Archive | February, 2009

Sharp-shooting Vandals take down Fresno State, 71-68

28 Feb

On the strength of a balanced offensive attack that struck all over the court, the Idaho Vandals defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs tonight in Fresno, 71-68. The victory moves the Vandals to 14-14 overall, 7-7 in the Western Athletic Conference, solidifying Idaho’s bid for a top-half seed in the WAC Tournament. The Vandals have now recorded as many conference victories this season as they had in the team’s three previous years in the WAC.

Senior guard Trevor Morris shot the lights out from outside, going 5-6 from the floor and 4-5 from downtown to lead the Vandals with 14 points. Junior point guard Mac Hopson and junior center Marvin Jefferson both recorded double-doubles, and Luciano de Souza added another 11 points on 4-10 shooting, 3-9 from beyond the arc. Hopson scored 13 points, dished out 10 assists and pulled in 4 rebounds, while Jefferson racked up 13 points, 11 rebounds and made 3 huge blocks. Overall, the Vandals shot 52.9 percent from the floor, 42.1 percent from 3-point land.

The game’s outcome was never clear until the final seconds, as the Vandals twice squandered substantial leads and the Bulldogs’ star, Sylvester Seay, drained a number of big buckets that kept the Bulldogs in the game. Seay led all scorers with 23 points on 8-14 shooting, and was well-nigh unstoppable once he got the ball in the paint.

But the Vandals’ defense was able to neutralize Fresno State’s outside game, as the Bulldogs shot just 27.3 percent from beyond the arc, and neither team was able to take advantage of free-throw opportunities. For probably the first time this season the Vandals actually outshot their opponents at the line, but that’s not saying much — combined, the two teams were an abysmal 20-42 from the charity stripe.

Key to the Vandals’ turnaround was Jefferson’s inside play. He did wind up with four fouls, but the ones he was tagged with were smarter and more spread out. Big Jeff played 31 minutes and came away with a solid stat line. His 11 boards provided all of Idaho’s 9-rebound advantage over Fresno State, and he knocked down big inside buckets that no other Vandal can sink.

The lesson: we need Mac Hopson on the floor for the team to thrive, but we need Marvin Jefferson on the floor to just survive.

Combined with Hawaii’s loss to San Jose State, the Vandals are now guaranteed no worse than a 7th-place finish in the WAC. With Boise State falling to Louisiana Tech, Idaho is now just one-half game behind the Broncos for the 4th seed.

7:25 p.m. – Vandal women fighting for second

28 Feb

Entering the final event, Idaho leads overall with 111, but La Tech is right behind at 110. Boise State is in third with 104. Idaho needs to finish top six to hold on to second place. They will have the advantage of running in the faster heat. The first heat is just getting ready to start. Nevada just dropped the baton…tough luck for the Wolf Pack, but good news for Idaho. The Vandals just need to score at least 4 points to guarantee second place.

Idaho needs to run approximately 3:53 in this event to stay in second place. The start is coming up in a few moments.

And they’re off…AshLee Rey with the first leg in fourth right now…she’ll hand off to Ellen Rouse. Rouse is a sub for Lindsey Goodman, who pulled a hamstring yesterday in the long jump and she’s running alright…still slightly trailing Utah State for fourth. Now Lauren Schaffer has the baton and she’s got to make up some ground for Idaho. The Vandals just need a decent run to ensure that they score two points, because I don’t think La Tech is going to lose this race. Keli Hall now with the final leg. La Tech is in control…Utah STate threatening BSU for second, which helps Idaho. BSU takes second and scores eight. Idaho needs at least two to stay in second…now we wait to compare the times. I think they did it.

Final scores: La Tech 120, Idaho 114, BSU 112

No title for the women, but you can’t say enough about the team effor this weekend. A lot of kids competed in a lot of events and it just sort of looked like that caught up with a few people there at the end. Great job by the Vandals this weekend.

