SEATTLE—The University of Idaho women’s basketball team won its eighth game in a row on Saturday with a 77-59 triumph over rival Seattle U. The Vandals streak is a feat that has not been matched since the 1985-86 season.
Idaho (15-7, 8-0 WAC) has now won two straight contests against Seattle U, dating back to last season’s Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
“We have not come away with a ‘W’ here in the last couple of years,” head coach Jon Newlee said. “I thought we did a great job defensively. The game plan was great again. Jordan [Green] had us ready to go. We had stretches where offensively we got a little stagnant, but I thought we kept our attack mentality and did a good job.”
The Vandals had five players score in double digits for the fourth time this season. Junior Stacey Barr led the way for the Vandals. She recorded her 12th career double-double, with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Alyssa Charlston contributed 15 points and six rebounds.
Idaho held a seven-point lead at the half, 35-28. The Vandals got off to a quick start, shooting 9-of-15 and enjoyed a 22-12 lead with 11:07 to play in the half. The Redhawks then put together an 8-0 run, trimming the Idaho lead to 22-20. Sophomore Connie Ballestero’s three-point basket with 4:44 to play was Idaho’s first field goal in almost seven minutes, pushing the lead back to 26-22. Ballestero finished the day with 12 points and was 3-of-5 from downtown, playing all 40 minutes.
The Silver and Gold came out strong in the second half, opening play on a 19-7 run to lead 54-35 five minuets into the half. Sophomore Ali Forde scored eight of her 10 points in the five-minute span. She finished a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, totaling eight rebounds in only 14 minutes off the bench.
Sophomore Christina Salvatore broke out of her shooting slump. After going oh-fer against Grand Canyon, she finished the day 4-of-13 from the field, with three of her field goals coming from long distance. Salvatore totaled 11 points and added a game-high four assists.
Seattle U (10-11, 5-3 WAC) was led by Alexis Montgomery and her 12 points, while Ashley Ward finished with 11. Kacie Sowell, who has averaged 15.9 points per game, was held to 11 points on the day.
“I thought we did a really good job early on with their bigs,” Newlee stated. “[Alexis] Montgomery get loose a few times and she hit a couple of three’s. She got a little hot and we had to make an adjustment and had to bring the help from a couple of places. I think we did a great job of staying in the gaps and taking away the driving lanes.”
Idaho will start the second half the WAC season on Thursday at New Mexico State and will continue on to Texas-Pan American on Saturday. The Vandals will return home on Feb. 13 against CSU Bakersfield.