Men and Women Both Grab Conference Wins Thursday

The men, playing at home for just the fourth time this season, beat Cal State Northridge Thursday night 74-70 at the Cowan Spectrum. For the women, the nation's leading scorer, Emily Faurholt, recorded a season-high 32 as the Vandals record a double digit road-win over CS Northridge, 71-57.<br> <br> Congratulations to both teams on an outstanding effort.

MOSCOW, Idaho – Nothing comes easy for the gritty Idaho men's basketball team, even at home.

It was fitting, then, that the Vandals could grind out a 74-70 victory over Cal State Northridge just when they needed it most.

Photo by VandalMar
Guard Dandrick Jones brings the ball upcourt.

The Vandals (4-9, 1-3) won their conference home opener with hustle rebounds and an undersized defense that seemed to gain a late upper hand when it should have tired.

In the final 10 minutes, when everything seemed to be pointing the Matador way, the Vandals coaxed Northridge (6-7, 2-3) into surrendering a 10-point lead.

"In the second half, (the Vandals) played harder than we played, they played smarter than we played. We got manhandled," Northridge coach Bobby Braswell said. "They played like desperate team in the second half, we didn't. We played fat and happy."

The slumbering giant had to work from behind all the way until 7:21, when Tyrone Hayes hit a contested lay-in under the heavy hand of Eto Onyenegecha. Hayes' subsequent free throw put the Vandals ahead 55-53.

Hayes, who went scoreless and without rebounds in the first half, finished with 20 points and seven rebounds.

"It's just heart, man. We refuse to lose," Hayes said. "Everyone in the lockerroom knows we've had a tough time. We're not giving up."

LINK: Full Story on Official Site (with stats)

LINK: Spokesman Review Article (free sign-up required)

Photo by VandalMar
The Vandal defense puts the clamps on the Matadors in the second half at the Cowan Spectrum.

UI Photo Archive

Faurholt's 32 Points Lead Idaho Over Cal State Northridge, 71-57

With a season-high 32 points, Emily Faurholt helped the University of Idaho women's team to a 71-57 win over Cal State Northridge in Northridge, Calif., Thursday (Jan. 15).

Faurholt, the nation's leading scorer averaging 24.5 points per game, scored 23 of the Vandals 48 second-half points to keep the Vandals a perfect 4-0 in conference play. With a 12-1 overall record, the start is the best for the Idaho since the 1984-85 season when the Vandals began 14-0.

"Conference wins on the road are like gold in this league, especially for this team in its situation," Idaho head coach Mike Divilbiss said. "We have a huge target on our backs and teams come into games with us with a different mind-set. Every team wants to be the one to beat the team that beat Santa Barbara and that is going to make it tough for us for the rest of the season."

The Matadors (3-10, 2-3) held a 25-23 lead at the half due, in large part, to 16 first-half turnovers by the Vandals. Idaho would then rattle off a 19-5 run midway through the second half to lead 50-38 at the 7:46 mark. The Vandals never looked back and eventually pushed the lead to 19 on two separate occasions before claiming the 14-point victory.

"We have to give Northridge a lot of credit," Divilbiss said. "Having won back-to-back conference games coming into tonight, they came into this game playing very hard and very confident. They started out very aggressive, but I think our conditioning and level of play wore them down late in the game."

Leilani Mitchell complimented Faurholt's point total with 23 points of her own, giving the duo from Kennewick (Wash.) High School a combined total of 55 points. The remainder of the Vandal squad scored a combined 16 points.

LINK: Full Story on Official Site (with stats)

LINK: Thoelke named Big West Player of the Week

ALL Vandals Top Stories