Vandals Snap UND's Winning Streak 65-59 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals Snap UND's Winning Streak 65-59

Senior Christina Salvatore posted a game-high 20 points, shooting 50 percent (8-of-16) from the field. Senior Christina Salvatore posted a game-high 20 points, shooting 50 percent (8-of-16) from the field.

GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The Vandal women ended North Dakota’s seven-game winning streak with a 65-59 win inside the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Saturday. Idaho overcame a 3-for-19 shooting performance in the second quarter to close the road trip on a high note.

"This is a tough place to play and North Dakota is really hot right now," associate head coach Christa Sanford said. “We knew it was going to be a rowdy environment and that we would have to come ready to play today. I am just really proud of our team and the team effort. To get this win is huge for our program.”

Senior Christina Salvatore came up big for the Vandals. She posted a game-high 20 points, shooting 50 percent (8-of-16) from the field. She scored eight points in the first quarter, moving her past Susan Woolf for 10th on Idaho’s all-time scoring list.

Idaho (18-7, 10-3 BSC) opened the game shooting 57.1 percent from the field, hitting 4-of-6 3-pointers in the opening quarter. The Vandals held a 22-18 advantage after the first. North Dakota quickly erased the Vandal lead in the second quarter. The Fighting Hawks held Idaho to an 0-for-12 start to the period, getting out to their largest lead of the game at 33-22.

Senior Ali Forde finally put an end to the Vandals’ shooting slump, hitting Idaho’s first field goal of the second quarter with just over six minutes played. The Vandals closed the final 3:57 of the half on a 7-2 run, cutting the UND lead to 35-29 at the break.

“We got some good looks in the second we just were not knocking them down,” Sanford explained. “We had some easy layups that we usually get. They [UND] are a very physical team and battle. There was a lot of shoving in that second quarter and then they started to make some shots they do not typically make. Every time we made a mistake they capitalized.”

Salvatore led the Vandal comeback attempt, hitting back-to-back 3’s to tie the game in the opening two minutes of play. Idaho tied the game four times before taking a 43-41 lead off a Forde layup with 4:47 to play in the quarter. The Fighting Hawks tied it the score at 43, the fifth tie of the frame, with 4:13 play in the period. Contributions from Karlee Wilson, Taylor Pierce and Mikayla Ferenz helped Idaho close the quarter outscoring UND by 11, 23-12.

Pierce opened the fourth for Idaho with a long ball, giving Idaho its largest lead at 55-47. The Fighting Hawks cut the advantage to four, 57-55, with 7:17 remaining. Idaho struggled from the field in the stanza, shooting just 25 percent, but was able to convert from the free-throw line. Ferenz extended Idaho’s lead to seven, 62-55, with a pair of free throws at the 1:32 mark. She was 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch, securing the win for Idaho.

The Vandals stepped up defensively in the final quarter, totaling nine defensive rebounds and four steals. UND turned the ball over four times in the period, including twice in the final two minutes.

“We got some big stops from our defense down the stretch,” Sanford added. “We felt like we knew the plays there were going to run and the team did a good job of executing the defensive plan.”

North Dakota (12-12, 8-5 BSC) outrebounded Idaho, 50-37. UND outscored Idaho in the paint, 30-22. Mia Loyd, the Big Sky Preseason Player of the Year, was held to 3-for 12 from the field for eight points.

Forde, Pierce and Ferenz joined Salvatore as Idaho’s double-figure scorers. Forde and Pierce each totaled 11 points, while Ferenz ended the day with 10. Forde, for the third time this season, recorded five blocks.  

Idaho returns back home next week for its final two home games of the season. The Vandals will host Portland State on Thursday and welcome in Sacramento State on Saturday for Senior Night.

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