Vandal Men Get Elusive Road Win

Behind leading scorer <b>Anton Lyons</b>'s 22 points and some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch (11 of 14 in final 2 minutes), Idaho beat Cal Poly 75-63 in San Luis Obispo. Idaho holds sole possession of 5th place in the Big West at 6-5 BWC, 8-14 overall.

LINK: OFFICIAL Idaho Website Game Stats

The following report released by the Official Idaho website.


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Precious. There is no other word to describe a road victory for the University of Idaho Vandals, who won on the road for just the second time this season and for the first time at a Big West rival since Feb. 28, 2004.


LARRY JOHNSON / VandalVenue.com
Lyons is #2 on team in shot blocks with 13 this season.
Saturday night's 75-63 victory over Cal Poly was the result of a precisely played and soundly executed second half, which was in strong contrast to the first half after which the Vandals trailed by five.

The Vandals remain alone in fifth in the Big West at 8-14 overall and 6-5 in conference. Cal Poly dropped to 4-16 and 2-10 – ninth in the Big West.

All the things the Vandals didn't do in the first half, they did in the second half. Shots fell. Free throws snapped through the net with accuracy – even to the tune of 11-of-14 in the final two minutes for the team ranked last in the league from the line. Rebounds were ripped down with abandon. And they took great care with the basketball.

"We wanted to jump out on this team immediately," said senior forward Anton Lyons of the Vandals' aggressive start to the second half.


LARRY JOHNSON / VandalVenue.com
Guard Tanoris Shepard scored 21 points on the night.
The Vandals went through the lineup in launching the strong second-half start. Lyons, who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, scored the first four points of the half before Armend Kahrimanovic gave UI the lead for good after converting a steal into a layup for the 32-31 advantage with 18:44 to play.

The surge continued with Lyons, Tanoris Shepard, Lionel Davis and Dillon Higdon all contributing to a 22-6 run to give the Vandals command of the game. Cal Poly did mount a late run but the Mustangs could get no closer than 11.

"Our kids just stuck with it," coach Leonard Perry said. "They didn't panic."

There were moments when they possibly could have thoughts of not-again. They trailed 19-8 at the midpoint of the first half and, while they cut into Cal Poly's early lead, they couldn't put together a consistent run until the final 20 minutes began.


LARRY JOHNSON / VandalVenue.com
Senior forward Lionel Davis led Idaho with 11 rebounds.
"They just chipped away and chipped away at it," Perry said. "I'm really proud of them."

Shepard added 21 points to Lyons' team-leading effort. On the glass, the leader was 6-8 Lionel Davis who pulled down 11, which includes five offensive boards.

The Vandals return home to the Cowan Spectrum when they play host to the Big West's leaders – No.1 Pacific on Thursday and No. 2 Cal State Northridge on Saturday.









ADDITIONAL NOTES


LARRY JOHNSON / VandalVenue.com
True-Freshman point guard Jerod Haynes, who's been averaging close to 30 minutes per game, missed the last 2 games with an injury. He may be cleared to play this week in Moscow.


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