Brooks Scores 22 in Loss to the Broncos

Although University of Idaho junior guard JORDAN BROOKS (6-3, 200) struggled in the WAC opener against New Mexico State earlier last week, Coach Pfeifer showed confidence in the junior, starting Brooks against Boise State Saturday in the Cowan Spectrum. Brooks exploded for 22 points, 8 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds to lead the Vandal effort in a 95-84 loss to the cross-state rival Broncos.

Notes from Week 1 of WAC Competition

Michael Hall
6-0, 205, Jr, Guard
Scored 20 for the Vandals, including going 5-5 from the free throw line.
• "Defense, transition and low post, and none of that was a surprise to us," Vandal coach George Pfeifer said after Idaho's 95-84 loss to Boise State – it was literally his first comment. Idaho (3-10, 0-2 WAC) is not the only team to have trouble defending Boise State (11-3, 2-0 WAC) this season. Coming into Saturday's contest BSU was shooting 51.9% from the floor on the season, third in the country behind Georgetown (52.6%) and Kansas (52.4%). They shot 61.7% on the game Saturday to pad their already impressive "ROAD" FG percentage which was 53.4% before the Vandal game.

• Idaho's 84 points against BSU was their highest output against an NCAA Division 1A team this year. On the other hand, the Broncos threatened to snap Idaho's 474-game string of not allowing an opponent to score 100 or more points in a game. Boise racked up its 80th point with 10:43 still remaining in the second half, but the Vandal defense clamped down and limited the Broncos to only 15 points the rest of the way. The 95 was the most allowed by an Idaho team since Long Beach State rang up 97 in 2000.

Jordan Brooks
6-3, 195, Jr, Guard
Led Vandals with 22 points Saturday night.
Nice comeback – Vandal point guard Jordan Brooks had one of his poorer outings of the season in the conference opening Wednesday against New Mexico State finishing with just 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 turnovers in only 13 minutes of action. Pfeifer showed his confidence in the 6-3 junior's ability to put that game behind him. Brooks started against BSU and played 32 minutes leading the Vandals with 22 points, 8 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds. His ability to swing between the point and the wings gives the Vandals added flexibility on the offensive end of the floor. He can also crash the boards -- he was second only to Michael Crowell in rebounding before Saturday's game.

Problem solved...hopefully – Just before the winter break the Vandals were struggling at the free throw line averaging in the low 60% range including a low of 53.8% in a two-point loss to Idaho State. Pfeifer hinted he planned to emphasize free throw shooting during the break, and the Vandals came back to shoot 81.5% at Arizona State and 77.8% against New Mexico State. Against the Aggies both teams sank 25 field goals, but NMSU was 24-for-36 at the line compared to 14-for-18 for the Vandals in the 10-point loss. Saturday against the Broncos the Vandals shot 67.6% from the free throw line, including 69% in the first half. Junior Michael Hall went 5-of-5 while senior Michael Crowell went 3-of-4.

Michael Crowell
6-7, 210, Senior, Forward
Scored 16 in 28 minutes for the Vandals against BSU.
What others are saying – The Vandals are 0-2 after two WAC games, but the teams they lost to are both 2-0, and their opponents left the Cowan Spectrum with a new respect for the 2007-08 version of the Vandals. Bronco coach Greg Graham told the Lewiston Tribune, "They can put four or five guys out there who can score the basketball, and anytime you can do that on a given night, you can beat anybody." BSU forward Matt  Nelson (25 points against the Vandals and WAC player of the week) told the Tribune, "They had a lot of good shooters. "They're a pretty good team - they're a lot better than people give them credit for, I'll tell you that. They're going to win some games in the WAC this year."

Plenty of PT to go around – The Vandals continue to rotate a number of players into games. Against Boise eight players were on the floor for at least 10 minutes and nine saw double-digit minutes against New Mexico State.

Cudos to the crowd – The announced attendance was 1,249 against BSU. Give the fans in attendance credit for staying power. After the Vandals posted their last lead of the game (58-56 1:35 into the second half) the Broncos exploded for a 17-2 scoring run and led by at least 10 points the rest of the way. Still, most of those in the stands hung to watch the conclusion.

Darin Nagle
6-10, 221, Senior, Forward
Scored 13 points and blocked 3 shots in 33 minutes.
Looking ahead – The Vandals will be home Thursday against Louisiana Tech. It will make the end of a three-game WAC homestand to open conference action. It will also be the first home game since the student body has returned (classes will resume Wednesday). Saturday Idaho travels to California to face Fresno State. Both games will start at 7 p.m.

Nice memory – In the middle of Saturday's game the main Cowan Spectrum scoreboards flickered off leaving only the shot clocks and game clocks over the east and west baskets running. The outage occurred during a time out and the scorer's table used a convenient air horn to signal the end of the time out. Kibbie Dome maintenance crews were on top of the problem and restored the north and south scoreboards a few moments. When the boards returned, they displayed the score "Vandals 17, Rams 13." That was the halftime score of the women's game against Colorado State December 18 when a broken cable left the main board dark for the half of the game.

Luis Augusto
6-8, 245, Jr, Center
Has started 8 of 12 games this year for the Vandals at center.

Mike Kale
6-8, 240, Jr, Center
The redshirt junior has started 4 of 12 games for the Vandals at center.

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