Vandal women earn WAC title

THE IDAHO WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM accomplished something no women's hoops team before them had in 29 years at Idaho - a regular season conference title. Saturday's home win over Seattle University gave the Vandals (20-8, 13-1 WAC) 20 wins for the first time in 10 years, and staked their claim to the first conference title since Idaho's 1984-85 team that went 28-2 and played in the NCAA tourney.

The following is an official press release from the University of Idaho Athletic Media Relations Department.

MOSCOW, Idaho—The Idaho Vandals women's basketball team accomplished a feat that has not been met in 29 years. Idaho defeated the Seattle University Redhawks, 60-57, on Saturday to win the Western Athletic Conference regular season title and claim its first 20-win season since 2003-04 in front of the home crowd of 1,054 at Memorial Gym.

Fans got their money's worth on Saturday, as it took all 40 minutes to put away the rival Redhawks. Trailing 57-56 with 34 second left on the clock, junior Stacey Barr drove through the paint on her way to a crowded layup. Barr got the basket and drew the foul from Seattle U's Alexis Montgomery. Barr completed the three-point play to give Idaho the 59-57 lead.

"We were trying to get the ball to Alyssa [Charlston] there on the block," head coach Jon Newlee said. "At the end it broke down and Seattle U did a good job. Stacey got it on top and I knew she was going to go. I told her if it breaks down, ‘you get it you have to attack the rim.' We had them in the bonus and that is Stacey's game. She made an absolutely great play to finish and get the and-1."

Idaho (20-8, 13-1 WAC) was not out of the woods. Seattle U called a timeout with 31 seconds to play. With 19 ticks remaining, Barr stole the ball away from Ashley Ward. Ward fouled sophomore Christina Salvatore, sending her to the line. Salvatore made her first and missed the second, giving Idaho a 60-57 lead. With seven seconds to play Seattle U had the ball with a chance to tie and force overtime. The Vandals forced the ball into Masha Shtikel's hands and she missed an elbow jumper. Salvatore collected the rebound and called a timeout, icing the victory and the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament.

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CURRENT STANDINGS (March 2nd):

1. Idaho (13-1 WAC, 20-8)
2. Bakersfield (11-4 WAC, 17-10)
3. Grand Canyon (8-6 WAC, 19-8)
4. Seattle U (8-6 WAC, 13-14)
5. Texas-Pan American (8-7 WAC, 14-14)
6. New Mexico State (7-8 WAC, 10-18)
7. Kansas City (6-8 WAC, 10-17)
8. Utah Valley (4-11 WAC, 7-21)
9. Chicago State (0-14 WAC, 3-24)




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