Seven minutes into the game, the Vandals had drawn four charges and allowed four points.

With a new lease on their season early in conference play, they were determined to stand their ground.

Junior guard Beyonce Bea registered 12 points and nine rebounds Thursday as Idaho whipped Weber State 62-41 in a Big Sky Conference women’s basketball game at Idaho Central Credit Union Arena.

Despite ending 2021 with 10 consecutive losses, the Vandals (3-10, 2-2) have outscored their past two opponents by a combined 42 points.

Before tipoff, Idaho coach Jon Newlee told his team, “We’re 1-0 in 2022, let’s go,” according to the coach. “Let’s keep this thing going. In this league, you want to defend your home floor.”

The Vandals again set their compass with their defense, clogging the passing lanes, setting their feet against hard-driving Wildcats and capitalizing on the absence of 6-foot-2 Weber State post Emma Torbert.

“I thought we did a great job of getting some pressure on some people,” Newlee said. “I just thought our overall defensive intensity was good. We really came out focused, certainly for three quarters. Wasn’t really happy with the fourth, putting them at the foul line and letting them get some wide-open 3s.”

The Wildcats (7-8, 3-3) shot only 24 percent and committed 18 turnovers to Idaho’s nine. Five of those miscues came in the first eight minutes as UI jumped to a 12-4 lead despite being out of sorts offensively.

Senior guard Allison Kirby rang up 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Vandals, sophomore guard Sydney Gandy added 10 points and three 3-pointers and senior guard Tiana Johnson contributed seven points and nine boards.

Ashlynn Wallace, UI’s true freshman guard from Clarkston, came off the bench to make four steals, turning one of them into a full-court drive and layin to make it 47-26 early in the fourth quarter.

A putback by Louise Forsyth then stretched the lead to 25 points, the largest of the game.

Kori Pentzer led Weber State with 13 points, but Idaho held the team’s top threat, forward Daryn Hickok, to nine.

The Vandals thrived despite shooting only 27-for-69 overall (39.1 percent0 and 7-for-33 from long range (21.2 percent), and attempting only three free throws in a quickly-played game before a sparse crowd of 775.

“We seemed a little edgy, antsy, sped-up a little bit,” Newlee said of his offense. “And I didn’t think we had to be tonight. But we fought through, and I thought we hit some big shots when we needed them.”

Idaho next plays at 2 p.m. Saturday at home against Idaho State.

WEBER STATE (7-8, 3-3)

Pentzer 5-15 0-0 13, Hickok 2-7 5-8 9, Matthews 2-5 1-2 6, Parra 2-5 1-2 5, Solovi 1-3 0-0 2, Taylor 0-3 0-0 0, Peterson 0-3 2-2 2, Hegvold 0-1 0-0 0, Lovell 0-1 0-0 0, N. Johnson 0-4 0-0 0, Ellis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-49 12-18 41.

IDAHO (3-10, 2-2)

B. Bea 6-13 0-0 12, Kirby 4-9 0-0 10, Gandy 3-10 1-2 10, T. Johnson 3-6 0-0 7, Atchley 2-7 0-0 4, Forsyth 4-8 0-0 8, Rubino 3-4 0-0 6, Allred 1-3 0-0 3, Wallace 1-7 0-1 2, Milne 0-2 0-0 0, S. Bea 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-69 1-3 62.

Weber State 9 5 10 17—41

Idaho 14 14 19 15—62

3-point goals — Weber State 5-19 (Pentzer 3-6), Matthews 1-2, Taylor 1-3, Peterson 0-2, Johnson 0-2), Idaho 7-33 (Gandy 3-10, Kirby 2-6, Allred 1-2, B. Bea 0-2, T. Johnson 1-4, Milne 0-1, Atchley 0-2, Wallace 0-3, Forsyth 0-4). Rebounds — Weber State 40 (Matthews 14), Idaho 42 (B. Bea 9, Johnson 9). Assists — Weber State 7 (Hickok 2), Idaho 17 (Kirby 7). Total fouls — Weber State 12, Idaho 15. A — 775.

Recommended for you