Idaho Knocks Off Utah

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mac Hopson scored eight of his 16 points in the last six minutes Friday as Idaho beat Utah 94-87, bringing the team its first win against the school in 71 years.

Plagued by foul trouble, Hopson re-entered the game with the score tied and engineered a 13-6 run to end the game.

Steffan Johnson scored 19 points and Jeff Ledbetter added 16 as the Vandals (1-0) won for the first time ever in Salt Lake City after losing 11 straight on the road.

The teams have played 15 times over the years and the last Idaho victory was in 1938, a 44-38 decision in Twin Falls Idaho.

The Utes (0-1) trailed much of the game but made their comeback behind freshman center Jason Washburn. After falling behind by eight, Washburn scored six points - including two follow shots off teammates' missed free throws - in a 10-2 run that tied the game at 81 with 5:39 remaining.

But Hopson, playing with four fouls, promptly hit an outside jumper and a leaner in the lane to spark the clinching surge for Idaho in the season opener for both teams.

Washburn finished with 20 points and fellow freshman Marshall Henderson added 18 but Idaho's 94 points were the most Utah has allowed in a game since Jim Boylen became head coach three years ago.

In a herky-jerky game that featured 48 fouls, the Vandals made 10-of-21 from 3-point range and out-rebounded the taller Utes 40-34.

Idaho led by as many as 10 points in the first half when Ledbetter made two free throws after a technical foul on Henderson to make it 43-33. Matt Read's 3-pointer just before halftime trimmed the lead to 47-41.

The Utes won the Mountain West Conference last season but lost all four of their top scorers and struggled in their defensive rotations as the Vandals screened and moved without the ball effectively.

The Vandals are looking to improve on last season's third-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference, their best ever. Each of the 11 Vandals that played had at least nine minutes of action and they all scored.


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