| March 20, 2018

Opinion: Wildcat Roadblock

February 25, 2018

After looking nearly unstoppable for the past month, Idaho has suddenly been stuck in their tracks dropping their past two games, most recently to Weber State Saturday.

It was the battle of the top two scoring teams in the Big Sky, and scoring came in plenty for both teams, until Weber State took control by the second quarter.

The Weber State Wildcats were able to play suffocating defense, by double-teaming the members of the Idaho “Big Three” and not allowing driving lanes for any players.

For most games this season, it’s a live or die by the 3-ball mentality for the Vandals, and shots from deep were not able to fall Saturday. Idaho shot only 24 percent from beyond the arc, while Weber State, the Big Sky’s second-best scoring team, finished the game shooting 46 percent from the 3-point line and finished with nearly a 50 percent field goal percentage.

Weber State had five players scoring in double digits, compared to Idaho’s two. Junior guard Mikayla Ferenz did everything possible to get her team the win, finishing the game with 33 points and nine rebounds. Senior post Geraldine McCorkell showed up big time on her senior day, scoring 31 points and adding on 13 rebounds as well. Ferenz and McCorkell combined for 64 of the teams’ 88 points.

For the rest of the Vandal squad, the basket was not a friend. Weber State outscored Idaho’s bench 38-10.

The Vandals are now sitting at third place in the Big Sky. While this game shows that Idaho has room to improve, this game may be a blessing in disguise as well for the Vandals.

Idaho showed sparks of a comeback throughout the game, cutting down the deficit to as many as four.

Although Weber State seemed to dominate for most of the game, it only felt like a matter of time before Idaho found their shooting touch and would take the lead, but it just never happened.

Great teams face adversity, and this is not the first time this season that Idaho has had a road block thrown in their way. When it seemed as if it was going to be a down year for the Vandals, they proved to have an outstanding season of conference play and now are in the discussion as one of the best teams in the Big Sky moving down the road to Reno.

The last few losses have surely grounded the Vandals, but this will only fuel the Vandal fire even more.

Time will tell if Idaho can jump the hurdle once again, but with the season shortly coming to a close it’s full speed ahead for the Vandals.

Chris Deremer can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on twitter @Cderemer_VN

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