Vandals pick up big victory over Southern Utah winning 74-51 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Vandals pick up big victory over Southern Utah winning 74-51

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho—Three Vandals recorded double-doubles en route to Idaho's ninth consecutive win over Southern Utah on Thursday. Geraldine McCorkell, Mikayla Ferenz and Natalie Klinker led Idaho's efforts in the 74-51 win. 

McCorkell led all players with 25 points on the night. She picked up her second double-double of the season, adding 10 boards to her totals. Klinker picked up her first career double-double. She closed the night strong with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Ferenz rounded trio, falling three assists shy of a triple-double. She finished up with 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. 

The last time Idaho had three players with a double-double in the same game came against New Mexico State in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in 2014. The trio of Stacey Barr (35 pts/10 reb), Alyssa Charlston (16 pts/12 reb) and Ali Forde (11 pts/11 reb) led Idaho to a 75-65 semifinal win.  

How It Happened
Idaho (7-10, 3-3) trailed early in the contest, following a 6-0 start to the quarter by the Thunderbirds. Allison Kirby and Geraldine McCorkell hit back-to-back 3's to tie the game. McCorkell's second 3 of the quarter put the Vandals up 13-11 at the 4:48 mark. Idaho closed the final five minutes of the period 5-for-8 from the field, finishing the quarter shooting 61.5 percent.

Idaho's hot hand continued at the start of the second, opening the quarter 4-for-6 from the field. The Vandals scored the first 13 points in the quarter, getting out to a 34-13 lead. McCorkell ended the first half with 16 points, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from long range.

The Vandals opened the second half on a 10-0 run to increase their lead to 22 points. The Thunderbirds pressured Idaho in the third quarter, shifting into a full-court press. The defensive switched forced Idaho into 15 second-half turnovers. The T-Birds closed the gap to 14 points in the third quarter, but Idaho quickly got back shot 46.2 percent (6-13) in the final quarter on its way to the 23-point victory. 

Head Coach Jon Newlee

On having three players with double-doubles
"Obviously, it was the rebounding. Geri did a great job of blocking out tonight which is something that we have talked to her about. Natalie, with her high-motor, she is just going to get on those offensive boards. She is just going to go and fight. She loves to get beat up and do some beating up. She's just a really physical kid. Mik has always been a pretty good rebounder. She did a great job tonight on the defensive end. She almost had a triple-double. That would have been fun."

On team's turnovers
"We are going to go back and look at the film and see where we are going wrong. Certainly, we have been a pretty good team against pressure. We have handled that before. We also have freshmen out there with pressure and panicking a bit. That is where other people have to step up."

On Idaho's defense
"I thought we did a great job of playing the personnel and sticking to the defensive gameplan. Sometimes we get away from that. Tonight I thought it was a total team effort. Defensively, one of our best of the year—for sure."

Junior Mikayla Ferenz
On team's rebounding 
"We contested their shots well and were doing everything we wanted to do on defense. We forced them into some bad shots and then we got the rebounds. They shot 27 percent I think. So that definitely helps."

Senior Geri McCrokell
On Natalie Klinker
"She has been doing it all the time in practice. I think it is about time that it happened in a game. She works that hard in practice so I think it is easy for her to do that in a game. It is just showing how hard she works in practice."

Freshman Natalie Klinker
On learning from upperclassmen
"I learn a lot from these guys [Geri and Mikayla]. Especially, their success and just playing with them. It is awesome to play with them because they are such good players."

Idaho entered the night with just one double-double on the season (McCorkell)…McCorkell started the game 7-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from 3-point range (first miss came at 4:36 in the third quarter)…McCorkell finished with a career-high five 3FGM…Ferenz totaled career-highs in assists (7) and blocks (3)…she tied her career-high with 10 rebounds…Idaho recorded season-high 10 blocks…Idaho's 60 rebounds marked the most since 60 against Sacramento State (2/20/16)…the Vandals turned the ball over a season-high 28 times…Idaho hit 10 3FGs for the 11th time this season…Idaho has now gone 312 consecutive games with a 3FG

Idaho will continue at home on Saturday, hosting Northern Arizona. The Lumberjacks are 4-13 on the season after an 82-62 loss at Eastern Washington on Thursday. 

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