VANDAL Women 11-1, Remain Undefeated In BWC

Congratulations to the OUTSTANDING effort of <b>Emily Faurholt</b> and the rest of the Vandal Women's basketball team. Head Coach Mike Divilbiss has thoroughly overhauled this team in just a couple short years, and now has them poised for a Big West Championship. The season is long, but this young team is looking very strong.<br> <br> Our hats our tipped to the team's excellent effort against a powerful UC Santa Barbara team tonight at the Cowan Spectrum.

LINK: The Official Site for write-up and stats.

From the Official Site:

MOSCOW, Idaho –Two teams at the top of the Big West went to battle Saturday on the Cowan Spectrum floor. By the end, it was clear that both were extremely talented. It was also clear that both were used to winning, and especially bent on winning this one.

Vandal head coach Mike Divilbiss later attempted to put the game in its competitive perspective:

"I think this is the biggest regular season win in Idaho's history," Divilbiss said. "We had that much respect for Santa Barbara."

The Vandals (11-1, 3-0) beat UCSB (9-5, 3-1) 84-80 in front of 1,390 raucous fans.

At first, those fans watched nervously as a veteran Gaucho team, riding a string of seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, built a 43-34 halftime lead.

The upstart Vandals, who later credited the crowd for playing "a major part" in their second half comeback, stripped the game from the perennial conference champions with a tying 3-pointer from Emily Faurholt at 1:48 and a game-winning 3-pointer from Heather Thoelke at 1:00.

It was UCSB's seventh Big West loss in eight seasons and first Idaho win over UCSB since 1985. The Vandals improved to 8-0 at home and surpassed last year's win total.

"Obviously, this was a great performance by the Vandals," UCSB head coach Mark French said. "We knew they were going to be good and they certainly proved that tonight."

French extensively credited the Vandals for their victory and even hinted at his surprise to gain such a large a lead in the first half.

Just as the Gauchos tried exploiting their obvious height advantage (6-8 post Lindsay Taylor converted 13 of 19 attempts for 26 points) throughout the game, the Vandals answered just as loudly with their jarring perimeter offense.

Thoelke's game-winner was her fifth 3-pointer in six attempts. She finished with 17 points.

Emily Faurholt, who was charged with guarding Taylor despite being nine inches shorter, neutralized Taylor with a game-high 28 points, including three-for-six on 3s.

"The coaches took us aside and told us we needed to establish this inside presence," Faurholt said. "And I was saying ‘OK, 5-11, 6-8. Inside presence.' "

"Faurholt is the kind of kid that is not going to get down," French said. "She just got mad."

As the posts dueled, both teams drew on contributions from their entire teams. Both had four players in double figures.

One of those four Vandals was freshman Karly Felton, who scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds – both career highs. Her two defensive rebounds and three free throws in the last minute allowed the Vandals to seal their monstrous win.

ALL Vandals Top Stories