Opinion: Battle in the Paint

The Vandals fell short in a 70-64 nail biter to the Wyoming Cowgirls at Memorial Gym Saturday night.

Idaho (3-5) struggled to find a shooting rhythm for most of the game, while Wyoming (6-3) found their success scoring from beyond the arc. It was a tough defensive start for the Vandals, who allowed Wyoming to shoot 60 percent from 3-point territory. Things started to roll in the second quarter when junior guard Mikayla Ferenz scored nine of the Vandals 17 second quarter points. Ferenz finished the half with 13 points.

But Ferenz didn’t stop there. The junior guard went on an offensive tear in the second half to finish the game with 30 points, a season high for Ferenz.

Senior power forward Geraldine McCorkell had her fair share of scoring to help lead the Vandals to a win. McCorkell finished the game with 22 points.

Ferenz and McCorkell combined for 52 of Idaho’s 64 points.

Both played outstanding for the Vandals, making it a sight to see for many Idaho fans in attendance.

This was a total role reversal of a game for the Vandals. A team with a season 3-point percentage of 33.2 percent, finished Saturday shooting 22 percent from three-point territory. It was the inside scoring presence that helped the Vandals put points on the board.

Idaho has shown all year that they are a team that will live or die from beyond the arc but Saturday the Vandals showed that the three ball is not the only scoring option.

With stingy defense from Wyoming, Idaho had to find different ways to score and they found it near the rim.

Although Wyoming finished victorious, the Vandals did not go out without a fight. Idaho showed its inside scoring near the paint and dribble penetration to the basket to get the Vandals baskets on a rare night when threes were tough to come by.

Idaho had 30 points in the paint compared to Wyoming’s 14. Time after time, the Vandals were able to find a way to get to the rim for a layup.

Idaho had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds down by three, but a missed three-point attempt off the side of the backboard took away the chances of a Vandal win.

The Vandals finished the game shooting 0-6, a rare sighting for this Idaho team.

On a brighter note, the Memorial Gym was rocking with passionate fans cheering for their Vandals Saturday night. Idaho fans even brought out their very own “curtain of distraction”, which was originally made famous at Arizona State University.

While there are early season struggles for the Vandals, it has been a fun team to watch throughout the season, and will continue to be exciting to watch.

Chris Deremer can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu


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