Vandals beat Cougars in back-to-back years, doing it with a 39-22 rebounding edge against a taller team

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MOSCOW, Idaho — Idaho put together one of its better all-around performances in recent years in a 78-74 victory Thursday over Washington State.

The smaller Vandals out-rebounded WSU 39-22, including 14-1 on the offensive glass, and had a 16-0 advantage in second-chance points. Idaho enjoyed a 17-8 edge in points off turnovers, sank 9 of 16 shots (56.3 percent) from three-point range and led most of the way before a season-high crowd of 3,759 at the Cowan Spectrum.

“Sixteen second-chance points was the difference in the game,” Washington State coach Ernie Kent said.

Idaho coach Don Verlin respectfully disagreed with Kent. Verlin said he considered the work of Idaho’s inside players “the difference in the game,” even though guards Perrion Callandret and Victor Sanders were the only Vandals with more than eight points.

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“Those guys (Idaho’s front-line players) played their heart out,” Callandret said.

Callandret scored 18 of his 25 points (one off his career high) in the first half, and Sanders delivered 15 of his 20 points in the second half. The Vandals (6-5) defeated WSU (5-2) in consecutive games for the first time since winning three in a row from 1988-90.

Josh Hawkinson led Washington State with 16 points and 12 rebounds.