| February 23, 2018

Opinion: Third quarter kryptonite

February 3, 2018

Thursday night game against Portland was a tale of two halves for Idaho.

The Vandals got off to a hot first half scoring 43 points but fell about in the second half gathering up only 18.

The Vandals first half was the strongest aspect of the game as they achieved well from both sides of the game – offense and defense.

In the first quarter Idaho was able to score 14 points, from the start of the first quarter to the end it was a fast-paced quarter. The team managed to have a diverse field of scoring in the first.

Idaho exceled well on both sides of the game, racking up two block shots and effectively keeping Portland State from shooting inside the paint.

Second quarter was when Idaho started to run away with the game, The Vandals did not let off the gas from the start managing to score 29 total points.

In the first four minutes of the quarter, the Vandals went on an 8-0 run while junior guard Taylor Pierce drained three 3-pointers to pull Idaho into a commanding lead.

Pierce had a stellar second quarter, making all 5 of her shots, four of the five from 3-point range.

After she shot four in a row, Portland called a time-out to try to cool her off, but that did not fool Peirce as she made one more bucket. Bringing total of 14 points in the second quarter accounting for 39 percent of the team’s points in first half.

The second half of the game was where Idaho’s faltered, as the team scored only 18 points combined, and Pierce’s hot first half did not carry over to the second.

During Idaho’s bad third quarter, Portland State capitalized on the Vandals by scoring 18 points while holding Idaho to only seven points.

Idaho seemed to give up in the third quarterhey did not play good on offense, missing 13 shots.

The fourth quarter was as disappointing as the third, but close shooting made for an exciting finish that ultimately resulted in the Vandals favor.

As Idaho was still having a bad second half, Portland to this to notice as they were slowly catching up on the score board.

Idaho was struggling Portland caught up on the scoreboard leading 58-55 with four minutes left in the game. Both teams traded off shots as Pierce made a three to put Idaho in the lead 59-57 3:30 left and Portland called a time-out.

After the timeout The Vikings countered with a lay-up by Junior guard, Sidney Rielly pulling Portland down by one.

Proceeding the lay-up Idaho was on offense as the clock started to wind down McCorkell made a jumper to put Idaho in the lead 61-59.

The Vikings would make their next shot to be behind by one again, Idaho called a time-out and set up a pick in roll for McCorkell but as she turned from the pick she shot and was blocked by PSU’s Courtney West.

Momentum shifted to Portland with only 30 seconds left in the game. The Vikings were setting up to make a buzzer beater shot, but that attempt was stopped by McCorkell as Portland was driving to the net McCorkell stood in front of the shot attempt missing the shot Idaho wins 61- 60.

First half of the game was Idaho’s strongest, as they outscored Portland 43-27. The offense was going off on all cylinders, shooting 51.43 percent from the field going 18-35.

Idaho needed to carry the hot first half into the second to keep the game in their favor.

But Idaho fell apart on offense but played efficient on defense in both quarters.

The Vandals scored 10 points off turnovers and senior post Neja Solo had a career high in blocked shots with three.

The second half for Idaho was not good offensively, but the defense is what kept the Vandals in the half. Idaho was outscored 33-18 in this half of the game.

Suggesting the first half was fast paced, maybe the Vandals fatigue started to play a role for the team in the second half. Idaho shot 25.81 percent from the field making 8-31 attempts.

The Vandals played a good game, but this was a game of two halves for the team. If Idaho would have carried their hot first half into the second, the Vandals would have run away with the game, making a Portland comeback unthinkable.

Joseph Sandoval can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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