Men and Women Both Lose By 1 On Saturday

Both teams fought to the bitter end against The University of the Pacific Saturday night, and both came up short this time. Point guard <b>Tanoris Shepard</b> (9 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds) and the rest of the Vandal men fell at home 63-62 in the Cowan Spectrum. The women lost on the road 74-73 in Stockton, California, for just their second loss of the season (12-2, 4-1 BWC).

Vandal men lose heart-breaker to Pacific
(Excerpt from Official Site article)

MOSCOW, Idaho – If anything, Saturday's Big West men's basketball game between the Idaho Vandals and Pacific Tigers proved the obvious: Every point, whether scored at the beginning or end of the game, counts.

This truth is ringing especially loud in the ears of the Vandals, who lost 63-62 on their own floor despite their spirited late scramble for a comeback victory.

Idaho (4-10, 1-4) hit long 3s and weathered hard fouls in a madhouse second half, only to see their final chance at a win disappear on a wayward in-bounds pass. With 1.8 seconds remaining, 5-10 guard Tanoris Shepard directed his pass (intended for Armend Kahrimanovic, waiting on the opposite wing) into the left hand of 6-10 Tyler Newton.

The final play ended in a moment of celebration for Pacific (10-7, 5-1), which had built a 37-26 halftime advantage and managed to overcome the Vandals' four-point lead in the final four minutes.

Though the second half featured many crucial moments and opportunities, the first thing coach Leonard Perry pointed to was the less dramatic half.

"I think we started the game very poorly," Perry said. "We had a terrible first half again."

The Vandals allowed the Tigers a 13-2 run just before the end of the half.

Still, as bad as the first half was, it seemed that Dwayne "Woo" Williams was capable of saving the game by himself. His four 3s between 13:49 and 11:16 brought the Vandals back into the game and energized the crowd of 2,354.

LINK: For the Full Story on Official Site (with stats)

Photo by VandalMar
Vandal half-court offense getting set.

Photo by VandalMar
Fighting for position under the hoop.

Photo by VandalMar
Point guard Tanoris Shepard looking for an opening.

Photo by VandalMar
Vandal forward Rashaad Powell gets fouled driving to the hoop.

UI Photo Archive

Vandals Fall To Pacific In Dramatic Fashion
(Excerpt from Official Site article)

Leilani Mitchell poured in a career-high 31 points to fuel a furious second-half comeback, but her half court prayer fell unanswered at the buzzer as the University of Idaho women's basketball team (12-2, 4-1) fell 74-73 to Pacific (7-8, 6-0) in Stockton, Calif., Saturday (Jan. 17). With the win, Pacific holds on to the top spot in the Big West Conference and remains as the only unbeaten team in the league. Idaho holds onto second place with the loss.

Trailing 46-30 at the half and by as many as 25 points early in the second half, the Vandals proceeded to rally off a 40-16 tear throughout the final 17:02, including a 20-2 run to get them within nine with nine minutes remaining. The Vandals continued to fight their way back into the game, but were unable to get within more than five points of the Tigers. With three pointers on consecutive Vandal possessions by Emily Faurholt and Mitchell, Idaho got within three at 74-71 with 37 seconds remaining. Six seconds later, Mitchell would force Pacific into a turnover and take the ball the other way for a lay-in, putting the Vandals down by only one point with 27 seconds remaining on the clock.

It was the lack of Vandal fouls that would turn out to be the difference in the game for Idaho. With only three personal fouls in the second half, Idaho was forced to try to quickly pick up four more fouls to send Pacific to the free-throw line in hopes of getting the ball back for a last second shot. It would take the Vandals 23 seconds to finally send the Tigers to the free-throw line, leaving only four seconds remaining on the clock.

LINK: For the Full Story on Official Site (with stats)

LINK: Thoelke named Big West Player of the Week

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