Vandal Men's / Women's Hoops Update

Guard <b>Dandrick Jones</b> and the rest of the Vandal men's basketball team find a way to beat Eastern Washington at the Cowan Spectrum on Sunday. The Women earn Top 25 votes last week, fall against a tough Memphis team, and get back to their winning ways by beating Princeton.

(Matt Cilley / AP Photo)
Anton Lyons
6-6, 215, Jr

Against Eastern, Anton Lyons (a 5-game starter in his first season this year at Idaho) scored 4 points and pulled down 6 rebounds.

Victories have been few and far between for Idaho this season, as the Vandals continue to work on chemistry while dealing with the loss of 2 key starters (Tinnon and May) in the paint for the season. Idaho has some pretty good height coming in off the bench, but the starting rotation is small, with Rashaad Powell (6-4, 205), Tyrone Hayes (6-4, 197) and Anton Lyons (6-6, 215) working the front court.

Sunday Idaho (3-6) beat Eastern Washington (3-8) in Moscow by a final score of 64-60. The link below connects you to the Official Site's game recap.

Link to Official Site.

"Our perimeter guys are starting to believe in our post guys," coach Leonard Perry said. "They're good players, and they're only going to get better throughout the year." Idaho is going to get a heck of a test on January 3rd when they head to Logan, Utah to take on a solid Utah State team (6:05pm PST tip-off). The Aggies (7-1) have notched wins over Illinois State, BYU, Idaho State, and Weber State, with their only loss coming at Utah (45-56). Idaho has been one of the few teams to beat USU in Logan in recent years, but the test this go around will be huge.

As seems to be the case this year, Idaho will continue on the road to take on the #2 and #3 Big West teams in Cal Poly (5-3) and UC Santa Barbara (6-3) after they finish at Utah State. The team has obviously had their own issues so far this season, but the early schedule for Idaho has hardly been a cruise. Of Idaho's 6 losses, 5 have come against Gonzaga, South Carolina, Washington State, and BSU (twice). Before the Eastern game, those teams were a combined 31-6, with three of them (Gonzaga, South Carolina, and BSU) leading their conferences. Obviously, the Vandals need to step up to the plate and work through the adversity, but they've been served a competitive schedule, played largely on the road.

Idaho won't return to the friendly confines of the Spectrum until the middle of the month when they take on Cal State Northridge (3-4) on January 15th and Pacific (4-6) on January 17th. Make plans to attend!

(UI Photo)
Heather Thoelke
6-0, Jr, Wing

Against Princeton Heather scored 14 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and shot 8 of 10 from the free throw line in 35 minutes of play.

Vandal Women Recover, Beat Princton
It's almost impossible to put into perspective the outstanding effort this young Vandal team is giving game-after-game. On the season, they are a Big West best 8-1, with victories over Washington State, BSU, Weber, Eastern, and Idaho State. They suffered their first loss of the season during the first round of the Lady Griz Holiday Classic, falling to the Memphis Tigers 73-64. It was the first time this season they were held below 70 points in a game.

The team regrouped and beat Princeton Sunday night 62-54 during the consolation round in a game they never trailed. The Vandals were led by sophomore phenom Emily Faurholt, the team's center, who scored 26 points and went into the game with a national best 25.2 points per game average. Below is a link to the game recap from the Official Site.

Link to Official Site.

The team is young, and showed its youth Sunday as they started 2 true freshmen at guard: Leilani Mitchell who is averaging a solid 17 points per game, and Karly Felton who is second on the team with 22 assists (Mitchell has a stunning 64 assists through the first 9 games).

Starting January 3rd the Women launch a 3-game homestand, opening up with Utah State, then welcome in Cal Poly on the 8th. On the 10th is a game that should be marked down as a significant Big West Conference matchup as traditional BWC and Top 25 power UC Santa Barbara visits the Cowan Spectrum at 7:00pm PST.

Coach Divilbiss and the rest of the Vandal team are putting together an outstanding season on the Palouse, and a solid foundation for the future at Idaho. This may be a 3 game stretch you won't want to miss!

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