WAC Hoops Night Chat – Feb. 28

28 Feb

OK, no Vandal home games tonight, but the Vandals are playing in Fresno State and there are three other big Western Athletic Conference matchups. Join us and talk WAC hoops all evening, starting at 6:30 p.m.!
Click here to begin!

6:45 p.m. – Drawing to a close…

28 Feb

The women’s shot put race is about halfway done and Mykael Bothum holds a comfortable lead. Idaho’s women have slipped to third in the team rankings after the 200m, but they’ll gain some ground as soon as the shot put goes final. Men’s and women’s 3,000m are getting ready to go right now. Idaho has five men in the 3,000m and four women. Women’s shot put has just ended and I’m awaiting results.

Just announced the team scores and Idaho is pretty much locked in at third place on the men’s side. No word yet on the women. Idaho women lead the team race going into the final event, but they’ll need to finish ahead of both La Tech and BSU to take the title.

Men’s 3,000m: 11 Laps to go and Matt Racine and Jeremiah Johnston sit in second and fourth, respectively. The race started at a very fast pace and things are starting to slow down a bit. Eight laps left and Idaho is now 3-4 in the race with Johnston holding strong near the front. Four laps left and Idaho’s guys are starting to fade a bit. I think that early fast pace might have hurt them. Freshman Alex Brekke making a move forward to try to get into scoring position. We weren’t able to score…tough luck for the men.

Women’s 3,000m: Large group of Vandal women here…and we need some serious points. I’d like to describe what’s going on here…but I can’t even see anyone because the field is so big and compact. Freshman Teegan Schoch leads the race, while Allix sits comfortably in fifth and Erica Digby and Julia Veseth trail slightly behind. Scary moment for Allix just now…she stumbled a little on the inside, but didn’t go down. She did lose a few spots, though. Eight laps to go and Allix just made her move to the outside…she’s now in about sixthand moving steadily forward. Teegan is also still in the scoring mix…she’s in about eighth or ninth right now. Allix is fifth and still coming strong. Five laps to go. Allix makes a big move up to third and the whole pack just followed her. Three laps to go….still a VERY tight race. Allix in third, Teegan in fifth. There’s a pack of about 10 women in the lead pack with two laps remaining. Allix takes the lead with a nifty move to the inside! She’s breaking away! Bell lap and a Utah State girl is closing. Allix now in second. Dang! She couldn’t quite keep up with USU’s Erin Stratton at the end, but you have to give Allix a HUGE pat on the back for what she did today.

Vandal men just took third in the 4x400m relay…that makes it official on that side. Idaho takes third as a team.

6:15 p.m. – Lucas Pope repeats…Idaho 1-2-3 in pole vault

28 Feb

Lucas Pope cleared 4.90m (16-0.75), Mike Carpenter cleared 4.80m (15-9) and Jeremy Klas cleared 4.70m (15-5) and tied for third. Lucas Pope makes it back-to-back titles and three straight if you include his 2008 outdoor title.

Here go the 800m finals:

Men’s 800m: Clark right to the front, Dalton stuck in back. A BSU runner just sprinted way out…he can’t keep that pace. Clark in second, Dalton moving into third. Halfway done and Dalton takes the lead, but Clark is fading…he’s got to be tired. Bell lap and Dalton is in second….he’s in the hunt. Dalton gets passed on the final stretch and finishes third, while Clark takes fifth.

Women’s 800m: Time for Lauren Schaffer to show her stuff. Idaho needs a big performance here. Schaffer moves to the head of the pack early. She’s right in the middle of it after two laps…one big pack. Now making her move on the outside, but she needs to make up some ground. We’re at the bell lap and Lauren needs to kick it in. She’s moved into fifth. She holds off a late rush and takes fifth overall.

They’ve just announced the awards and sophomore transfer Andrew Blaser just took sixth in the men’s triple jump. Men’s and women’s 200m coming up, followed by the 3k, so I’m going to run and check on the shot put.

6:10 p.m. – Vandals need a boost

28 Feb

The 60m dash is getting ready to start. The Vandal women have had some tough luck so far, as Heather Bergland and Christie Gordon went 2-3 in the event, but all isn’t lost. There are still plenty of places for the Vandal women to make up some points, but we need some more performances like Friday…we’ve had a few slip-ups.

