"Two very different halves," said Fresno State head coach Steve Cleveland. "The thing that is most disappointing to me was after playing such great defense [versus Utah State] we allowed a team to shoot 61% on our floor.
Fresno State took a 34-30 lead to start the second stanza before Idaho went on a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game since 5-2 at the 17:47 mark of the first half. The Vandals extended it to a 15-6 run taking a 45-38 lead before Cleveland called timeout with 13:42 to play.
"In the second half, we were very careless with the ball," said Cleveland. "We weren't very good defensively."
Idaho answered with another 7-0 prompting Cleveland to call another timeout with 8:50 to play with the ‘Dogs trailing 52-42. But this time the Bulldogs couldn't answer. The Vandals extended their run to 14-2 and eventually built their lead 17, 63-46, with 3:38 to play in the game.
Smith recorded his second double-double this season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Garrett Johnson and Kevin Olekaibe both had nine points. Kyle Barone led Idaho with a game-high 18 points. Shawn Henderson added 15 for the Vandals.
Fresno State started strong breaking a 7-7 tie at the 15:00 mark of the first half on a Tim Steed layup. Aided by back-to-back Olekaibe three-pointers, the Bulldogs jumped out to an eight-point lead, 15-7.
"In the first half, we had energy and momentum," said Cleveland. "In the series of three plays, we missed a dunk and two layups. And it went from an eight-point to the game being close again."
Idaho head coach Don Verlin was called for technical foul at 6:16 mark of the first half. Kevin Olekaibe made one of two free throws matching the ‘Dogs largest lead of the game at eight, 23-15. The ‘Dogs took possession, Greg Smith missed a dunk, and then FS went cold. Idaho rallied to cut the deficit to three until Tyler Johnson's put back with 3:13 to play in the first half.
Henderson would hit a 35-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to bring the Vandals within two at the break, 32-30.
Fresno State next travels to Hawaii on Thursday. Tip is set for 9 p.m. PT.
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