SAN MARCOS – Five Vandals scored in double and the Idaho women’s basketball team got its fourth win in five games with a 72-60 win over Texas State in Western Athletic Conference play Thursday night.
Alyssa Charlston led Idaho with 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. She went 7-of-13 from the field and helped Idaho to a 50-39 advantage on the glass, the team’s fourth 50-plus rebounding effort of the season.
All three of Idaho’s freshmen also scored in double figures, as Christina Salvatore had 13 points and eight rebounds, Connie Ballestero had 11 points and three assists, and Ali Forde finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Krissy Karr added 10 points and seven assists, and senior Jessica Graham had nine points and four rebounds for the Vandals.
Idaho improves to 8-11 on the season and 5-3 in WAC play while Texas State drops to 7-11 and 1-7 in the WAC. The Vandals are 3-0 in WAC road games.
Texas State jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the game, leading 19-9 with 13 minutes left in the first half, but then Idaho stormed back. The Vandals closed out the half on a 29-5 run to lead 38-24 at halftime.
“Krissy did a great job of jumpstarting our offense, and once we got going we were on a roll,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee said of Karr’s performance off the bench. “I’m proud of them tonight, they hung in there, hit some big shots when we needed them and got the win.”
An 8-2 spurt for the Vandals to start the second half gave Idaho a 44-26 lead 1:15 into the second half, and the Vandals built that lead to as many as 21 points, 54-33 with less than 15 minutes to play. The Bobcats attempted a run, led by Diamond Ford, the WAC’s leading scorer, but the lead remained double-digits the rest of the way.
“We talked about once we got the lead, running through our offense and being more patient,” Newlee said. “I thought shot selection was much better tonight once we got the lead.”
Ford ended up with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Idaho, however, held the Bobcats to just 29.6 percent shooting from the field (21-of-71) as a team, and 22.2 percent (6-of-27) from 3-point range.
“Diamond Ford is a great scorer, she’s proven that,” Newlee said. “We were trying to keep her under 20 (points), and honestly I thought we contested some of those shots pretty well.”
Idaho hit 30-of-65 shots (46.2 percent) and 9-of-21 3s (43 percent). The Vandals had 18 assists on their 30 made baskets, and finished with just 12 turnovers, considerably less than the team’s 17.7 per game average heading into the game.
“That turnover ratio is what we need,” Newlee said. “When we’ve had our best games we’re moving the ball, and sharing the ball, and good things happen. Five people in double figures, that what we’re looking for every game. Everybody contributed and on the road you’ve got to have that.”
The Vandals return to action on Saturday at UTSA with a 4 p.m. (Pacific) tipoff. Idaho will stay on the road next week when it visits Utah State and San Jose State before returning home to host New Mexico State on Feb. 7.