Tag Archives: Portland Pilots

Photo Gallery: Idaho men’s basketball versus Portland

21 Nov

The Vandal men’s basketball squad allowed a big second-half run by an opposing team for the second game in a row, and the outcome of a 66-53 loss to Portland was the result. The Vandals lost at home in the confines of the Memorial Gym for the first time since coach Don Verlin took control of the team. Under Verlin, the team was perfect in defending their home turf, going 9-0.

Photographer Kate Kucharzyk was at the game and snapped some shots of the action. Hats off to Kate, and we hope you enjoy.

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Boise State 77, Idaho 67

25 Jan

Somewhere in the locker room, there’s an Idaho basketball team that dropped 94 points on Utah and beat No. 25 Portland by 20 points. But those are now distant memories.

Idaho blew a 9-point lead over arch-rival Boise State, giving up an Anthony Thomas buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime — and from there the Broncos took over. Boise State avenged its sweep at the hands of the Vandals last season by defeating Idaho, 77-67.

The Vandals fall to 1-6 in the Western Athletic Conference, while the Broncos get their first win of the conference season and improve to 1-7.

We’ll have a complete postgame report later, but for now, here’s postgame interviews with coach Don Verlin and center Marvin Jefferson.

Turnovers, shooting woes lead to 30-point pasting at Portland

23 Dec

For the third straight game, the Vandals looked more interested in sleeping in than playing basketball last night. The Portland Pilots, hungry for revenge at home after a 20-point Idaho beatdown knocked them out of the Top 25 last week, gladly took advantage.

Canning a school-record ten 3-pointers in an unstoppable performance, Portland guard Jared Stohl made up the margin of victory himself in leading the Pilots to a blowout 82-52 victory over the Vandals in the Chiles Center.

Idaho has looked disjointed, sluggish and indifferent ever since its home win over then-No. 25 Portland two weeks ago. There’s nothing good to talk about from this game, as virtually every stat was a season low for the Vandals: 38 percent shooting, 19 turnovers, even a spectacularly bad 12-for-29 performance from the free-throw line. The loss drops Idaho to 6-4 on the season, with a game next Tuesday against Lewis-Clark State remaining before Western Athletic Conference play opens.

“I’m at a little bit of a loss because I felt like we practiced hard,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “This basketball team simply has got to get ready to play on the road because we didn’t come out to play tonight and I’m disappointed.”

Mac Hopson led the Vandals with 15 points on a respectable 5-for-9 shooting performance, but he turned the ball over three times and was just 1-for-4 from downtown. Idaho’s shooters combined for a season-worst 2-of-11 performance outside the arc, and Steffan Johnson once again was dead quiet — he was just 1-for-8 on the night.

The game was never really competitive, as for the first time all year Idaho didn’t even get a taste of the lead. The Pilots broke open a 7-4 game with a 15-1 run that left the Vandals trailing 22-5 with 11 minutes to go in the first half, keyed by 3-pointers from Stohl, Nik Raivio and Ethan Niedermeyer.

Out of the locker room, the Vandals seemed ready to spark a comeback, as six unanswered points in the paint to open the second half closed the deficit to just 10. But Portland turned to Stohl again, and he delivered — a pair of buckets from downtown keyed an 11-0 Pilots response that broke Idaho’s back.

The Vandals allowed the Pilots to drill 55 percent of their 29 shots from beyond the arc, by far the worst defensive performance of the season, and with Stohl racking up 10 makes on 15 attempts, it’s as if Idaho’s defense didn’t even try.

“You have to give credit to Portland, they shot the ball well and we weren’t ready for it,” Verlin admitted.

Adding to Idaho’s troubles, backup point guard Marcus Lawrence has been suspended indefinitely for unspecified violations of team rules. The oft-troubled UNLV transfer is playing as a walk-on this year after being charged with theft during his redshirt season, leading to the revocation of his scholarship.

A season that started with much promise now seems to have peaked with the home win over Portland, and a tough, deep set of WAC contenders won’t tolerate nights off. One tuneup remains before conference play gets underway, and it’s those contests that will determine whether Idaho’s “Road to Glory” is paved to tournament success — or covered in fool’s gold.

“This team has to get better and it will get better,” Verlin promised. “We’ll get back to work and we’re going to get it done.”

The Vandals get Christmas week off before returning to action Tuesday in Boise with a neutral-site game against Lewis-Clark State, the night before the Humanitarian Bowl.

“Our guys are looking forward to playing in Boise and we’re hoping all the Vandal fans will come out and cheer us on,” Verlin said.

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Hoops Preview: Portland (Deja vu edition)

22 Dec

Yes, the Vandals are playing Portland tonight — and yes, we’ve been there before.

Idaho took down the then-No. 25 Pilots in Moscow on Dec. 6. The stunning 20-point blowout helped knock Portland out of the Top 25.

