Vandals win 6th straight with drubbing of Sac. State - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Vandals win 6th straight with drubbing of Sac. State

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho—The Vandal women led wire-to-wire Saturday afternoon, avenging their earlier loss to the Sacramento State Hornets. Idaho picked up its sixth straight win, sending the Hornets packing 101-66. 

Junior Taylor Pierce had herself a day. She hit six first-half 3's to move past former Vandal Stacey Barr for second on Idaho's all-time 3-point list. She now has totaled 269 career 3's in just her third season as a Vandal.

How it Happened
Idaho (12-10, 8-3) shot 45.0 percent in the first 10 minutes, gaining a 10-point cushion in the first quarter. 3's from Pierce and Geraldine McCorkell opened the day's scoring. Pierce went 3-for-3 from deep in the quarter. Mikayla Ferenz added a 3 to Idaho's total, helping Idaho shoot 50.0 percent from deep in the open.

The Vandals hit five more 3's in the second quarter to extend their lead to 23 at the half. Pierce added three more to her total, scoring 18 first-half points. The Vandal defense allowed just 12 points in the quarter. Idaho's defense held the Hornets scoreless for a span of 2:53, resulting in an 11-0 run for the Vandals. 

Pierce, Ferenz and McCorkell all hit double-figures by halftime. Pierce went 6-of-9 from 3 for 18 points. Ferenz hit a three at the buzzer to close the half with 15 and McCorkell was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field for 11 at the break.

The Silver and Gold extended its lead all the way to 35 in the early moments of the fourth quarter. Ferenz ended the afternoon with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 27 minutes. Pierce closed the day with 19 points and McCorkell recorded her fifth double-double of the season (17 pts, 15 reb.)

All 10 available players played double-figure minutes, with no starter seeing more than 30 minutes of action. Freshman Allison Kirby hit the final basket to push Idaho over 100 points for the second time this season.

Idaho's big three continued to lead by example on Saturday. The trio of Pierce, Ferenz and McCorkell accounted for 59 points a total of 84 minutes. They shot a combined 41.9 percent (18-43) from the field and hit 10 of Idaho's 13 3's. 

Head Coach Jon Newlee
Overall thoughts
"It was night and day from our game in Sacrament. I thought our team really came out motivated at the beginning. We knew what we wanted to do from a defensive standpoint and I thought that really fueled our offense in that first half."

On Taylor Pierce
"Her stat was great. It was different from time. She got the same looks in Sacramento and didn't make them. The fact she was able to hit those gave us confidence from an offensive standpoint. Obviously, as we all know she is a great 3-point shooter. That's why I recruited her. It is no surprise to me that she has made her way all the way up the charts in only three years. She has that kind of deep range and electricity with that shot."

On McCorkell and Ferenz
"They have been huge for us. Taylor did what she does. I thought Mikayla had a really good game, all-around. She was strong defensively on 32 [Hanna Friend] who had 29 last time we played and held her to four tonight. That's fantastic. 

"Geri was good. Geri was really good. 17 points, 10 boards but five offensive boards. That is huge. That means she is playing with a lot of energy. When Geri plays with a lot of energy, good things happen for our basketball team."

Junior Taylor Pierce
On passing Stacey Barr
"I have to be on my toes because Mikayla is right there too. It feels great to be recognized with some of the best players that have ever played here. Specifically, some of the best shooters. It feels great. If I happen to move up that would be awesome. I have a feeling Mikayla and I will be 1-2 by the end of our time here."

Junior Mikayla Ferenz
On almost hitting a triple-double
"I didn't really realize that I was close, but yeah you are right. It's cool. It just kind of happens. I'm trying to win and those stats just come. The assists are pretty easy because my teammates make shots. I'm just trying to win." 

The win was Idaho's first 30-point win since Dec. 27, 2016, defeating LCSC by 36…Idaho also scored 101 points at Portland State this season…Idaho scored a season-high 21 second-chance points and 49 points in the paint…the Vandal bench had a season-high with 31 points…McCorkell's 15 rebounds marked a career-high…she moved into solo possession of ninth on Idaho's 3-point list with 130 career 3's…Haley Blankinship scored a season-high seven points…Natalie Klinker posted her third game of 10 or more rebounds (10)…Idaho has hit a 3FG in its last 317 games.

Idaho plays just one game next week, hosting Eastern Washington in a doubleheader with the men's team. The Vandals have not lost since last playing EWU in Cheney. The women's game is set for a 5 p.m. PT start. Both games will be televised by SWX. 

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