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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Chiles Center (4,852) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: Idaho 2-0, Columbia 1-1. Away Record: Idaho 0-2, Columbia 0-2. Neutral Record: Idaho 1-0, Columbia 1-0. Conference Record: Idaho 0-0, Columbia 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Idaho Vandals will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season as they square off with the Columbia Lions in their final matchup of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Chiles Center.
The Vandals fell to the hosting Portland Pilots, 88-74, on Thursday, but they bounced back with an 87-76 victory over North Texas to rise to a 3-2 overall record. Prior to arriving in Portland, Idaho defeated Western Illinois and Northwest Nazarene with a loss to Oklahoma splitting the victories. Coach Don Verlin's squad is netting 74.3 points per game on 43.4 percent shooting from the floor. Idaho's opposition to averaging 75.2 ppg on 45.9 field goal efficiency.
Columbia dropped to a 2-3 record on Friday with a 69-52 loss to the Pilots. The Lions, who were coming off a hard-fought loss to the nation's No. 1 Michigan State Spartans, edged North Texas, 70-66, in their tournament opener on Thursday. Coach Kyle Smith's team plays at a slower tempo which has led to an average of just 63.6 ppg, however its foes have been held to only 64.4 ppg on 42.4 percent shooting from the floor.
This will be the first meeting in history between Idaho and Columbia.
Stephen Madison recorded 25 points for the Vandals on Friday to help them bounce back and down the Mean Green. Madison was 10-of-21 from the floor and grabbed a team-high seven boards. Glen Dean added 16 points, while knocking down four 3-pointers and Connor Hill contributed 12 points. The Vandals shot 50.0 percent from the field for the game, hitting 8-of-18 shots from long range. They also took advantage of their opportunities at the free-throw line, hitting 13-of-14 attempts. Madison is pacing the team on the season with 17.6 points and 8.4 boards per tilt. Dean is close behind in the scoring column at 11.4 ppg, while Hill is contributing 11 ppg.
The Lions had three players score in double figures versus the Pilots as Luke Petrasek, Maodo Lo and Jeff Coby finished with 10 points apiece in the losing cause. The 10-point effort was a career-high for the freshman Coby, who also pulled down six boards. Columbia had a rough outing overall, hitting on just 13-of-44 field goal attempts while committing 12 turnovers with only four assists. The Pilots took advantage of Columbia's miscues, converting them into 21 points. Columbia went to the line 32 times, making 22 of its tries for a 68.8 percent mark, which is below its season average. Grant Mullins is leading Columbia in the scoring column at 12.6 ppg. Mullins finished with nine points versus Portland after making only 2-of-7 shots from the floor. Lo has knocked down a team-high 13 3-point attempts on 23 tries to add 12.2 ppg.
It is highly unlikely Columbia has such a cold shooting night again. Although the Vandals got into a rhythm versus NT, the Lions managed to post a very impressive performance against the Mean Green as well. Idaho and Columbia should match up evenly, which could lead to a very exciting finish.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Columbia 67, Idaho 64
11/23 10:34:09 ET