Northern Colorado Snaps Idaho's Four-Game Winning Streak - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Northern Colorado Snaps Idaho's Four-Game Winning Streak

Idaho also outscored the Bears down low, 34-24, and off the bench, 31-21. Idaho also outscored the Bears down low, 34-24, and off the bench, 31-21.

GREELEY, Colo. — Freshman Taylor Pierce scored nine points in a span of 66 seconds to help fuel the Vandals comeback attempt against Northern Colorado on Thursday. The Vandals came back from as much as 12 points down to force overtime. Idaho fell short in the extra period, 70-68.

“It is a tough feeling,” head coach Jon Newlee explained. “It is disappointing that we could not come all the way back. I am proud of the team’s effort. It was a great comeback but we needed to finish the job.”

UNC (11-11, 6-6 BSC) held a 58-46 lead with 4:42 to play in the fourth quarter. Pierce cut the lead to 58-49 with her the first of her three fourth-quarter 3’s with 3:48 to play. She would score the next six points for Idaho, drawing the Vandals to within three points, 58-55, with 3:36 left in regulation.

The Bears answered back with a Kianna Williams 3 at the 2:43 mark. Not to be outdone Christina Salvatore drained a 3 of her own with 2:23, cutting the score to 61-58. Mikayla Ferenz brought Idaho to within one, 61-60, with 1:19 to go. Ali Forde tied the game from the free-throw line with 18 seconds to play.

Northern Colorado played for the last shot, taking a timeout with under 3 seconds to play. The Vandal defense held strong as the Bears failed to get the shot off before the final buzzer.

Idaho (17-7, 9-3) got good looks in the extra period, but the Bears were able to hit two key 3’s to remain unbeaten at home in Big Sky play. Savanna Smith hit her only 3 of the night with 48 seconds to play. Pierce converted a pair of free throws on Idaho’s next possession, cutting the UNC lead to 69-68. Katie Longwell put the Bears up 70-68 with two seconds to go. Idaho’s inbound play was intercepted at mid-court, ending the Vandals’ four-game winning streak.

“We let them loose from the 3-point line,” Newlee added. “They were hot. When you shoot like that at home that is what happens. We have seen it before. They [UNC] hit every big shot that they had to make. Hats off to them.”

It was slow going for the Vandals offensively up until the fourth quarter. Idaho scored 24 points in the fourth, after scoring just 11 in the third. Pierce’s nine points led the Vandals in the quarter. She finished with a team-high 16 points off the bench. Freshman Mikayla Ferenz scored six points in the frame, finishing the game with 13.  

Idaho outrebounded the Bears, 36-35, totaling 11 second chance points. The Vandals scored 23 points off UNC’s 21 turnovers. Idaho also outscored the Bears down low, 34-24, and off the bench, 31-21.

Rebecca Howell, who entered the game averaging 6.7 points for the Bears, let loose with 15 points. She was 7-of-10 from the field, including a key 3 in the overtime period.

Salvatore and Geraldine McCorkell rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Vandals. Salvatore finished with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. McCorkell added 11 points for Idaho in her 15 minutes.

The Vandals make the trip to Grand Forks, North Dakota on Saturday. UND defeated Eastern Washington on Thursday, giving the Fighting Hawks seven straight wins. 

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