As the morning dawns and students flock back to campus, we’re down in the home stretch of the semester. It was an up and down weekend for Idaho sports, but this week promises to hold great opportunities on the hardwood.
On Saturday, Idaho ended its home football season with an disappointing loss to Utah State, after defensive breakdowns once again put the Vandals in a hole they couldn’t dig out of. But Don Verlin’s hoopsters provided a boost that night with a decisive home win over Eastern Washington to go to 4-1, their best start in decades.
Then, Sunday brought the first victory for Idaho’s women, who struggled early on with shooting woes and the loss of team leader Derisa Taleni. Offense was not a problem, as the Vandals whipped up on Louisiana-Lafayette, 90-66.
This weekend promises to be a historic one for Idaho sports, as #25 Portland comes calling in Moscow Sunday. The Pilots, who have beaten Oregon, UCLA and #22 Minnesota, may be the first nationally-ranked non-conference team to ever take on the Vandals at home. That game will tip off at 5 p.m. and is scheduled for the Cowan Spectrum.
Now for the links:
- The AP Poll is out, and after upsetting #22 Minnesota, UCLA and Oregon, the Portland Pilots are ranked #25 in the nation.
- Idaho’s women got their first win Sunday, and did it with an offensive explosion. Here’s the official writeup.
- With a 6-for-7 performance from beyond the arc, Steffan Johnson led Idaho to victory over Eastern Washington, and Marvin Jefferson provided an exclamation point jam. Here’s a photo gallery and writeup from GoVandals.net, too. We’ll have photos of our own up this afternoon.
- Last night, Nevada made a strong showing in the defending national champions’ house, taking North Carolina down to the wire despite their lack of depth. Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal has the story from Chapel Hill, N.C. (props to the RGJ for sending him on the road) and observes that the Wolf Pack can claim a moral victory.
- Chris Murray also has his weekly WAC Power Rankings, and the Vandals are atop the leaderboard.
- Spartan Hoops previews tonight’s huge home game for the Spartans — they take on Saint Mary’s.
- Daniel Lyght of the Fresno Bee reports from the Bulldogs’ loss to Santa Clara, and Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland isn’t happy. (h/t to Parsing the WAC)
- Hawaii is headed out on its only road trip of the non-conference season, and the Honolulu Advertiser’s Dayton Morinaga says it could be the tonic the slumping Rainbow Warriors need.
- ESPN.com is projecting, bizarrely, an Idaho/Northern Illinois rematch for the Humanitarian Bowl. Is there anyone who really wants to see that?
- CBS Sports, more interestingly, predicts an Idaho/Bowling Green battle in Boise.
- The Logan Herald-Journal’s Wade Denniston says the Aggies were hoping to give the Vandals a shootout — and did.
- The Denver Post’s John Henderson looks at the WAC’s singular mission: Get Boise State into the BCS.
- What was seemingly impossible last month is oh so tantalizingly close for the Hawaii Warriors — after three wins in a row, they can secure a berth in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl if they can take down Wisconsin this weekend, the Honolulu Advertiser’s Stephen Tsai reports.