Now, Idaho travels to Portland, and the Pilots will undoubtedly be out for revenge. Can the Vandals do on the road what they did at home? We’ll find out — the game tips at 7 p.m. We’ll have live scoring updates on Twitter.

The Pilots opened the season with five straight wins, including victories over Oregon, UCLA and No. 22 Minnesota, before losing a close fight to West Virginia. That was enough to earn them their first Top 25 ranking since the 1950s. But from there it was downhill — Portland dropped a close game at home in the city battle with Portland State and then fell to the Vandals.

In their two games since, they’ve edged Denver at home and were torched by Washington on the road. So the Pilots are 6-4.

A win over Idaho would avenge the brutal defeat in Moscow and put the Pilots back on the right track.

For the Vandals, the story is much the same — a win tonight would exorcise the demons of back-to-back disappointments against Washington State and Eastern Oregon, launching Idaho into the WAC season on the right track.

To get the win, the Vandals will need to return to the formula that made them a formidable hoops power: a balanced scoring attack with inside power from Marvin Jefferson and Luiz Toledo and outside sharpshooting from Steffan Johnson and Mac Hopson. After sitting the last two games with injury troubles (a big reason why Idaho struggled) Toledo’s scheduled to return to the lineup tonight. He’s got to play well for Idaho to leave the Beaver State with a win.

For our full breakdown on the Pilots from the last game, click here.

Portland 67, Idaho 56

11 Dec

Idaho made it close in the second half, but bigtime buckets from the Pilots and easy layups blown by the Vandals made it another disappointing finish. Portland defeated Idaho, 67-56, in Memorial Gym tonight. The Vandals fell to 1-9 on the season, while the Pilots improved to 6-3.

It might have been the most complete game for the Vandals, but yet again they couldn’t close the deal. They performed particularly well, though, given the absence of two starters: point guard Charlotte Otero and post Yinka Olorunnife, who were suspended by coach Jon Newlee for unspecified conduct detrimental to the team.

Jessica Graham led the Vandals with 18 points on 7-14 shooting, grabbed 6 rebounds and made 3 blocks.

We’ll have a complete postgame report tomorrow.

Vandal Nation Live: Idaho vs. Portland

11 Dec

The Vandal women close out a four-game homestand tonight against the Portland Pilots, and we’ll have all the action for you from courtside in Memorial Gym. Pregame starts at 6:30 p.m., tip-off is scheduled for 7.

Idaho’s men beat the nationally-ranked Pilots on Sunday, and now the women will attempt to complete a home hoops sweep over UP. The Vandals have had a tough start to the season, but a win tonight would be a big confidence booster before they head back out on the road.

Join us for Vandal Nation Live commentary, analysis and chat with pregame at 6:30 p.m., tip at 7.

Uninspired Vandals ‘whupped’ by Washington State

10 Dec

PULLMAN, Wash. — With 10 minutes to go in the second half and Idaho trailing Washington State by nearly 30 points, the Vandals’ starting five sat glumly on the bench, watching the clock run down on their upset dreams.

Coming off Sunday’s 20-point blowout victory over the No. 25 Portland Pilots, Idaho seemed poised to knock off its cross-border rivals for the first time since 2002. Instead, tonight the Vandals seemed more interested on getting back on the bus to Moscow.

On the strength of a 21-2 run to open the second half, the Cougars drilled Idaho, 76-64, in a game that was not nearly as close as its final score might indicate. The Vandals fell to 5-3 on the season while WSU improved to 7-2.

A clearly-frustrated Idaho coach Don Verlin minced no words after the game, laying the blame squarely on a lack of effort all the way around the court. His wrath fell particularly hard on an all-senior starting five who combined to go 15-for-39 from the floor, and that only made respectable by Kashif Watson’s team-leading 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting.

“(The Cougars) were coached better, they played harder and they were much more prepared. They flat whupped our tails,” Verlin said. “Vandal basketball and Vandal players need to expect more than what we got tonight. I’m embarrassed.”

Star backcourters Mac Hopson and Steffan Johnson combined to go 5-for-17 and just 2-for-9 from beyond the arc, part of the team’s season-low .390 shooting performance and an awful .292 from downtown. They rode the pine for much of the second half, as Verlin turned the game over to his reserves. Even walk-on Travis Blackstock saw 5 minutes of action, his first of the season. It appeared Idaho’s second-year head coach was making a point to his team leaders, and he said as much after the game.

“I was disappointed. I didn’t think they played hard,” Verlin said of his starters. “You’re not allowed to play in this program if you don’t play hard.”

The opening 5 minutes were promising ones for the Vandals — though WSU’s star guard Klay Thompson got loose for some easy buckets, Idaho managed to hang with the Cougars and even take a 4-point lead.

At that point, things went upside down. Instead of running offensive sets, the Vandals began chucking up contested 3-pointers and turning around with the ball in the air. Rebounding vanished and the Cougars smelled blood, pulling out to an eight-point lead at the halftime break.

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