Disappointing opener

DESPITE AN 18 POINT EFFORT ON 7-OF-8 SHOOTING AND NINE REBOUNDS ON THE NIGHT, senior center KYLE BARONE could not lead Idaho to a victory over Wright State in the season opener in Moscow. Idaho turned the ball over 15 times and managed just 10 assists as the Raiders controlled the game from the 3-minute mark on. Next, the Vandals host Montana on November 17th at Memorial Gym (7:05PM PST tipoff).

MOSCOW, Idaho – It was a disappointing season opener for the Vandals Friday night as the Wright State Raiders used a tight man-to-man defense and deadly outside shooting to post an 80-70 non-conference win.

An announced crowd of 1,303 at Memorial Gym was excited to see the Vandals run up a quick 8-2 lead in the first 3 minutes of action, but from then the Raiders controlled the action. So stifling was Wright State's defense after The Opening run by the Vandals unofficially the Vandals put together consecutive unanswered scores only three times the rest of the game.

Idaho managed only 10 assists on the game, turned the ball over 15 times, and missed 10 of 29 free throws. Wright State had 12 assists, 6 turnovers, sank 17 of 19 free throws and posted 33 bench points to 21 for the Vandals.

Vandal Coach Don Verlin minced no words in his post-game comments: "Basically, they beat us in every phase of the game tonight," Verlin told the media. "They pressured us out of our offensive sets, we turned it over in the first half for easy baskets, gave them a lead and then just couldn't ever climb back into it...I thought we executed a little better offensively, but we just couldn't get the big stops in the second half to climb back.

"You've got to give Wright State all the credit," Verlin continued. "They came in here and did everything they needed to do to win. They had some guys step up and make some shots from behind the arc, but for whatever reason, we weren't at the level we needed to be tonight. Really, they just came out here and wanted it more than we did and that was disappointing," the coach added. "That's what I told the guys in the locker room. I was disappointed with how we responded tonight when we got down."

Senior center Kyle Barone led Idaho with 18 points and nine rebounds of 7-of-8 shooting, while senior guard Mansa Habeeb came off the bench for 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal in 26 minutes.

The Vandals will host Montana Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7:05 p.m. In Memorial Gym.

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