Idaho uses 2nd half spark to get by Montana 75-50 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Idaho uses 2nd half spark to get by Montana 75-50

Vandals Fall to Cardinal 86-80 Vandals Fall to Cardinal 86-80

Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho—The Vandal women's basketball team closed out the home weekend with a 75-50 win over Montana on Saturday. The win improves Idaho to 5-4 in the Big Sky at the midway point of the conference season.

How it Happened
Idaho (10-10) trailed by one point, 15-14, after the first quarter. The Vandals got six of its 14 points from junior Geraldine McCorkell. She opened the game with Idaho's first five points. The Vandals shot 5-of-14 from the field, while Montana was 7-of-15 at the start. Idaho kept things close in the first, scoring seven points off Montana's five turnovers.

Montana (3-18, 0-10 BSC) got out to its largest lead, 18-14, inside the first minute of the second. The Vandals gained a 19-18 lead thanks to a Brigitte O'Neill 3-pointer with 6:55 on the clock. The lead changed hands seven times in the period, with Idaho getting a final grasp of it off a Bethany Krause layin, going up 27-26 with 3:48 to go. Idaho shot 8-of-16 from the field in the second, getting 12 points in the paint to help the Vandals build a 35-31 halftime-lead.

The Vandal defense shut down the Lady Griz in the second half, holding Montana to 19 total points. Idaho opened the third quarter on an 11-4 run, jumping out to a 46-35 lead. Senior Karlee Wilson scored six of her season-high 18 points in the third, helping Idaho double up Montana, 22-11, in the quarter.

Idaho's defensive play continued to frustrate Montana in the final 10 minutes. The Lady Griz shot 22.2 percent (4-for-18) in the final quarter. A 3-ball from Krause with 1:59 to go pushed Idaho to its largest lead of the night, 73-48. Idaho's bench accounted for 12 of its 18 points in the quarter. Sophomore Taylor Pierce led the final push, scoring eight of her 10 points in the quarter.

Wilson led all players with a season-high 18 points, ending just shy of her career-best 19. The senior point guard added a game-high six assists to go with her five rebounds. McCorkell saw her offensive success continue, closing with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Pierce rallied late to get her 10 points.

McKenzie Johnston led Montana with 11 points.

Keys
The Vandals played a solid all-around game on Saturday. The team did not seem to miss a beat after a hard fought loss to Montana State on Thursday. Idaho spread the ball around the court well, totaling 17 assists. All 11 available players got into the action, with eight different player getting to the hoop.
Idaho committed just four personal fouls the entire game, limiting Montana to three free throws on the afternoon. The Vandals forced 16 turnovers, leading to 19 points. Idaho also converted down low, out-scoring Montana 32-22 in the paint.

Notes
First career start for Sue Winger…win number 141 for Coach Newlee at Idaho…Idaho has now hit a 3-pointer in 281 consecutive games…Idaho's eight steals tied for the second most this season…Wilson's five steals matched a career-high and are the most by a Vandal this season…the four fouls against the Vandals were the least this season…Montana's three free throw attempts were the lowest total by an opponent this season…Montana's 30 total rebounds were also the fewest by an opponent this year.

Quotes
Head Coach Jon Newlee

On Karlee Wilson
"[Today was] definitely one of her best games. She really took it—and really sparked us today. Her defense was fantastic. It was great in Missoula too. She pressured the heck out of those point guards and really was just disruptive to their whole offensive scheme."

On scoring without the 3
"People are going to want to press out on the 3-point line against us. That just opens up lanes for us. I thought Geri McCorkell did that Thursday and today. She did a great job taking the ball to the rim and our shooters did a good job of attacking downhill and getting to the rim."

On defending without fouls
"We put that on the whiteboard today in the locker room. 'Defend without fouling,' These guys [Montana] do a good job of getting in and drawing fouls. They do a lot of posting up with those guards and try to draw fouls. We just wanted to play them straight up, keep them off the free-throw line and not give them anything easy."

Geraldine McCorkell
One Karlee Wilson
"Karlee always works hard no matter what day it is. Even if she is having a bad day she is working her ass off. We all look at her and are like, 'We need to be more like Karlee.' I think it is great. She does not always get the recognition. It is always Mikayla [Ferenz], Taylor [Pierce] or I. Just because we have the most points does not mean that Karlee is not working just as hard. She is our defensive motivation to get things done. I think it is great that she is getting recognized for it."

Karlee Wilson
On the feeling inside the locker room
"It was definitely different from Thursday. Montana State was an emotional game. We fought until very end. Everybody on our team put everything we had into that game. The mentality in this game was way different after. We were really excited. It is great to come off a loss, at home especially, and beat Montana the way we did."

Upcoming
The Vandals will get back on the road next week, opening the second half of the Big Sky season at Portland State and Sacramento State. Both the Vikings and the Hornets enter the week at .500 in the conference, sitting just back of Idaho.

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