Washington in Cheney, Washington. The Eagles are the heavyweights in the Big Sky this season. EWU currently has a 9-4 record and 2-0 conference record to hold the first-place position in the conference.
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org