The Idaho athletic program was seeking its second Pac-12 road win in two days when the women’s basketball team faced No. 17 Oregon State Thursday. The Idaho men’s basketball team beat Washington State Wednesday night in Pullman, but the Idaho women fell short Thursday as the Beavers continued their undefeated season, winning 75-53 in Corvallis.
Idaho coach Jon Newlee told his team he was proud of the way it came out and played. He said Idaho had “no fear” and was in “attack mode.”
“It’s an experienced group playing these type of teams, so I was really happy with the fact that we came out and really were attacking,” Newlee said.
The Vandals kept the score close in the first half, but Oregon State (6-0) pulled away in the second half.
After three straight games on the road and five of its first six games away from Moscow, the Vandals (3-3) will return home to play Multnomah 2 p.m. Sunday in the Cowan Spectrum. It will be the women’s first game at the Spectrum this season.
On Thursday, the Beavers led a balanced offensive attack as four players finished the game in double figures for points. Sydney Wiese had 16 points, Jamie Weisner 15, Ruth Hamblin had 14 and Deven Hunter had 11. Hamblin, a 6-foot-6 junior center, used her size to grab 12 rebounds and block six shots.
Newlee said he thought Hamblin hurt the Vandals on the defensive end with her shot blocking.
“She blocked Ali,” Newlee said. “Ali’s not used to getting her shot blocked like that. Some of our other kids took the ball hard and she rejected those shots. I thought she was a huge presence today.”
Newlee said he was happy with his team’s defensive play overall, except for the transition defense.
“When they made their run in the second half, it was transition defense and not sprinting back and we were messing around with the rebounders, which is not part of the game plan,” Newlee said. “Our kids were getting a little frustrated from the offensive standpoint.”
Senior guard Stacey Barr led the Vandals with 21 points and junior guard Christina Salvatore added 12 points for Idaho and led the team with eight rebounds.
Idaho shot 28.6 percent from the field compared to 45.5 percent for Oregon State. The Beavers also found open teammates who were ready to shoot as they finished with 22 assists.
Oregon State gained the momentum early as it jumped out to a 19-5 lead, but the Vandals stormed back cutting the Beaver lead to six points, 31-25, toward the end of the half. Oregon State led 35-25 at halftime.
Idaho stayed with the Beavers in the second half, trailing 51-39, but Oregon State opened up a 13-0 scoring run to extend the lead to 64-39.
Idaho played without sophomore post Brooke Reilly, who is averaging 7.6 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game in her first five games of the season. She scored 29 points combined in the last two games.
“(Reilly’s absence) hurt us offensively because she is our third scorer and right now we’ve got to get better production out of some of the other guys, at the other spots besides Christina and Stacey,” Newlee said. “We win games and we won championships because we’re balanced scorers and we have five people out on the floor who can score at any one time and that’s not happening right now.”
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at email@example.com