Olorunnife sets record, Vandals fall

In a crucial game between two teams battling for seeding position in the conference tournament, the Nevada Wolfpack dominated the Vandals 57-39 in Idaho's final home game of the season. The loss leaves Idaho, Nevada, and Boise State at 9-6 in WAC play with the season finale this weekend. The highlight tonight came when sophomore post YINKA OLORUNNIFE set a new single-season rebounding record.

COMMENTS: There really is not much that can be said. In a crucial game between two teams battling for seeding position in the conference tournament, the Nevada Wolfpack dominated the Vandals 57-39 in Idaho's final home game of the season. The loss leaves Idaho and Nevada both at 9-6 in WAC play with Nevada holding all tiebreakers over the Vandals. Boise State is likewise 9-6 and Utah State at 8-6 is in sixth place.

Nevada never trailed in the game. The Wolfpack scored the first seven points before the Vandals for a layup from Yinka Olorunnife with 14:48 left in the first half. Idaho got within three points seven minutes later but never got closer. In the first half the Vandals shot 18% from the floor, were 0-for-3 from beyond the 3-point line, and missed 6-of-8 layups. The second half as a bit better percentage-wise but the Vandals never really threatened.

After the game Vandal coach Jon Newlee was at a loss to explain his team's performance. "I just think that mentally for whatever reason it was people not showing up tonight, and I'll take responsibility for that," Newlee said. "It's my fault. I didn't get ‘em ready to play. Jane (Nevada coach Jane Albright) did. She does a great job."

The only highlight for the Vandals came when sophomore post Yinka Olorunnife collected her first rebound at the 12:40 mark of the first half to break Denise Brose's single season rebounding record with 278. She wound up with 6 rebounds and 14 points.

Normally a balanced, unselfish team the Vandals had only two assists. "We got where we are because we play together. We share the ball. Different people score," Newlee said. "It was a total individual effort tonight."


VANDAL INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS:
Yinka Olorunnife 14 points, 6 rebounds. Shaena Kuehu 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals. Rachele Kloke 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot. Alana Curtis 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot. Charlotte Otero 1 points, 2 assists, 1 steal. Derisa Taleni 1 point, 7 rebounds, 2 steals.


TEAM STATISTICS:

• FIELD GOALS: Idaho 14 of 53 26.4%; Nevada 22 of 54 for 40.7%
• THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS: Idaho 1 of 12 for 8.3%, Nevada 3 of 14 for 21.4%
• FREE THROWS: Idaho 10 of 18 for 55.6%, Nevada 10 of 14 for 71.4%
• REBOUNDS: Idaho 13 offensive, 17 defensive for 30 total; Nevada 16 offensive, 33 defensive for 49 total
• ASSISTS: Idaho 2 Nevada 10
• TURNOVERS: Idaho 12, Nevada 17
• BLOCKED SHOTS: Idaho 2, Nevada 5
• STEALS: Idaho 8, Nevada 7
• POINTS IN THE PAINT: Idaho 22, Nevada 20
• POINTS OFF TURNOVERS: Idaho 8, Nevada 7
• SECOND CHANCE POINTS: Idaho 9, Nevada 16
• FAST BREAK POINTS: Idaho 0, Nevada 0
• BENCH POINTS: Idaho 8, Nevada 26
• SCORE TIED : Zero times
• LEAD CHANGES: None
• ATTENDANCE: 481
The Vandals will have an extra day off after the rare Wednesday game to prepare for Saturday's regular season finale at Boise State.


Idaho Head Coach John Newlee, post-game quotes

Q: That wasn't exactly what you wanted to see from your team at all. What did you talk about there after the game?
JN: "Telling them we were embarrassed. I thought it was an embarrassing performance for our last home game to come out with a lot to play for, and I thought we froze as a team. I'm not sure if that's a result of being as young as we are or what. You've got to give Nevada credit. Nevada's an experienced senior team and they know what they're playing for. I thought they came in focused and did a great job of clamping down on us defensively. They're extremely well coached, and they really took it to us tonight."

Q: The team really seemed almost as if they were scared to take shots.
JN: "You know what? That's the same term I used in the locker room. I used it at halftime; I used it at the end of the game. I don't know. I said. ‘I don't know who you people are.' I'm at a loss for words as to the lack of aggression offensively from the outside. I mean, we were taking the ball to the rim, but we had the same open shots and hesitancy not taking them. I don't know. I guess I'm a bad coach. I don't know why they didn't."

Q: How do you rebound from this and then get ready for Boise State? That's obviously even a bigger game now than it was this time yesterday.
JN: "Yeah. We're just going to have to go back, I guess back to the drawing board and talk. At this point to me it's a mental thing. It's not a physical thing. I don't really feel like we're out of gas even though that looked like it tonight. I don't feel like we are. I just think that mentally for whatever reason it was people not showing up tonight, and I'll take responsibility for that. It's my fault. I didn't get ‘em ready to play. Jane (Nevada coach Jane Albright) did. She does a great job."

Q: It was a real individual effort tonight…two assists. That's very unusual for you.
JN: "Yup."

Q: Did you see that coming at all?
JN: "No, and I told ‘em, I said, ‘We got where we are because we play together. We share the ball. Different people score.' I said, ‘Everybody had their own agenda tonight…it's like you want to come out and play for your fans, your individual fans. It's like it's the last time we can play here; so I'm gonna show ‘em this and that.' I don't know, but yes. It was a total individual effort tonight."

Q: Did you sit Yinka (Olorunnife) out because she just wasn't producing or did you want to save her…
JN: "Absolutely. No. Absolutely. She was trying to do it all by herself. Forget it. We're not about one person; so she got to sit down and get a perspective from the bench about what's going on. She's only a sophomore and she's got two more years to be playing here. Sometimes lessons are hard learned, but the best lessons are learned by sitting out and seeing what's going on, I've found through the years."

Q: Talk about those layups. It seemed like early on you guys got in there and got a few fouls, and then it seemed like after that point when they were going up to the basket it was more so trying to get fouled and then not quite finishing.
JN: "Yeah. We didn't finish at the rim. In particular Yinka was doing a good job of getting there but not finishing. They blocked a couple of shots early, and they were blocks. I'll say I thought this was the best officiated game that I've had since I've been a head coach. I thought they did a great job, those officials. We were just missing layups and lack of concentration to me…or scared. One or the other."

Q: Talk a little bit about Yinka and what she has to do. She broke that record tonight. I know that's kind of a side note, but what does she have to do to get back on track and produce like she has been all season?
JN: "Well, she just needs to play with her team. They all do. They all need to play with each other. It's not just her. It's everybody has to come together and figure out that the strength of us is our team, not individually. Individually we have nobody really who stands out, but as a team and as a unit we do pretty well this year. We have, anyway, up till now; so it's just a matter of them trusting each other. Where that trust went tonight, like I said, I have no idea. It's my fault. I didn't have ‘em ready to play."




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