Vandal men fall 77-55 to NMSU

THE VANDAL MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM got hot late in the season, but it wasn't enough to propel them to a victory over New Mexico State in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship game on ESPN-U. Idaho was led by senior Stephen Madison, the program's second all-time leading scorer, who finished with 17 points Saturday night, and junior guard MIKE SCOTT who added 14 points.

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

LAS VEGAS – The Idaho men's basketball team was simply overmatched in a 77-55 loss to New Mexico State in the Western Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday night.

The Aggies shot 56 percent from the field, 46 percent from 3-point range, owned a 38-21 rebounding advantage and held Idaho shooters to 38 percent to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.

"We played pretty well in this tournament but tonight New Mexico State played better," Idaho coach Don Verlin said after his fifth-seeded Vandals got their first WAC tournament win since 2007 then knocked off the tournament's top seed in the previous 48 hours. "We couldn't get them stopped. They basically dominated us in every phase of the game. You have to give Marvin [Menzies], Daniel Mullings a lot of credit."

New Mexico State outscored Idaho 46-16 in the paint, and used five 3-pointers to keep the Vandals honest on the perimeter.

"They really hurt us driving the ball to the basket," Verlin said. "We couldn't keep them in front of us. Early in the game they made some 3-point shots. If they have a weakness it's shooting behind the arc, and they were able to make those and we had to extend a little bit, and then they were able to get to the basket."

Idaho senior Stephen Madison, the program's second all-time leading scorer, led the Vandals with 17 points after going 10-for-12 at the free throw line. Junior point guard Mike Scott added 14 points for the Vandals.


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