School record 18 3's ignite Idaho's comeback win over SUU - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

School record 18 3's ignite Idaho's comeback win over SUU

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

by Idaho Athletics

CEDAR CITY, Utah-A school record 18 3-pointers helped ignite Idaho's 85-68 come-from-behind win over Southern Utah on Thursday. The Vandals trailed by 13 in the second half, before overtaking the lead late in the third quarter.

How it Happened
Junior Brooke Reilly started Idaho off in the right direction, hitting an open 3 to start the night. Southern Utah fought back with an 8-0 run, starting 3-of-4 from the field. Geraldine McCorkell hit Idaho's second 3 of the period immediately following an Idaho timeout, cutting the SUU lead to 8-6. The Thunderbirds did not want to cool off, shooting 53.8 percent (7-of-13) to end the first with a 17-11 lead.

Idaho (8-9, 3-3 BSC) found itself in an 11-point hole inside the first two minutes of the second quarter, down 22-11. Brigitte O'Neill helped trim the Southern Utah lead down to seven, 22-15 with just over three minutes gone. SUU put together a 6-0 run, capped by a Breanu Reid 3 to go up by 13, 28-15. A 3-pointer from Bethany Krause put an end to the run, igniting a late Vandal push. Idaho finished the final 4:46 of half, shooting 50 percent from the field. Taylor Pierce scored eight consecutive points for Idaho to cut the T-Bird advantage to three, 34-31, at the half.

Southern Utah (5-13, 0-6 BSC) held onto the lead for a majority of the third quarter. Another 3-ball from Reid put SUU up by eight, 42-34, with 7:36 on the clock. Pierce began the third 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, bringing Idaho to within two at 47-42. Back-to-back 3's from Daylee Hanson and Brooke Reilly completed Idaho's comeback, giving the Vandals a 51-49 lead, their first since the game's opening basket. Mikayla Ferenz drilled a 3 right before the buzzer, closing out a 27-point quarter for the Vandals to lead 58-53.

Idaho matched its scoring output in the fourth quarter, again hit the 27-point mark. Idaho shot 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) in the final quarter, limiting Southern Utah to 15 points on five total field goals. Dari Frandsen cut the Idaho lead to one, 61-60, with 8:13 to play. Baskets from O'Neill and Pierce made sure Idaho did not loosen up its hold, going back by five with 5:58 to go. Pierce hit Idaho's 18th 3 of the game with two minutes to go, increasing the Idaho lead to 77-63. Ferenz was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line down the stretch, securing the win for the Vandals.

Pierce led all players with a season-high 25 points. Ferenz added 16 points to go with a career-high seven assists. Krause and McCorkell each totaled 10 points. Reilly ended the night just shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Jamie Smith led Southern Utah with 20 points. Frandsen finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Idaho's 18 3's were the biggest factor of the night. The Vandals hit seven first-half 3's to keep the game within reach. Pierce caught fire in the third, scoring all nine of her points from long distance. Idaho scored 21 of its 27 points from 3-point range in the third quarter, finishing 7-for 13.

Six different Vandals hit 3's in the second half, helping Idaho convert 11-of-19 in the final 20 minutes. 33 of Idaho's final 54 points were scored from deep.

It was a good thing Idaho was able to hit from 3, because the team was limited in free throw opportunities. The Vandals first free throw attempt came with 53 seconds to play in the third quarter. Idaho made good on 7-of-9 free throws, all seven makes coming in the fourth quarter.

Idaho now has at least one 3FGM in 278 consecutive games…Idaho's 18 3's set a school record, previous high was 17 set three time last season…Idaho attempted 43 3-pointers second most all-time (52 early this season at Washington)...Idaho had a season-high nine steals…Idaho's five blocked shots matched a number 139 for Newlee at Idaho…first career start for Hanson…Pierce moved up into sole possession seventh in school history with 130 career 3's…Ferenz now has 123 career 3's, 11th all-time.

Head coach Jon Newlee
On impact of the win
"It is huge. To be without Karlee [Wilson] and really have to shorten our rotation, giving Daylee [Hanson] more minutes than she is used to. I told them, 'Everybody has to step up.' Brigitte [O'Neill] I thought stepped up for us, Daylee and Taylor [Pierce] from off the bench. She obviously gave us a huge lift tonight."

On early offensive struggles
"It was like, 'Here we go again,' with the fourth quarter of the Idaho State game. I thought we were making some bad decisions with the ball, turning it over way too much. We got off to a little shaky start but then we settled in and got some looks. They were not going in, but it reminded me of the Weber State game. We got down early and just kept fighting."

On Taylor Pierce
"She was a little cold in that first half. Maybe she was as surprised as we were with how open she was. Geri [McCorkell] and Mikayla [Ferenz] are going to have those targets on them. They are going to get double teamed and teams will think they can take them away. They do not think we have other people that can score. But we do. Obviously, Taylor can. Brooke [Reilly] has got to get in the flow and get her points. Beth [Krause] I thought really stepped up and had a tremendous game tonight."

On 8-0 run to end the second half
"It was huge and that is what I told them at the half. We took their best shot already. This is what they have done to every team. They were up 16 on North Dakota and ended up losing it in the fourth. They were up big on all the teams that have come through here. I said, 'We are right back in it now.' Our team did a fantastic job of responding in the last 20 minutes."

Idaho will head south to Flagstaff, Ariz., for its next Big Sky challenge. The Vandals take on Northern Arizona on Saturday (5:30 p.m. PT). NAU picked up its first Big Sky win of the year, 56-47, at Eastern Washington on Thursday. The game will be available on Watch Big Sky as well as Fox Sports Arizona.

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit  Fans can also follow Idaho women's basketball on Twitter, @VandalsWBB.

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