ANCHORAGE – Guard Victor Sanders led a late Idaho comeback with 24 points Wednesday to push the Vandals into the GCI Great Alaska Shootout semifinals with a 69-59 men’s basketball victory over Santa Clara in first-round action at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Vandals (3-1) also got 20 points on 5-of-5 three-point shooting and seven assists from point guard Perrion Callandret as they outshot the Broncos .550 (11 of 20) to .304 (7 of 23) from long range.
Santa Clara (1-3) was led by 18 points from guard K.J. Feagin as the West Coast Conference club took a 50-40 lead midway through the first half.
The Broncos led 59-55 when Feagin hit a layup with 5:13 remaining, but they would be outscored 14-0 in the final four minutes as Idaho got nine points – including a corner, bank-in three-pointer that made it 63-59 with 1:25 left – and an assist from Sanders in the winning surge.
Santa Clara will play the loser of the late CSU Bakersfield/Alaska Anchorage game in the consolation semifinals Thursday at 8 p.m. AST, while Idaho advances to Friday’s 8 p.m. semifinal against the Bakersfield/UAA winner.