Idaho women suffer first WAC loss of season

MOSCOW, Idaho - The University of Idaho women's basketball team suffered its first lost of 2014 at the Cowan Spectrum on Thursday night. The Vandals could not contain CSU Bakersfield, falling 79-60.

Bakersfield (14-8, 8-2 WAC) evened the season series against the Vandals. The Roadrunners got their revenge after Idaho left Bakersfield with a 96-69 victory back in January.

"We did not come out with any energy," junior Stacey Barr said. "We started off really slow and they got a huge lead, we could not fight back."

Idaho (17-8, 10-1 WAC) put together a surge in the final few minutes, led by Barr and Christina Salvatore but the deficit was too much to overcome.

"Give them [Bakersfield] the credit," head coach Jon Newlee stated. "I thought their athleticism really hurt us. I think we surprised them out there [at CSUB], and tonight they surprised us. They just outplayed us."

Bakersfield handed Idaho just its second home loss of the season and first of 2014. The Silver and Gold had won 10 consecutive games to open the WAC season.

"I do not think we came into this game overconfident or anything," senior Alyssa Charlston said. "It is one of our goals to stay humble about where we are. Before the game I thought our energy was ok. It is all about when you step on that floor and how you execute."

The ‘Runners jumped out to a 5-0 lead early in the first half and never relinquished the lead. Idaho cut the lead to 5-4 with 16:34 to play in the half. Ali Forde and Connie Ballestero got the Vandals on the board, but that was the closest they would get within Bakersfield the remainder of the contest.

Charlston led the Vandals with eight points at the start of the second half. Idaho shot 11-of-41 (26.8 percent) in the first half and made only 1-of-14 (7.1 percent) shots from beyond the arc. On the other side of the floor, Bakersfield was 14-of-34 (41.2 percent) from the field and 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from three-point range.

Barr finished with her 11th double-double of the season. She recorded game-highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds. Charlston contributed 15 points and seven boards on the night. As a team Idaho finished the night 20-of-76 (26.3 percent), its lowest shooting percentage of the season.

Idaho returns to action on Saturday, hosting Utah Valley at the Cowan Spectrum. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a Hoops for Hope pink t-shirt along with pink pom-poms. There will be a silent auction held with proceeds going towards the Gina Quesenberry and Light a Candle Foundations. Game time is set for 2 p.m. PT.