Vandals shoot lights out in 83-69 win over Colorado State - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Vandals shoot lights out in 83-69 win over Colorado State

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The Vandals looked to be in mid-season shooting form to open the season on Friday at Colorado State. Idaho tied the school-record with 18 3-point field goals, handing the defending Mountain West Conference regular-season champions an 83-69 setback inside Moby Arena.

How it Happened
Colorado State opened with an 8-5 start in the first quarter. Idaho took the reins from there, going on a 16-point run to close the quarter.

The Vandals extended the run to start the second, gaining a 26-8 lead inside the first minute of the period. Junior Taylor Pierce scored 10 of her team-high 24 points during the Vandal run. She hit three of her seven 3's in the process.

The Vandals shot 32.2 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes but only hit four field goals in the second quarter. Colorado State outscored Idaho 18-11 in the second, slimming the Vandal lead to 32-26 at the half.

Mikayla Ferenz hit Idaho's first shot of the third quarter, making good on her second 3-ball of the night. She scored Idaho's first five points of the half to get, overcome her 1-for-10 first half. The Idaho junior was 5-for-8 in the quarter, scoring 12 of her 22 points. Freshman Allison Kirby put Idaho up by 14 with 24 seconds to go in the quarter. Hannah Tvrdy snuck one in before the buzzer to cut the Vandal lead to 59-14.

Colorado State was able to wither the Vandal lead back down to single-digits in the first three minutes of the fourth. Lore Devos hit a layup with 7:22 to play to bring CSU back to within nine, 64-55. Idaho withstood the pressure from the Rams, and a Geraldine McCorkell 3 put Idaho back up by 13 with 5:27 to play. Pierce hit 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the quarter, scoring 11 points. She slammed the door shut on CSU, hitting her final 3 with 1:20 to play to go up by 20, 83-63.

Idaho's freshmen made an immediate impact on the court. Kirby was 5-for-8 from the field with 14 points in her starting role. Natalie Klinker led the way for Idaho on the boards. She totaled 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

The Silver and Gold finished 45.5 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point distance. Idaho held Colorado State to 39.3 percent shooting and 29.6 percent from 3.  

Colorado State's Lore Devos led all players with 25 points.

Turning Point
Idaho did a good job keeping the Colorado State offense at bay. The Rams went 0-for-10 from the field during Idaho's 21-point run. The Vandals snagged seven defensive rebounds, negating any second-chance point opportunities for the Rams. Idaho never trailed after taking a 10-8 lead with 4:06 to play in the first.

Quotes
Head Coach Jon Newlee
On excitement of the team
"They are very excited. Obviously, it's the first game. To win like we did today, in this kind of environment, against this kind of team—that is a special opener I think. To play as well as we did. What impressed me is when things got tight we kept our poise. We had different people step up and make big shots and get big stops. It was a total team effort."

On 21-0 run
"I think defensively we did a good job. We switched up and went to our zone. That kind of stopped them for a bit. We were getting the ball out in transition and really did a good job of swinging the ball from side-to-side, giving us some really good looks."

On rebounding
"We did an excellent job tonight of blocking out and really not giving them those second-chance points. That really hurt us last year."

Notes
Idaho is now 25-19 all-time to open the season…the Vandals pull to even in openers under Coach Newlee, 5-5…Friday's win evens the all-time series with Colorado State at four games apiece…Idaho has now hit a 3-pointer in 296 consecutive games…Pierces' seven 3's give her 188 for her career (5th school-history)…Ferenz's four 3 giver her 174 career makes (6th school-history)….Ferenz is now three points away from 1,000 on her career.

Upcoming
The Vandals will again be on the road when they take on #5/8 Ohio State on Wednesday. It will be Idaho's first trip to Columbus. The Vandals will look for their second consecutive 2-0 start to the season.

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit GoVandals.com.  Fans can also follow Idaho women's basketball on Twitter, @VandalsWBB.

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