False start in the men’s 60m dash….this could be bad news for someone…that’s a La Tech runner. Idaho’s Sam Michener is in lane one of this race. Here we go for the second time…and ANOTHER  stoppage….no false start. Somebody’s blocks slipped. Third time’s a charm? Great start for Sam…with a tight finish. Sixth place! Second-team all-WAC for the senior. Great job by Sam with a 6.94, which ties a personal best.

We’ve got the women’s 60m final, then the men’s 800m. Idaho has to hope for good performances by Fresno State and New Mexico State to steal some points from La Tech and BSU. Looks like La Tech went first and third, BSU second. Time for the Vandal men in the 800m.

5:20 – 60m Hurdles

28 Feb

Men’s Pole Vault: Men’s pole vault just went up to 15 feet…I don’t see who is still in, but I know all the Vandals are still here. Jeremy Klas, a promising freshman from Moscow High School just cleared 15-1 by about a mile. Ouch…Mike Carpenter just missed. His body cleared it by at least a foot and a half, but the pole hit the cross bar. Pope clears easily. Carpenter goes up and over. I think he might have two misses…so he’ll need a bigger performance in the next round if he wants to keep ahead in the competition. Bar just moved up and Carpenter just cleared after Klas narrowly missed. Second miss for Klas…here comes the final attempt. Pope and Carpenter have already moved on…and I think they’re the only two. Not a good jump for Klas on his last attempt, but I think he’s still in the running for third.

Now Pope and Carpenter are battling for the title…let’s see what happens. They’re attempting 16-0.75. Pope clears on first attempt….he’s not going to give up the WAC title easily, even to a teammate. Looks like a little bit of tactics going on…Carpenter passes and Pope misses his first attempt at the next height…they could be going after the Idaho record of 16-8.25. Pope misses again…not sure what this height is, but it’s pretty far up there. Pope is out. Carpenter is still in it, but he has passed the last two heights. If Carpenter doesn’t make this height, Pope will win and he’ll take second. Carpenter misses the first, but he definitely had the height. Second miss for Mike…here’s his last chance. I’m sure he’s going for the school record, possibly for provisional qualifying (17-0.75). Oooh…so close. He was over the bar on the final attempt, but he brushed it going down. Hopefully they’ll get the final results soon.

Men’s 60m Hurdles: Paul Dittmer in lane four, Maurice Shaw in lane five. Dittmer has got to be the big favorite here. He’s the only guy to break the eight-second barrier so far this season (five times, at that). Wow, tough break for Dittmer. Looked like his blocks slipped, because he did not get off well. Shaw takes fourth, Dittmer fifth. That’s a rough deal for Paul. He had complained a little about blocks slipping yesterday, and it really just looked like he didn’t get off well and he couldn’t recover. Shaw runs a lifetime-best 8.20 in the race and finishes fourth ahead of Dittmer, who also ran an 8.20.

Women’s 60m Hurdles: Christie Gordon running in lane five, Heather Bergland in lane three here. The Vandal women really need a 1-2 finish here to keep a leg up in the team scores. Ouch, Idaho goes 2-3. Bergland and Gordon both tie with 8.47. La Tech’s Antionette Cobb runs an 8.36 to win. Another tough break for Idaho in the hurdles.

Women’s Shot Put: They’re introducing the field now, so they’ll start that up soon. Mykael Bothum is the huge favorite there. We also need Martha Hale to step up huge in this event like she did in the weight throw yesterday. Bothum just opened with a huge throw, so I’m going to check it out. 16.78m! 55-1! She’s just short of the NCAA Automatic Standard and that’s a big school record. That’s fourth-best in the NCAA so far. Huge effort right off the bat.

Men’s 400m: Spencer Meinburg just ran a 49.80 in the first final of the men’s 400m. He took third in the heat, with the fast heat upcoming. Looks like Meinburg goes seventh overall.