Ferenz drops school-record 41 in Vandals' win over NAU - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Ferenz drops school-record 41 in Vandals' win over NAU

Courtesy: Idaho Athletics Courtesy: Idaho Athletics

Idaho Athletics

FLAGSTAFF, Idaho—Idaho completed its first Big Sky Conference sweep of the season inside the Walkup Skydome on Saturday. The Vandals had to again battle from behind, this time from 11 points, to gain a 91-80 win over Northern Arizona.

It was a record night for Idaho sophomore Mikayla Ferenz. She led Idaho with a school record 41 points and tying Taylor Pierce's school record with nine total 3-pointers in the win. Ferenz finished 15-of-17 from the field and tied for the team lead with six rebounds.

How it Happened
Northern Arizona (6-12, 2-5 BSC) began the night on fire. NAU jumped out to a seven point lead, 12-5, shooting 6-for-10 in the opening 5:37. The Lumberjacks built up a nine point lead before the end of the quarter. NAU finished the period 11-for-17 from the field, hitting 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Idaho, uncharacteristically, turned the ball over seven times in the first, directly leading to eight NAU points.

Idaho (9-9, 4-3 BSC) slimmed the NAU lead to six early in the second, 26-20. A 5-0 run for the Lumberjacks gave NAU its largest lead of the game at 31-20. Ferenz and Pierce decided to take over from there for the Vandals. The duo scored Idaho's next 12 points, cutting the NAU lead down to 37-32. Pierce hit a 3 at the buzzer to get to within three points, 43-40, at the break.

Ferenz and Pierce scored 32 of Idaho's 40 first half points. The 'Splash Sisters' each hit four 3's in the first 20 minutes, combining for 10 of Idaho's 14 field goals.
The Vandals overtook the lead, 52-50, at the 4:51 mark of the third. Ferenz hit her sixth 3 of the night to put Idaho up 55-50 with four minutes to go in the quarter. Northern Arizona would not go away without a fight. The Lumberjacks were able to keep things close, despite shooting just 4-for-16 in the quarter. NAU converted nine free throws in the quarter, including two in the In the final seconds to tie the game at 60.

The Vandals used the long ball in the final quarter to secure the win. Idaho hit six of its 18 3's in the fourth. Ferenz reached the 41-point mark with her final 3 of the night, giving Idaho a 73-64 lead with 6:25 to play. Bethany Krause, Pierce and McCorkell each hit key 3's down final stretch. The Vandals shot 5-of-6 from the free-throw line in the game's final minutes to lock up the victory.

Key
Mikayla Ferenz. It's as simple as that. She missed just two shots all night, finishing 15-of-17 from the field. She got off to a slow start for 41 points, notching just six in the first quarter. She added 10 points in the second, including a 5-0 run of her own.

Her best stretch came in the third quarter. She totaled 13 points, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. She was able to get nine of her points from beyond the arc in her eight minutes of play. She subbed out of the game with 31 points at the two minute mark of the quarter.

Ferenz scored all 10 of her fourth quarter points in the first four minutes of the quarter. She reached 41 points with 6:25 still to play. She closed the night 9-of-10 from 3-point range, setting a school-record for 3-point field goal percentage (.900).

Her 41 points are tied for 14th in the NCAA this season. Her nine 3-pointers come in tied for second most in the nation.

Notes
Idaho now has at least one 3FGM in 279 consecutive games…Idaho hit 18 3's for a second consecutive game, tying a school that was set on Thursday at Southern Utah… Ferenz's 15 FGM are tied for second in program history…second game of 90+ points this season…season-high .581 3FG percentage…win number 140 for Newlee at Idaho…Pierce added to her career 3-point total, now 7th with 136 career 3's…Ferenz moved into eighth with 132 career 3's.

Quotes
Head Coach Jon Newlee

On impact of the road sweep
"We needed to get a sweep. We dropped a tough one at home [Idaho State]. To make up for that you have to win on the road, get sweeps and do things like we did tonight. I am so proud of our girls. They fought through a tough trip. It is a five hour bus trip from Southern Utah, longer with the snow. The travel problems getting out here and then the altitude. We like playing at 7,000 feet. We got wins here and at Wyoming. That is mental toughness."

On Mikayla Ferenz
"Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Every time I looked up the ball was going in. She gets 41 points and only shoots two foul shots. She was attacking hard, running hard in transition. Beth [Krause] and Taylor [Pierce] did a great job of finding her in transition. 21 assists tonight is a good number for us."

Upcoming 
The Vandals will look to continue their winning ways next week back at the Cowan Spectrum. Idaho will play host to Montana State on Thursday. The Bobcats won the first meeting of the season in Bozeman, 8-64. Idaho will look for the season sweep of Montana on Saturday. The Vandals took the first meeting, 86-59.

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