Sophomore guards Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce combined for 48 points in the Idaho women’s basketball team’s Friday night 74-71 win over Wyoming in Laramie.
Ferenz earned a career-high 34 points. She is now tied Yinka Olorunnife for 12th in Idaho’s single-game scoring record.
“This win was huge for us,” Idaho head coach Jon Newlee said in a news release. “We have come so close against some great teams early on. To come into (Laramie) and win with the altitude, the crowd and the way (Wyoming) play at home. It was just an unbelievable performance. That was the Vandal team I was waiting to see.”
Liv Roberts led Wyoming (6-3) with 19 points.
Pierce is ninth in program history with 107 career 3-pointers. Ferenz is 12th with 99.
The Washington native’s 34 points were the most by a Vandal since Stacey Barr scored 35 points against New Mexico State in the WAC Tournament March 14, 2014.
Junior guard Bethany Krause earned her first-career start.
The Cowgirls stayed ahead of the Vandals with five 3’s in the first period.
Junior post Geraldine McCorkell hit two from the charity stripe to regain the lead, 12-10.
A 6-0 run from Wyoming gave the Cowgirls a 21-17 lead into the second period.
Pierce, Ferenz and redshirt freshman post Sue Winger contributed to a 9-0 run and retook the lead, 27-26.
The Vandals and the Cowgirls fought for the lead. Ferenz sunk a 3-pointer to give the Vandals a one-point lead at the half.
The Vandals (3-5) started third period 0-of-5. Ferenz grabbed 12 points to make up for the gap.
“I do not even know what to say about Mikayla’s performance today,” Newlee said. “She was fantastic. It was one of the best individual efforts I have seen since I have been coaching at Idaho. She was great on both ends.”
Pierce and McCorkell put together a fight during the fourth quarter. Pierce went 3-of-3 from behind the arc and scored nine of her 14 points in less than six minutes.
McCorkell grabbed an inside basket to put Idaho up by five with 1:37 left.
Ferenz and Wilson added free throws.
This was Wyoming’s first home loss of the season.
Idaho made half its shots during the second half and was 9-of-11 in the fourth period.
The Vandals shot 91.7 percent from the free-throw line.
The Idaho defense held the Cowgirls to three 3’s in the second half.
Wyoming outrebounded Idaho 33-32. The Vandals held the Cowgirls to 13 rebounds in the second half and just three in the fourth quarter.
Newlee said rebounding was the key to the game.
“Specifically, in the third and fourth quarter,” he said. ‘“That is where it has really come back to bite us. Our team really took it to heart. I love the way our players responded.”
McCorkell finished with 12 points, Pierce added 14.
The Vandals play Central Washington 3 p.m. Dec. 17 in the Cowan Spectrum.
Tess Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tesstakesphotos