Newlee becomes Vandals all-time wins leader; Idaho defeats Sacra - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Newlee becomes Vandals all-time wins leader; Idaho defeats Sacramento State 72-58

The Vandals will enter the 2016 NCAA Tournament as a No. 16 seed in the Dallas Region. The Vandals will enter the 2016 NCAA Tournament as a No. 16 seed in the Dallas Region.

Idaho Athletics

SACRAMENTO—Idaho head coach Jon Newlee did not have to wait long for win No. 143 as a Vandal. A game after tying Pat Dobratz for most career wins at Idaho, he jumped past her with a 72-58 win over Sacramento State on Saturday.

Idaho (12-10, 7-4 BSC) beat Sacramento State in its own game. The Hornets began the day second in the NCAA with 11.3 3-pointers per game, while Idaho was fourth with 10.5. The Silver and Gold quieted the Hornets from deep, limiting Sac State to two 3's in the game—its lowest total since two against UC Davis on Dec. 30, 2012.

How it Happened
Idaho got out in front early and never looked back. Taylor Pierce hit Idaho's first field goal, a long 3-pointer, to put Idaho up 3-2 inside the first 30 seconds of the contest. Idaho hit five 3's in the quarter, using great perimeter defense to hold Sacramento State to just two attempts from deep.

The Vandals again blanked Sac State from 3-point range in the second, holding the Hornets to 0-for-7 from deep in the first half. Idaho got seven of its 14 points the quarter from the bench. Brigitte O'Neill gave the Vandals a 29-17 advantage, hitting Idaho's seventh triple of the half. The Vandals shot 38.9 percent from beyond the arc in the half, helping themselves to a 33-21 lead at the break.

Idaho's hot hand continued in the third, outscoring Sacramento State 29-16. Mikayla Ferenz totaled nine points, playing all 10 minutes of the third. She went 3-of-5 from the field, helping Idaho shoot 64.3 percent from the field. Justyce Dawson finally got a 3 to fall for the Hornets at the 8:03 mark, cutting the Idaho lead to 38-25. Brooke Reilly and O'Neill converted on back-to-back 3's to put Idaho up 57-31 with 1:41 to go in the frame. Freshman Issabelle Hadden came off the bench late in the quarter and drilled a 3 on her first shot to put Idaho up 27, 60-33.

Sacramento State (8-13, 4-6 BSC) got its offense going in the fourth, but it was too little too late. Hadden opened the fourth with her second 3 of the game, giving Idaho a 28-point lead, its largest of the day. A Karlee Wilson layup brought the lead back to 28, 67-39, with 7:08 left to play. The Hornets outscored Idaho 21-10 in the quarter, cutting the lead down to 14 by the final buzzer.

Four Vandals scored in double figures on the day. Ferenz led the way for Idaho with 17 points and eight rebounds. Wilson was perfect from the free-throw line, helping her to 11 points to go with her five rebounds and four assists. Reilly and Pierce both added 10 points.

Gretchen Harrigan scored 23 points to lead the Hornets. Maranne Johnson, Sac State's leading scorer, was held to just nine points, well behind her 16.3 average.

Keys
Everyone in attendance expected today's contest to be a 3-point shootout. Idaho's defense made it a one sided show, holding Sacramento State to season-lows on 3-point makes (two) and attempts. The Hornets' 15 total 3-point attempts were their least since trying 13 at Weber State on Feb. 28, 2013.

Idaho came out firing from the start. Three of the Vandals' first four field goals were from 3-point distance. Idaho's 3-point total by halftime evened Sacramento State's total scoring, 21-21. Sac State's 21 points in the first half was also the fewest by a Hornet team in three years.

Johnson was really held in check by the Vandal defenders in the first half. She was held scoreless in the first twenty minutes, limited to just three field goal attempts.   

Notes
Career win No. 143 for Coach Newlee…Idaho has hit a 3-pointer in its last 283 consecutive games…Idaho's 46.9 3FG percentage was its second best of the season…the Vandals tied a season-high with five blocks…Sac State's 20 field goals were the second fewest by an opponent this season (18, CWU)…the Hornets two 3FGs were also second fewest by an opponent this season (0, LCSC)…Pierce continues to be sixth all-time with 147 career 3's…with five 3's today Ferenz sits two back from tying for seventh all-time, now with 140 career 3's…four assists for Wilson gives her 296 in her career, 11th all-time…Idaho has now hit 15+ 3's in a game in six times this season...Idaho improves to 8-5 on the road and 5-2 on the road in the Big Sky.

Quotes
Head coach Jon Newlee
On become Idaho's all-time win leader
"It feels great. Got a little wet in the locker room. Those girls surprised me and dosed me with a bunch of water. They had written stuff on the board, so that was great. They made it special for me in that locker room. That is what it is about. It is about those kids and players through the years. Like I said the other day, all my assistant coaches, especially Christa Sanford is the main reason for all the success.

On Idaho's defensive play
"I thought we did a great job of really sticking to the game plan, playing really great perimeter defense. We challenged our guys with a lot of one-on-one stuff today. To come out with the type of defensive intensity, especially on the second game of the road trip, was unbelievable. I told them that was our best defensive effort of the season."

On getting out to a fast start
"That was a big key. You get down to these guys and they just feed on it. They are like sharks in the water when you get behind. They really do a great job with that. You have to get ahead of them and put the pressure on them. I thought we handled their early defensive pressure well. We made some shots early and had a great first quarter. That was definitely key in this game."

Upcoming
Idaho returns home for its longest home-stand of the season next week. The Vandals will take on three of the top teams in the conference, beginning with Northern Colorado. The Bears lost their first conference game of the season on Saturday to North Dakota. Idaho will play UND and EWU to round out the home stand.

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

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