Vandals Rout Eagles in Moscow - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals Rout Eagles in Moscow

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Courtesy: Idaho Athletics Courtesy: Idaho Athletics

by Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho—Idaho women's basketball earned sweet revenge on Eastern Washington on Saturday. The Vandals avenged their 10-point loss in Cheney with a 78-51 blowout over the Eagles inside the Cowan Spectrum.

The 27-point win margin marks the largest win for the Vandals over EWU since a 75-44 win on Dec. 10, 1999.

How it Happened
Idaho (14-11, 9-5 BSC) got down to the Eagles early in the first. Idaho called a timeout 1:54 into the game, after getting into an 8-2 hole. The Vandals battled back with an 8-0 run to take a 12-10 lead. Idaho was just 5-of-20 in the first, but scored from the free-throw line late in the quarter to help build a 15-12 by the end of the period.

Taylor Pierce scored nine of her 12 first-half points in the second quarter, going 3-for-4 from behind the arc. She kick-started a 9-0 run with a triple, putting Idaho up 26-21. Mikayla Ferenz and Sue Winger combined for six straight points to close the run at 32-21 with two minutes to play in the half. EWU chipped away late in the quarter, slimming the Idaho lead to 35-27.

EWU (14-11, 9-5 BSC) fell into a 16-point hole midway through the third. A Geraldine McCorkell 3 closed out a 6-0 run, putting the Vandals up 45-29 with 5:52 to play in the quarter. Pierce hit three 3's down in the final four minutes of third, including one before the buzzer, to put Idaho up 20 at the end of the period.

Idaho saw its lead increase to 67-38 thanks to a 9-0 open to the fourth quarter. The Vandals held Eastern to 25.0 percent from the field in the fourth, while the offense continued to get to the hoop. The Vandal bench totaled 12 of the 20 points in the period, getting contributions from Agueda Trujillo, Daylee Hanson, Jenale Lewallen and Isabelle Hadden. Idaho's lead got to 30 points off a Lewallen layin with 1:56 left to play, marking the largest lead of the day for the Vandals.

Pierce led a trio of Vandals in double figures. She closed the day 7-for-11 from 3, good for a game-high 23 points. Mikayla Ferenz scored 11 of her 18 points in the second half, going along with her seven rebounds. McCorkell recorded her fourth double-double of the season, totaling 11 points, 10 boards and four blocks off the bench.

Keys
As much as the offense is to credit for the win, the defense again shined bright on Saturday. The Vandals held EWU to 20 made field goals, tied for the second fewest by an opponent this season. The Eagles' 17 turnovers finished tied for the second most by an opposing team this year.

EWU did not score above 15 points in a quarter on Saturday, matching the mark in the second. Delaney Hodgins, the Big Sky's leading scorer with 18.1 points per game, was held to 14 points by the Vandal defense. No other Eagle hit double figures.

The Vandals did a good job of not giving into the physical nature of EWU. Idaho out-rebounded the Eagles, 46-34, snagging 17 offensive boards. The Vandals did all that down low while being whistled for just 15 personal fouls. EWU did not attempt a single free throw until the third quarter.
 
Notes
Idaho now has a 3-pointer in 286 consecutive games…Idaho's 17 made free throws tied a season-high…the team set a season-high with 21 free throw attempts…Idaho also matched a season-best with nine steals…McCorkell's eighth career double-double…Pierce now has now scored in double figures in nine straight games…seven 3's from Pierce gives her 157 on her career, seven shy of moving into a tie for fifth all-time…Ferenz now has 147 career 3's, seventh all-time...Karlee Wilson moved into 10th all-time in program history, now with 311 career assists.

Quotes
Head coach Jon Newlee
On impact of today's win
"I thought it was really big.  We knew coming in that we needed to one win at home and two get one back from Eastern. We knew this was going to be a big week for us."

On Idaho's defensive play
"I think they are [getting better as the year goes on]. We brought a lot of good defensive energy today. We followed the game plan and did a real good job of getting out on their shooters. They are a dangerous team and have three players that can score in bunches. Wendy does a fantastic job with them. To be able to play defense like we did today should give us a lot of confidence."

On Taylor Pierce and Mikayla Ferenz
"I thought Taylor looked extremely comfortable today. Again, everyone is all over Mikayla for sure. I thought she forced some things in the first half. We talked about letting the game come to her a bit more. People were getting open and we did a great job of moving the basketball in the second half."

Sophomore Taylor Pierce
On Geri McCorkell's blocks
"Well she does it to us in practice. So it is only fair that she has to do it to other teams. It is great to see her do that, because the coaches have been on her for her defense. When she goes out there and does that it is like, 'Dang man,' she can do what she just did."

On both Taylor and Mikayla having big games
"Usually it is like either one of us has a really good night and the other one is just right behind. Tonight it was both of us and it feels great because we put in so much time off the court. It is good to see it translate into a game."

Junior Geri McCorkell
On impact of the win
"It was pretty big because we have always been rivals with Idaho State and Eastern. I think it just makes it more exciting, going into Reno. To top off Eastern like we did today was pretty special because we have always had that rivalry. How we played against them last time was not the way we wanted it to go. To be playing like we are now is exciting. I think we are starting to peak and get things going."

Upcoming
Idaho heads off on its final road trip of the season next week. The Vandals will have rematches with Idaho State and Weber State. Idaho dropped the first game at home against the Bengals, 67-60. The Vandals will look for the season sweep of WSU, beating them 95-77 in the first matchup.

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