Vandals fail to end losing streak vs. MSU; lose to Bobcats 66-61 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals fail to end losing streak vs. MSU; lose to Bobcats 66-61

Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho—Idaho had its chances, but could not fully get over the hump against Montana State on Thursday. The Bobcats clung to a late fourth-quarter lead and beat Idaho for the eighth consecutive meeting, 66-61.

How it Happened
Junior Geraldine McCorkell provided Idaho's offense from the opening of the night. She scored Idaho's first six points and eight of the Vandals' 15 total points in the first quarter. The Vandals, continuing a growing trend, had a slow start to the game. Idaho was held to just four field goals in the quarter, getting a bulk of the scoring done from the free-throw line.

Idaho (9-10, 4-4 BSC) cut the MSU lead to 18-17 off a McCorkell layup, closing out a 6-0 run in the opening seconds of the second quarter. The Vandals would get within one a total of four times in the quarter. Taylor Pierce hit Idaho's lone 3-pointer of the half with 3:27 to go, closing the gap to 27-26. Montana State got its final five points of the half from the hands of Peyton Ferris to go up 35-30 at the break.  

Montana State (14-5, 7-2 BSC) saw its lead again trimmed to one in the third quarter thanks to a McCorkell triple, cutting the score to 39-38. A quick 5-0 run from the Bobcats put them back in front by six, 44-38. Brooke Reilly and Pierce both hit key layups while drawing fouls in the final minute. Pierce's opportunity tied the game at 48 in the quarter's final 15 seconds.

The fourth quarter was back and forth at the start. Idaho regained the lead for the first time since 2-0 off a Mikayla Ferenz layin with 8:12 to play. MSU tied the game up at 50 and McCorkell fired back with another 3, taking a 53-50 lead. Ferris scored six straight points in the midst of a 9-0 Bobcat run, handing MSU a 59-53 lead with under four minutes to play. The Silver and Gold chipped away and cut the deficit to two, 61-59, with another 3-ball from Pierce with 1:47 to go. With 44 seconds to play Delany Junkermier hit a back-breaking 3-pointer, her only field goal of the night, to put away Idaho  

The Vandals finished the night outshooting the Bobcats, 37.5 percent to 33.8 percent. Idaho was solid on the glass, out-rebounding Montana State 47-41. The Bobcats held the slight edge from long range, hitting 7-of-24, while Idaho finished 6-of-23.

McCorkell led the Vandals with her second double-double of the season. She closed with a team-high 22 points and game-best 13 rebounds. Pierce snuck into double figures with 12 points, going 4-of-9 from the field.

Ferris led all players with 24 points. Riley Nordgaard added 15 points, while Hannah Caudill finished with 12.

Keys
Peyton Ferris, the 2016 Big Sky Preseason MVP, played exactly like an MVP on Thursday. She was perfect from the field in the first half, scoring 11 points. Ferris did not miss a shot until her first attempt of the fourth quarter. She finished up 10-for-18 from the field with five of her nine rebounds on the offensive glass.

The Vandals turned the ball over way too much in this game. Montana State was credited with 10 steals, while Idaho gave the ball away a total of 20 times. The Bobcats 22 points off turnovers, all coming in the last three quarter.  
 
Notes
Idaho has hit a 3-pointer in 280 consecutive games…Idaho is now 3-4 in games decided by five points or less…McCorkell's sixth career double-double…Idaho's 47 rebounds tied for a season-high…Idaho's 20 turnovers were second most this season (21 at EWU)…Pierce now has 138 career 3's, seventh all-time…Ferenz is now at 134 career 3's, eighth all time.
 
Quotes
Head Coach Jon Newlee
On Peyton Ferris
"She is a great player. I thought she made some incredibly difficult shots throughout the game. In that first half she got some contested shots, kind of throwing stuff up inside. She is a load when she gets the basketball down there. She does a great job. She is tough. She is a hell of a player.

On Idaho's turnovers
"I saw some people trying to make something out of nothing instead of passing the basketball. You just have to trust your teammates and pass the ball. We had our heads down and had some people open. A lot of those turnovers were off the drive. They were not really steals. I think we were getting bumped off the ball a little bit. We have to learn to be stronger and tougher with the ball, while making better decisions."

Geri McCorkell
On the series with Montana State
"We want to play them in the Big Sky Tournament. Our first game this year was terrible against them and we know that. This game was on us. We had 20 turnovers. That is not good in any game. I think next time we will clean it up ourselves, we will keep the defensive intensity and I think it will be a good game."

Upcoming
Idaho will take on Montana on Saturday at the Cowan Spectrum. The Vandals defeated the Lady Griz, 86-59, earlier this season in Missoula. Montana is on a down turn this year, winless in the Big Sky.

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