Three Vandal players scored in double figures but it wasn’t enough to get the victory as the Idaho men’s basketball team fell 76-67 at Bakersfield on Thursday night.
The loss is Idaho’s first since Feb. 1 and drops the Vandals to 10-15 overall and 4-7 in Western Athletic Conference play. The ‘Runners improve to 10-14 overall and 3-7 in the WAC. The Vandals wrap up their road swing at WAC-leading Utah Valley on Saturday. The Wolverines suffered a lopsided loss to Seattle U on Thursday.
“We’re going to get an irritated Utah Valley team on Saturday night,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “We’re going to have to step up and play some better basketball.”
Idaho’s Stephen Madison, the league’s second leading scorer, finished with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting, and added four rebounds and two assists. Connor Hill added 12 points on 2-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, and Sekou Wiggs chipped in with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench. Mike Scott scored nine points and Glen Dean had eight for the Vandals.
Idaho connected on 43 percent of its shots while the ‘Runners shot 48 percent from the field and 43 percent (6-of-14) from 3. The Vandals hit just 5-of-20 (25 percent) of their 3-pointers. Bakersfield dominated the glass with a 42-31 rebounding advantage including a 14-8 lead in offensive rebounds, leading to a 14-11 edge in second-chance points. The ‘Runners outscored Idaho 46-32 in the paint.
The Vandals led by four points early in the second half before Bakersfield used a 13-3 run to take the lead for good with less than 15 minutes to play.
Bira Seck tied the team rebounding lead with Wiggs with five boards, while Dean added four. Each team committed a dozen turnovers in the game, but the ‘Runners outscored the Vandals 15-11 off turnovers.
Bakersfield had four scorers reach double figures, led by Aly Ahmed and Tyreel Corbin with 16 apiece. Corey Hall had 14 and Javonte Maynor added 10.