Idaho rolls to 83-68 victory over Northern Arizona - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Idaho rolls to 83-68 victory over Northern Arizona

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho—The Splash Sisters brought the rain Saturday, leading the Vandals with 54 combined points in Idaho's 83-68 win over Northern Arizona. The dynamic duo of Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce hit 13 of Idaho's 15 3's on the day, fueling Idaho's 42.9 percent showing from beyond the arc. 

Individually, it proved to be a monumental day for Ferenz. She scored a game-high 33 points, jumping her up two spots into eighth on Idaho's all-time scoring list with 1,385 career points.

How It Happened
Idaho (8-10, 4-3) got the afternoon started with back-to-back 3's from Ferenz and Pierce, setting the stage for the rest of the first half. The Vandals opened on a 10-0 run, holding Northern Arizona scoreless for the first four minutes of the quarter. 

NAU (4-14, 1-6) fought its way back to a one-possession game in the second quarter. The Lumberjacks slimmed Idaho's lead to 36-35 with 3:07 left to play in the quarter. Ferenz and Pierce answered with a 12-0 run to get the Vandals lead back to double-digits, 48-35. Pierce closed Idaho's scoring with three consecutive 3's.

The Splash Sisters totaled 10 of Idaho's 11 3's in the first half. Ferenz went 5-for-10, while Pierce shot 5-of-8. Freshman Allison Kirby hit Idaho's only other 3 of the half. 

The Silver and Gold kept NAU at a distance the rest of the afternoon. The Lumberjacks got within single digits just three more times after the half, never getting closer than six points The Vandal defense held the Lumberjacks to 15 points in each of the last two quarters, allowing just five field goals. 

Geraldine McCorkell recorded her second straight double-double. She totaled 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Ferenz finished just shy of a double-double, closing with nine rebounds on the day. She closed 6-of-13 on the day from 3. Pierce led the team with seven triples.

Head Coach Jon Newlee
Overall thoughts
"I loved our energy. I think defensively we did a great job. In the second quarter, they [NAU] got hot. They have some excellent 3-point shooters. We didn't do a good job of finding them in the second quarter. I think for the other three quarters we really stuck to the gameplan and did a great job. We made a change in our defense in that second quarter and the last two quarters it was really effective for us. 

"I loved our offensive flow. I thought we were able to get out and run the ball. We got our shooters in space and gave them some pretty good looks."

On scoring from Ferenz, Pierce and McCorkell
"It is just the way it has been going this year. They can score. I'd love to get some more contributions from some other people. I thought Allison had a couple of really good looks from 3 that she was going to knock down. Isabelle was under the weather today and did a great job of playing 15 minutes while sick. So the other guys had to step up. That is what we got. That is all we need though."

On Idaho's defense
"Just like Thursday, we talked about our rebounding this week after that Eastern game. Our emphasis this week was rebounding and I think we did a great job of getting in there, boxing people out and limiting them to one shot. I thought we did a good job of that."

Junior Taylor Pierce
Overall thoughts
"It was a good team win. I think defensively it was one of our better games. We had to switch up defenses. We were pretty confident in what we were doing. We all talked to each other and that was a really big thing for us. Obviously, offensively we had a pretty good game. Rebounding was a big thing for us and we hit all the key points that coach wanted us to focus on." 

Junior Mikayla Ferenz
On picking up momentum from the win
"I think it gives us a lot of confidence. This week we really focused on rebounding and talking on defense. We did that the last two games. I think we just need to carry it over into next week."

Ferenz passed Christina Salvatore (1,370) and Yinka Olornnife (1,383) to move into eighth on the scoring list today…She also moved into 10th in program history with 485 career FGM, passing Olornnife…Ferenz has hit a 3FG in 23 consecutive games…Saturday marked her fifth 30-point game of the season…Pierce now has 256 career 3's, 12 away from tying Stacey Barr for second in program history…Ferenz is fourth with 239…Idaho has now hit 15+ 3's in a game four times this season…the Vandals have hit a 3 in 313 consecutive games…McCorkell picked up her 12th career double-double…NAU opened the game 0-for-5 and didn't score until the 5:52 mark of the first quarter.

Idaho heads back out on the road next. The team will open on Thursday at Northern Colorado, continuing on to North Dakota on Saturday. It will be the second matchup with both schools. UNC is atop the Big Sky standings at 5-2. UND has dropped to 2-5. 

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