Idaho women’s basketball opened the season Friday at Colorado State with an 83-69 win.
Idaho head coach Jon Newlee said in a news release he and the team are excited to get a win to start the season.
“They are very excited. Obviously, it’s the first game. To win like we did today, in this kind of environment, against this kind of team — that is a special opener I think. To play as well as we did. What impressed me is when things got tight we kept our poise. We had different people step up and make big shots and get big stops. It was a total team effort,” Newlee said.
Colorado State opened the game with an 8-5 start in the first quarter. However, Idaho took the game back with a 16-point run to close out the first quarter with a score of 21-8.
The Vandals continued to take control of the court in the second quarter gaining a 26-8 lead within the first minute of the period. Junior guard Taylor Pierce scored 10 of her team-high 24 points during this Vandals run. She also managed to hit three of her seven 3-pointers in this process. Colorado State ended up taking this quarter with a score of 11-18 this cut the Vandal lead down to 32-26 at halftime.
Junior guard Mikayla Ferenz completed Idaho’s first shot in the third quarter letting her second three-ball of the night find the net. Ferenz scored Idaho’s first five points of the half and went five-for-eight in the quarter, scoring 12 of her 22 game points.
Freshman guard Allison Kirby put the Vandals up 14 with just 24 seconds remaining in the quarter. Colorado State’s Hannah Tvrdy snuck one more basket in before the buzzer to cut the Vandal lead to 59-14
Colorado State whittled the Vandal lead back down into the single-digits in the early minutes of the final quarter. The Rams’ Lore Devos brought the Rams back nine with just 7:22 left in the game. With another 3-pointer from senior post Geraldine McCorkell Idaho was back up by 13 with 5:27 left to play. Pierce racked up another 11 points for the Silver and Gold in the remaining time to officially bring any hopes of winning away from the Rams.
Idaho’s freshmen made a strong impact on their first official outings as Vandals. Kirby was five-for-eight from the field bringing 14 points to the team in her starting position. Freshman post Natalie Klinker also came in with 11 rebounds for the Vandals.
Idaho finished 45.5 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. Idaho held Colorado State to 39.3 percent shooting and 29.6 percent from the three.
“I think defensively we did a good job. We switched up and went to our zone. That kind of stopped them for a bit. We were getting the ball out in transition and really did a good job of swinging the ball from side-to-side, giving us some really good looks,” Newlee said.
Idaho will be looking to get its second consecutive win to start to the season against Ohio State 4 p.m. Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio.
Marisa Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org