Idaho needed this win. Northern Colorado (9-9, 4-3 Big Sky), winners of four of their previous five games heading into Saturday's match-up at Idaho, was playing strong. Idaho (8-10, 3-4 Big Sky) on the other hand had lost four in a row, including Thursday's home game against North Dakota
Saturday the Vandals raced out to a big early lead, went into half up by 16, then built a lead of 23 as the second half progressed. But with five minutes left the Bears found their shot while Idaho froze at the free throw line and from the field. In what must be considered one of the longest 1-minute stretches in Vandal basketball history, UNC knocked Idaho's lead down to just one point with 20 seconds left.
But the Vandals picked themselves up, hit some clutch shots in the closing seconds and ended up walking away with the four point win.
Next up Idaho hits the road to take on Big Sky leading Eastern Washington next Saturday afternoon in Cheney (Wash.) with a tipoff at 2:05pm Pacific Time. Then next week Idaho takes its tour through Montana as they face Montana State Thursday night (2/5) in Bozeman, followed by a visit to Missoula to take on Montana Saturday night (2/7).