MOSCOW, Idaho—Senior Alyssa Charlston became the fifth Idaho women’s basketball player to surpass the 1,500 career-point mark, helping the Vandals cruise to a 91-41 victory over Chicago State Thursday night at the Cowan Spectrum. Charlston finished the night with her 24th career double, totaling game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Idaho (21-8, 14-1 WAC) has defeated Chicago State by a 100-point margin in two regular season games this season. The Vandals won the first meeting in Chicago, 92-42. The two teams will meet in the first game of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament next Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nev.
“I liked that [we were able to run],” head coach Jon Newlee said. “Last time we played them we did that and tonight I thought we did it again. It was a push for us because we want to get out and run. We thought our post guys could get out and run the floor and get some easy buckets. I thought we did a great job of getting down the floor and finishing at the rim.”
Idaho had great success getting the ball inside. The Vandals outscored Chicago State inside the paint, 42-22. Charlston battled for 10 points down low. Sophomore Ali Forde came off the bench and notched eight of her 10 points beneath the basket.
Freshman Agueda Trujillo Fernandez had a career night up and down the floor. She saw a season-best 21 minutes of playing time off the bench, posting another season-best 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. She also finished with season-highs in makes and attempts from long range, finishing 2-of-5.
“We were getting real excited for her on the bench,” Charlston noted. “She gave so much effort tonight. It gives her a chance to see how much potential she has too. It give confidence to the program and confidence to the people who will continue to come to our games. Brooke Reilly, Karlee Wilson and Nejra Solo will make for some exiting years to come.”
The Silver and Gold scored the first seven points of the game and by the halfway point of the first half enjoyed a 20-7 lead. The Vandals held Chicago State to nine made field goals and a 34.6 shooting percentage in the first half. Idaho finished 16-of-30 (53.3 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes, leading to a 41-22 advantage.
Sophomore Christina Salvatore pushed Idaho’s lead to 28 with a three-point basket with 15:17 to play in the second half. She finished with nine points and a game-high six assists. Junior Stacey Barr extended the gap to 61-29 with 11:14 to play. Barr finished the night 5-of-11 shooting with 16 points and six rebounds.
Chicago State (3-25, 0-15 WAC) could only muster five field goals in the second half, the lowest that Idaho has held opponents to in any half of play this season. The Cougars finished the night with 14 field goals, tied with Carroll College for the lowest total of field goals made this season against the Vandals.
Idaho will finish out the regular season on Saturday when UMKC comes to the Cowan Spectrum. The Vandals will be looking to secure their first 22-win season since 2003-04. Charlston and fellow senior Addie Schivo will be playing in their final home game on Saturday. They will be honored prior to the 2 p.m. first tip.