Idaho Romps Past Montana

Idaho Romps Past Montana

MISSOULA, Mont.–The Idaho women’s basketball team broke a 32-year drought on Thursday night with an 86-59 win on Thursday. The Vandals left Dahlberg arena with a win for the first win in Missoula since Feb. 8, 1985.

How it Happened
Idaho (6-7, 1-1 BSC) controlled the game from start to finish on Thursday. Idaho held the lead for all but 1:42, only seeing it slip away with an early 2-2 tie in the first quarter.

Three Vandals finished the night in double figures. Sophomore Taylor Pierce led the game with a season-high 22 points off the bench. Mikayla Ferenz put in 13, while Geraldine McCorkell added 12. Senior Karlee Wilson finished just shy of a triple-double, finishing the night with nine points, nine assists and six rebounds in just 26 minutes of play.

The pace of play for both teams was a bit slow to start. Idaho led 4-2 after the game’s first four minutes. The Vandals started 1-of-6 from the field, while limiting Montana to a 1-for-5 start. Senior Agueda Trujillo sparked Idaho’s offense with a 3-pointer at the 3:11 mark of the first. 3’s from Brooke Reilly and McCorkell helped Idaho close the final 1:41 on a 9-2 run, taking a 20-8 lead after 10 minutes.

Montana (3-11, 0-3 BSC) cut the Idaho lead down to seven, 20-13, in the first minute of the second quarter. That would be as close as the Lady Griz would get the rest of the night. Idaho got 11 points in 10 minutes of play from Pierce. Pierce shot 3-of-5 from 3-point range, helping Idaho to a 13-point halftime lead.

Ferenz all but wrapped things up for Idaho with 2:09 to play in the third. She put the Silver and Gold up by 23, 65-42, its largest lead to that point. Seconds later Bethany Krause hit a 3 to give Idaho a 28-point lead and Pierce continued the scoring, giving Idaho a 72-42 lead at the end of the third.

The Lady Griz outscored Idaho in the final quarter, 17-14, but the damage had been done. Of the five Idaho starters, only Trujillo played in the fourth quarter. All 14 points for Idaho came from the bench.

Turning Point
Idaho came out after halftime and made the game a three-quarter contest. The Vandals shot lights out in the third, hitting 72.2 percent (13-of-18) from the floor. Ferenz hit two 3-pointers, helping the Vandals shoot 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from long range. Seven different players scored in the quarter, led by Ferenz (8 pts) and Sue Winger (6 pts) to finish with a season-high 31 points in the quarter. The Vandal defense did a good job protecting the net on the opposite end of the court, holding Montana to 6-of-17 from the field for 14 points.

First career start for Trujillo…Coach Newlee’s 137th career win at Idaho…Idaho now has at least one 3FGM in 274 consecutive games…the 27-point difference was Montana’s largest losing margin at home since an 89-57 loss to Oregon on Feb. 5, 1981…Idaho hit 33 field goals, second most this season…the Vandals handed out 23 assists on the night, second most this season…Idaho attempted just eight free throws, tied for a season-low…Idaho’s eight turnovers also tied for a season-low…Idaho now has three wins this season of 25 points or more.