Vandals Close Out Nonconference Season With Win Over Carroll Col - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals Close Out Nonconference Season With Win Over Carroll College

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Seniors Christina Salvatore and Renae Mokrzycki led the team with 14 points each in a win over Carroll College. Seniors Christina Salvatore and Renae Mokrzycki led the team with 14 points each in a win over Carroll College.

by Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho-Idaho closed out the non-conference season with a 75-47 win over Carroll College on Monday. The Vandals burned up the Cowan Spectrum, shooting 52.5 percent (31-for-59) from the floor while holding the Fighting Saints to 18 field goals on the day.

Idaho (8-4) finished with five players scoring in double figures for the second time this season. Seniors Christina Salvatore and Renae Mokrzycki led the team with 14 points each. Salvatore broke out of a 3-point shooting slump, going 4-for-7 from long range. Mokrzycki was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, adding six rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Taylor Pierce hit a pair for 3's helping her to 12 points. Geraldine McCorkell and Ali Forde each totaled 10 points apiece.

"I was really looking for us to come out and get back on track [after a disappointing loss to Abilene Christian]," head coach Jon Newlee commented. "We looked a little sharper offensively. Defensively, we wanted to get some intensity going and play a little harder. I thought we came out and did that."   

The Vandals outscored Carroll 44-20 in the game's first 20 minutes. Forde and Salvatore got the offense flowing early on, combining for 18 points. Mokrzycki, in just her third start of the season, went 3-for-3 in the half, capitalizing on her ability in the low post.

"She [Renae] brought the energy that she always has off the bench," Newlee said of the Australian senior's play. "We have not been finishing so well inside. To see her finally put back those little bunnies, getting those put backs we were not getting against Abilene Christian was nice to see."

The Silver and Gold remained hot offensively in the third quarter. Mokrzycki totaled another eight points in the period. She hit a pair of free throws with 5:01 to go in the third, giving Idaho a 32-point lead, 60-28, the largest of the game. A McCorkell jumper with 2:14 to go in the third matched the 32-point advantage, putting Idaho up 62-30.

Carroll (12-1) cut the lead to 28 early in the fourth off a Michaela Dowdy layin. Pierce put the Vandals back up by 32, 71-39, with 7:19 left to play.

Idaho, with the game in hand, emptied the bench down the stretch. Junior Agueda Trujillo saw her first playing time of the season. She went 1-of-2 from the field and snagged four rebounds in 12 minutes Idaho's bench outscored Carroll's 29-27.

"Coach told us he wanted to see more toughness and heart from us [following Abilene Christian]," Salvatore added. "We felt like we did not show as much toughness against Abilene as we should have. When we got back to practice it was like the preseason all over. We just needed to get back to what we had been doing."

The Vandal defense held Carroll to 14.3 percent (3-for-21) from 3-point range, an opponent season low. Idaho forced 15 turnovers, converting them into 19 points. Idaho out-rebounded Carroll 41-31. Idaho grabbed 33 defensive rebounds, holding Carroll to just two second chance points.

Idaho begins the Big Sky season on Thursday against North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks come to the Cowan Spectrum for the first time since 2012.

"We have to remain confident [entering Big Sky play]," Salvatore explained. "If we are confident and focused we can beat anyone we play."

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