| March 20, 2018

Opinion: A streak to be snapped

February 21, 2018

No win streak can last forever. Despite riding high on a 9-game win streak, the Vandals are about to be handed a staunch reality check. Thursday will be a rough night for the Idaho women’s basketball team as they will take a loss to the Idaho State Bengals.

Idaho State is currently on a three-game win streak after another win Sunday afternoon on their home court, taking down Portland State 72-64.

The Bengals also finished with five of their players with scores in the double-digits for the third time this season. The Bengal’s Grace Kenyon led the pack with a total of 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kenyon leads her team in rebounds with 6.7 per contest.

Within the last 25 games, Idaho State is averaging around 71.0 points per game. They lead the Big Sky, hitting 45.2 percent of the shots from the floor. The Bengals also averages 38.3 rebounds per game.

Idaho State Head Coach Seton Sobolewski is currently in his 10th season with the Bengals and has led his team to two postseason tournaments.

The Vandals may be coming off a nine-game winning streak but that does not mean they will be able to hold it. Regardless of intensity, Idaho State is the Vandals in-state rivalry. One of the great beauties is the sheer unpredictability they bring to matchups year after year. Yes, Idaho is on an incredible win streak and has bullied its way into second place in the conference after a slow start to the season. Yes, it is a home game with the potential of the nice cushion of a home crowd.

All of this may look like an advantage, but the reality is there is no such thing as an advantage when it comes to rivalry basketball at any level. For every Mikayla Ferenz on the Vandal’s side, there will be a Taylor Pierce-level athlete on the Bengals side.

On paper, the two teams look neck and neck. Idaho sits in first place in the Big Sky in 3-point scoring percentages but Idaho State ranks number three in the conference in both 3-point scoring percentage and 3-point defense. Once again, in a rivalry game, Idaho is going to have to shoot the lights out under the extreme pressure that will come in a rivalry game with a 10-game winning streak on the line.

Everyone gets worn out. Runners can only run so many marathons in a lifetime before hitting a wall.  Students can only pull an all-nighter so many nights in a row. Idaho is on a 9-game “all-nighter” but it is time for the Vandals to go to bed.

While it would be great to see the team carry on such an impressive run, this team cannot carry this on forever, especially under the pressures of a rivalry game. Idaho will take their first loss in over a month Thursday against Idaho State.

Marisa Lloyd and Meredith Spelbring can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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