Tri Fecta Denied

Idaho swept Cal Poly in their two meetings this season, but lost in the first round of the Big West Tournament to the Mustangs, 50-54. <b>Tyrone Hayes</b> (driving to the hoop) and <b>Jon Tinnon</b> each played tough, but just one Vandal scored in double figures.<br> <br> Still, this club exceeded all expectations this year as they went into the season picked 9th, and ended the year 5th in the BWC. Coach Perry has this team poised for success next season, and we look forward to watching!

Official Site Game Write-Up

So close. Up by 2 at the half, tied 50-50 with about 2 minutes left, Idaho (13-15, 9-9 BWC) was just a shot or 2 away from getting their first BWC tournament win. It would have been an outstanding way to end a season that, for many outsiders, looked like a long-haul for the young, rebuilding Vandal team. In reality, it was a long season with its share of highs and lows, but this group also had its share of successes, not the least of which included a first-ever Idaho win at Utah State, and sweeping the PAC-10 teams they faced this year (Oregon State and Washington State). For a team with just one senior and loaded with first-year starters, they played admirably throughout. As Coach Perry expected in a VV.c interview by Vandal88 last summer, the team went through some "freshman blues" ("...when things go bad for 2 or 3 possessions, they [younger players] tend to fall apart"). As the season went along, the team matured, and it showed in the last 5 games of the season, where Idaho won 3, and lost both of the other 2 games in double overtime.

On Thursday, however, some of Idaho's biggest contributors this season had some struggles against the Mustangs. Junior forward Tyrone Hayes, a 2nd Team All-Conference selection who led Idaho this year with 13.1 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game, had just 6 points on the night (he did, however, lead Idaho with 9 rebounds). Junior guard Dwayne Williams, an Honorable Mention All-BWC selection, who has had several monster games for the Vandals also struggled, scoring just 2 points in the game. Obviously, the effort was there, the shots just weren't going down.

AP Photo / Chris Carlson
#33 Rashaad Powell
6-4, 205, Forward, Jr
Rashaad, who led Idaho with 16 points, bangs it down in the paint.
One player who did have a solid game was junior forward Rashaad Powell, sinking 16 points (including going 8 for 10 from the free throw line) and grabbing 7 rebounds. Idaho's lone senior, guard Justin Logan, hit 5 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists in a team high 38 minutes. Junior forward/center Jon Tinnon scored 8 points and grabbed 5 steals. And, in 13 minutes, junior guard Zach White hit 2 3-pointers in the first half to help give Idaho the lead going into the locker-room.

Unfortunately, on this night a 2 point lead at the half would not be enough to win the game in the end.

Nobody wants to win everytime the Vandals take the floor more than 2nd year Head Coach Leonard Perry. He's put together a quick, talented, hard-working team in a very short period of time. This team will lose just one player to graduation, and there is some youth throughout the depth chart to develop (guards Ronnie Smith and Tanoris Shepard, guard/small forward Sam Jackson, and center David Radlovic). Perry's brand of basketball demands solid defensive play, and the athletes he's brought in have bought into what he wants them to do. He's brought in players, such as Hayes and Williams, who when they are hot can shoot the lights out. He's added size to the low post.

This team has alot to look forward to next year, and they have plenty to be proud of that they accomplished this year. Among other things, they made basketball fun again at Idaho (3,413 fans were in attendance for the season finale at The Spectrum, the biggest crowd since the BSU game in December drew 4300), and we look forward to watching them continue to grow next season.

From all of us at, congratulations guys on an admirable effort this season.

AP Photo / Chris Carlson
#15 Justin Logan
6-0, 184, Guard, Senior
Justin covers the loose ball.

AP Photo / Chris Carlson
#20 Tyrone Hayes
6-4, 197, Forward, Jr
Going for the blocked shot.

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