A career night from Djim Bandoumel wasn’t enough to help the Vandal men’s basketball team escape the Cowan Spectrum with what would’ve been a fourth straight home WAC victory, Saturday night during their 76-70 loss to Hawaii.
Two nights following a win over San Jose State, Idaho lacked the defense for a consistent Hawaii offense that buried 56 percent of it’s shots.
The Warriors maintained the lead for almost 12 minutes during the first half and despite stealing their own lead on multiple occasions, the Vandals found themselves at a major disadvantage when junior center Kyle Barone picked up three early fouls in the first half.
Warriors center Vander Joaquim had a mismatch on Bandoumel and Joe Kammerer, picking apart the Vandal defense down low with his size and strength. 12 of Joaquim’s 18 points came in the first half, when the Angola native was 6-6 from the field.
However, Bandoumel’s physical presence created a headache for Hawaii coach Gib Arnold. Bandoumel’s career high 24 points included a 10-13 shooting performance from the field. The senior was also 4-4 from the charity stripe.
It was a night that saw the Warriors knock down their shots at seemingly all the right times, while their starters provided almost all of their team’s offensive production. The Hawaii bench combined for just six points, and four of their five starters tallied at least 15 points apiece.
Joaquim’s presence on the boards didn’t go unnoticed either, as he and Joston Thomas each grabbed nine rebounds.
For Idaho, Bandoumel was the star once again, with 24 points, two blocks and four rebounds. Stephen Madison impressed with 15 points and three assists.
The Vandals will hit the road for the first time since January 14 and visit Fresno State on February 2. Idaho beat the Bulldogs 63-59 in Moscow on January 7. Bandoumel was a perfect 6-6 from the field with 16 points, which was a then career high for the Quebec native.