| March 18, 2018

Women’s Basketball: Final struggle

The Idaho Women’s Basketball team inched out a close game against Southern Utah University Friday with a final score of 65-57.

The Vandals were led in scoring by junior guard Mikayla Ferenz who finished the game with 22 points.  Ferenz was followed by senior post Geraldine McCorkell who had 12 and junior guard Taylor Pierce who finished the contest with 11 points.

Idaho traveled to Southern Utah University Friday to face the Thunderbirds in their final game before the Big Sky Conference tournament.

The Vandals looked to close out a strong season of conference play against the bottom of the pack Thunderbirds who sat at 3-25 overall on the season previous to this game.

The first quarter was painful for the Vandals as they shot only 4-16 from the floor, including 1-9 from behind the 3-point line.  While the Vandals struggled from the field, the Thunderbirds shot 8-15 in the first quarter.  The Vandals trailed at the end of the first quarter of play 18-9.

As the game continued into the second quarter of play, the Vandals woes lightened.  With slightly better shooting, Idaho was able to decrease the Thunderbirds lead throughout the quarter until they climbed their way to a tie game at 27-27 at the half time mark.

After the halftime break, the Vandals were able to come to life.  With more firepower than the first half of play, Idaho was able to outscore Southern Utah 20-14 in the third quarter.

The result of the better play was a Vandal lead going into the final quarter of play of 47-41.

Throughout the entirety of the second half, the Thunderbirds were able to keep the score relatively close causing Idaho Head Coach Jon Newlee and the Vandals some anxiety. Although the game was kept close, the Vandals were able to prevail with a score of 65-57.

“Defensively, I did not think we were ready to play their posts. [Ashley] Larsen was driving around. [Whitney] Johnson was driving around,” Newlee said in a news release.  “Our help-defense wasn’t there. That was disappointing. We walked through stuff yesterday but to their credit, they attacked what they felt was our weak spot and finished at the rim.”

The Vandals move into the post season at the No. 2 position and are set to begin the tournament Wednesday in Reno, Nevada.

Clay McKinley can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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