Historic day for Ferenz leads Idaho past North Dakota, 78-64 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Historic day for Ferenz leads Idaho past North Dakota, 78-64

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Idaho junior Mikayla Ferenz became the first Vandal since 1984 to record a triple-double and senior Geraldine McCorkell netted a career-high 34 points, capping off Idaho's season-sweep of North Dakota on Saturday, 78-64.

Ferenz became the second Big Sky player and 17th in the NCAA to record a triple-double this season. She closed the afternoon with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. The last Vandal triple-double happened before the NCAA started keeping officials records. Mary Raese posted 25 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks on Nov. 24, 1984. 

How it Happened
The afternoon was tightly contested in the first 10 minutes of play. Idaho got early 3's from Ferenz and Allison Kirby to get the offense going. UND built up a four-point lead with 4:33 to go in the quarter. The Vandals fought all the way back and stole the lead, 20-17, at the end of the quarter with a timely 3 from Ferenz. 

Idaho's momentum carried over into the second quarter. The Vandals got out to a 7-2 start, gaining a 27-19 lead. North Dakota seemingly forgot about McCorkell's ability to shoot in the quarter. She hit three straight 3's for the Vandals, putting Idaho up 39-29. Taylor Pierce put Idaho up 13 at the break, going coast-to-coast and drawing the foul for the three-point play. 

Idaho gained its largest lead of the night, 62-44, off of McCorkell's fifth 3 of the contest. The Vandals took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. Sophomore Isabelle Hadden extended the lead to 16, 68-52, in the first three minutes of the period. North Dakota fought back with a 9-0 run to cut the Vandal lead to seven, 68-61, with 3:25 to play.

Ferenz's 10th rebound of the day was her biggest. She grabbed an offensive board that led to a crucial extra Idaho possession. That sequence led to McCorkell shooting a pair of free throws, getting the Vandal lead back up to nine with 2:11 to play. 

Idaho finished 9-for-11 from the free-throw line in the final 58 seconds to secure the win. 

Idaho's second quarter was the biggest of the game, offensively. The Vandals outscored UND 26-16 in the quarter, after leading by just three at the end of the first. Idaho shot 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) in the quarter, including a 5-of-6 effort from 3. McCorkell totaled 13 of her points in the quarter, hitting a perfect 3-for-3 from 3. 

The Vandal defense limited the Fighting Hawks to 7-of-20 in the second. Idaho recorded 10 defensive rebounds, limiting North Dakota's second-chances. 

Head Coach Jon Newlee

Overall thoughts
"This place was full [today] and it did get loud in that fourth when they hit a few 3's. But we kept them quiet for three and a half quarters. It was awesome."

On picking up the road sweep
"We needed to go out and stay in the groove. After we got the one at Northern Colorado, I told them we can't be satisfied. We need to get greedy and see what we could do here in this challenging environment. It was a great basketball game here today."

On Mikayla Ferenz
"She was getting in on those defensive boards. That is the best rebounding I've seen from her and she is a good rebounder. She is athletic and can get up. She's not afraid to get in there and battle. She got in there today. I thought she got some huge rebounds throughout the game and especially in the fourth quarter. 

"They were doubling her all game and she was able to find people. She found Geri. She found Solo a couple of times. She gave up a wide open 3 to give Solo that look underneath. That's Mik. She is unselfish. She wants this team to win and is going to do what it takes. That is everybody thought. That is our strength right now. We have talented scorers but they are very unselfish."

Saturday's win was the fifth straight over UND and pulls Idaho into a tie for second in the Big Sky…Idaho has now hit a 3FG in 315 consecutive games…Ferenz now has scored in double figures 19 games this season…she set career-highs in assists (10) and rebounds (13)…Ferenz now has 248 career 3FGM…Pierce hit one 3 today, improving to 257 career 3FGM…McCorkell set a career-high with five 3FGM…she's now 10th in Idaho history with 128 career 3FGM...UND's 64 points were the third fewest allowed this season by Idaho.

Idaho returns home next week for a pair of key Big Sky matchups. The Vandals will host the 5-3 Vikings of Portland State on Thursday. The Silver and Gold will look to even the series with Sacramento State (1-7) on Saturday. 

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