| March 20, 2018

W. Basketball Commentary: Senior stand out

The Idaho women’s basketball team’s regular season came to a close Friday with an 83-86 win against Southern Utah. But for seniors’ point guard Karlee Wilson and guard Agueda Trujillo, the game had a different meaning.

It was the last time Wilson and Trujillo would play for the Vandals at the Cowan Spectrum. Four seasons of playing in front of an energetic Idaho crowd are in the past, replaced by four years of memories.

It’s not easy saying goodbye, but Wilson and Trujillo must feel gratified to end their final regular season at home and as winners.

Before the game, Wilson and Trujillo were the main attraction. The seniors were honored prior to the game, with family and friends present for a ceremony. Once the lights shut off, the introductions began.

Wilson was the first player introduced. The crowd’s cheers grew louder as she made her way from the bench to the court. A cardboard cutout of Wilson’s face was even in the crowd. Tonight would be special.

When Trujillo was announced, the crowd did not lack enthusiasm. She came off the bench, acknowledged her fellow teammates and engaged in a well-crafted handshake.

The lights lit up again. For the last time, these seniors took the court in front of their home crowd. Someone cued the Idaho fight song.

Southern Utah opened on an 8-0 run, everyone seemed to wait for the Vandals to hit their stride. The team’s start was not ideal, but great things take time.

With the opening quarter nearly in the books, Idaho made its way back to claim a 13-12 lead. The lead was then extended to 16-12, following a clutch 3-pointer by, who other than, Wilson. From there, her night began.

As a guard, its Wilson’s job to command the game. So, it was only fitting that she would have one of her best games on this honorary night.

On the offensive side of the ball, Wilson had eight assists and scored a season-high 20 points. Even if she wasn’t assisting on the play, she was often somehow involved.

Wilson’s eight rebounds tied a season-high, and her defensive game added an even more threatening element. She was once the help in a successful double-team. She and junior post Geraldine McCorkell forced a traveling violation. There was not much Wilson didn’t do in the Idaho victory.

An aggressive basketball player sometimes not wait for the shot, but instead attack the basket and create one. Often times, the aggressor will draw a foul. Wilson has the ability to attack the basket and occasionally draw fouls, so needless to say, she is not afraid to draw contact.

The amount of contact a basketball player can handle is constantly tested on a charging foul. It must be a frightening realization knowing that an inevitable crash into the hardwood floor awaits.

Wilson took a charge during the second half that surely challenged the amount of contact she could handle. Teammates rushed to her assistance. She rose from the floor and walked it off.

As the game came to an end, head coach Jon Newlee substituted Wilson out of the game. She made her way to the bench, and the crowd gave her a standing ovation.

The regular season may be complete, but the Big Sky Conference begins Mar. 6. The Vandals enter the conference tournament as the fifth seed..

Zack Ozuna can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @OzunaZack21

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