The Idaho women’s basketball team opened its second home game of the season with a resounding 79-45 victory over Central Washington Saturday at the Memorial Gym.
Junior post Geraldine McCorkell led the way for the Vandals with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
Idaho head coach Jon Newlee said he was impressed with the showing from the defense.
“That was something we talked about at halftime,” Newlee said in a news release. “I wanted to see how intense we could get and see how low we could keep them on the scoreboard. The team really took it to heart.”
The Vandals (4-5) limited the Wildcats to 28.6 percent shooting from the field and 18 baskets. The shooting percentage was the lowest by an Idaho opponent this year.
Central Washington (5-5) missed six straight 3-pointers to start the game and connected on 42.9 percent of attempts from the free throw line.
After entering the half with a 12-point lead, the Vandals exploded for 29 points in the third quarter to stretch the advantage to 65-35.
“I thought our defensive effort and intensity was great in that second half,” Newlee said.
Newlee used the lead to sub in a number of underclassmen. Freshman post Sue Winger came off the bench nine rebounds in 23 minutes of play.
“We have had some close games this year,” Newlee said. “It was great to sit back in the fourth and get good minutes for our bench, especially the freshmen. That will only help us going into Big Sky play.”
The Idaho bench outscored Central Washington 32-12 in the win.
Sophomore guards Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce finished with 15 and 11 points respectively. Senior point guard Karlee Wilson added 10 points and seven assists.
Wildcats forward Taylor Baird led Central Washington with 10 points. Senior guard Kortney Grattic posted nine points and eight rebounds.
The Wildcats finished with 24 points in the paint and 14 offensive rebounds. After averaging 33 shots per game from beyond the arc in the first eight games of the season, the Vandals were limited to 22 attempts Saturday. Idaho connected nine of the 22, including three from Pierce and 3 from Ferenz.
Idaho plays No. 25 Oregon noon Tuesday in Eugene.
Josh Grissom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GoshJrissom