Vandals 9-game winning streak snapped against rival Idaho State - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Vandals 9-game winning streak snapped against rival Idaho State

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho—Idaho's nine-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of instate rival Idaho State on Thursday. The Vandals shots were not falling like they had the prior nine games in the return to Memorial Gym for the Battle of the Domes presented by Idaho Central Credit Union.

Despite the offensive struggles, four Vandals totaled double figures. Senior Geraldine McCorkell put in 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Taylor Pierce also scored 14 on the night. Mikayla Ferenz and Isabelle Hadden totaled 12 and 10, respectively.

How it Happened
The Vandals got early 3's from Ferenz and Pierce accounting for Idaho's first nine points. Things seemed on track for Idaho, building an early lead. Then the struggles kicked in. Idaho hit just two more field goals in the quarter, while the Bengals closed the quarter 4-for-4 from the field.

Idaho (15-11, 11-4) looked to find its groove at the open of the second. Hadden came in off the bench and scored six points in a 9-3 run to start the quarter. The Idaho State defense did not budge the rest of the quarter holding Idaho to 0-for-7 from the field.

The Vandals trailed 30-24 at the half, marking the first time the team was down at the break since Jan. 12 at Eastern Washington.

Idaho State (18-8, 10-5) used a 12-5 run to open the third, extending its lead to 42-29. The Bengal lead reached 14 before the quarter came to a close. The Vandal offense again struggled from the field, converting 4-of-12 from the field.

Idaho's offense came to life in the fourth. Hadden put four points on the board early, cutting the deficit to 10. Ferenz, Pierce and McCorkell also had key contributions in a 12-1 run that got Idaho within three, 52-49, with 5:13 to play. Unfortunately for Idaho, the cold streak returned, finishing remaining five minutes 1-for-10 from the field.

Grace Kenyon led ISU with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Keys
The tale of the story was the Vandals' offensive struggles. Idaho did not shoot above 36 percent in any of the four quarters. The team's best showing was its 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) in the first quarter.

Idaho, normally superb from 3-point range, closed the game shooting 28.6 percent (8-28). The team was forced to shoot from outside late and came up short, hitting just 2-for-10 in the fourth quarter.

Quotes
Head Coach Jon Newlee

On the streak coming to an end
"We haven't had a streak like that since we won the WAC. It was a great run, it really was. We went and won in the hardest venues on the road—at Montana, Montana State and North Dakota. We were taking care of business at home in Cowan, which was great. It was a fun streak. It was a great streak. Now we just have to start another one and run the table."

On Idaho State's defense
"They did a good job defensively. They are well coached and play hard. But I feel like that is every team in our league. We have to come out and get a little more prepared, more mentally focused I think. It turned into a tough, grind it out basketball game. That is what they want to play. They want the game in the 50s and we want it in the 80s. Tonight they got their way."

Junior Mikayla Ferenz
On the winning streak coming to an end
"I guess the pressure builds, but we just came out flat. I think our second quarter hurt us the most. Other than that we played pretty well. They are a really hard team to play. They scout us pretty well."

Notes
Idaho remains second in the Big Sky, behind Northern Colorado (12-3)…Idaho's 52 points were the second fewest of the season (33 @ Arizona State)…the team's 18 field goals were also the second fewest on the season (12 @ Arizona State)…Ferenz and Pierce are now tied on the season with 103 3's…McCorkell went 5-5 from the free-throw line, giving her nine consecutive makes…Idaho has now hit a 3FG in 321 straight games.

Upcoming
The Vandals look to start a new winning streak on Saturday. Idaho will welcome in Weber State. The Wildcats lost Thursday, 77-68, at Eastern Washington. Saturday is also Senior Day. The Vandals will honor McCorkell and Nejra Solo before the 2 p.m. PT start.

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