Ferenz & Co. lead the Way in Vandals' Win at Portland State - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ferenz & Co. lead the Way in Vandals' Win at Portland State

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

by Idaho Athletics

PORTLAND—The Vandal women's basketball team went into the Pamplin Sports Center and ended Portland State's five-game winning streak on Saturday. Idaho hit the 100-point mark for the first time since 2016, closing the road trip with a 101-90 win.

Junior Mikayla Ferenz posted a season-high 39 points in the win. Her scoring output marked the best performance in the Big Sky this season. Geraldine McCorkell finished with 23 points and seven boards. Taylor Pierce added 22 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Isabelle Hadden totaled 10 points off the bench.  

How it Happened
Idaho (6-9, 2-2) came out with a chip on its shoulder, following its poor start at Sacramento State on Thursday. The Vandals started the game on with a 9-2 push, getting all nine points from junior Mikayla Ferenz's 3-for-4 start from behind the arc. The Vandals outscored Portland State 25-12 in the quarter. Ferenz hit four 3's in the quarter and added a three-point play to contribute 15 points in the quarter.

Portland State (8-6, 2-1) cut the Vandal lead down to single-digits in the second. The Vikings outscored Idaho 27-21 in the quarter, trailing 49-36 at the buzzer. Ferenz and Pierce continued to hit from 3-point range. The Splash Sisters combined for 10 of Idaho's 11 3's at the break. Ferenz went 6-of-8 in the half, while Pierce was 4-of-9.

The Silver and Gold shot 68.4 percent in the third quarter, extending the lead to 13 points. Portland State also shot the ball well (56.3 percent) in the quarter. The Vikings cut the lead down to five in the quarter, the closest they would get all game.

With Ferenz on the bench with four fouls in the fourth Idaho needed to find an alternative scoring threat. McCorkell stepped up and scored 13 points her seven minutes in the final quarter. She went 4-for-5 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line to keep Idaho in control.

Idaho could not have asked for a better first quarter. The Vandals set the tone for the afternoon with 25 points in the first. The team shot 56.3 percent (9-16) in the open, totaling six 3's. Defensively, Idaho held Portland State off the board in the game's first three and half minutes. The Vikings got off to a 0-for-4 start, getting their first field goal at the 6:33 mark.

The Vandals scoring output was led early and often by Ferenz. She entered the game seventh in the NCAA with 22.1 points per game. The Walla Walla, Wash., native had 21 points at halftime on 7-of-10 shooting and was 6-for-8 from 3. Her 39 points fell two shy of her own school record (41) set last year at Northern Arizona.

Head Coach Jon Newlee

On overall performance
"We were really running our stuff well from the get-go. It was just an overall great team performance. I thought everybody stepped up. I just told them that. It was a total team effort. I am really proud of this team."

On Idaho's start
"I absolutely loved our start. I think we were still stinging from that start in Sacramento. I thought we did a great job of bouncing back. We came out with high energy and executed as well as we have all year on both offense and defense."

On Geri McCorkell in the fourth quarter
"Geri was huge for use in the fourth when Mik got in some foul trouble. I loved seeing our senior captain respond to adversity and dominate when we needed her to. Total team effort tonight. I am very proud of the entire team today."

On Mikayla Ferenz
"She was obviously feeling very confident in the way she's shooting and scoring the ball. She is using all the moves that we went over in the spring and the fall. It was just a fun game from her to watch."

Idaho has now hit a 3-pointer in 310 consecutive games…39 points ties Emily Faurholt for the second-best single-game scoring mark in program history…Ferenz finished with eight 3's one shy of tying the Idaho single-game record owned by both Pierce and Ferenz…Ferenz now has three 30-point games this season, all in Big Sky play…Pierce is now three points shy of joining the 1,000 point club…Hadden went 5-6 from the field, marking Idaho's top FG% (83.3) this season…Idaho had season-highs in FGM (36), FG% (59.0) and assists (24).

Idaho's next game takes on Jan. 12. It will be the first of a double-head at Eastern Washington. The women's game is set for 5 p.m. and the men will play at 7.