Idaho women fall to Idaho State 80-69 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Idaho women fall to Idaho State 80-69

By Idaho Athletics

POCATELLO, Idaho—Idaho's chances of a first-round bye at the Big Sky Tournament took a blow on Thursday. Idaho State continued to protect its home court against the Vandal women's basketball team. The Bengals scored a season-high en route to an 11-point defeat of the Vandals, 80-69.

The Vandals struggles continue in southern Idaho. ISU has won the last five meetings in Pocatello. The Vandals last win came on Feb. 10, 1996.

The loss drops Idaho down to sixth in the Big Sky standings. Idaho State and Eastern Washington remain in a tie for fourth at 10-5 in conference play.

How it Happened
Idaho (14-12, 9-6 BSC) had a quick start to the contest. Brigitte O'Neill hit a pair of 3's and Karlee Wilson added a third, helping Idaho start 3-for-3 from long range. Idaho built up an 11-3 lead in the first 3:30 of the quarter. Idaho State withstood the early blows, fighting back to a four point deficit, 18-14, at the end of the quarter.

ISU (16-10, 10-5 BSC) flipped the script in the second quarter. The Bengals used an 8-4 run to tie the game up at 22. Idaho answered with back-to-back Agueda Trujillo baskets, putting the Vandals back in front 26-22. The home team got hot midway through quarter, going on an 8-0 run, gaining a 32-28 lead. ISU shot 4-for-6 from 3-point distance in the second, including a timely three from Estefania Ors put the Bengals up 37-34 at the half.

Brooke Reilly tied the game up at 37 in Idaho's first possession of the third. Ors tallied her fourth 3 of the game, putting ISU up by five at the 6:40 mark. A Taylor Pierce triple cut the Idaho State lead to two, 48-46, with 4:48 to go in the quarter. Idaho State closed the quarter with field goals in its final five possessions, extending its lead to 60-50.

Sai Tapasa put the Bengals up by 12 in the first minute of the fourth quarter, a mark ISU would reach three more times before the final whistle. Idaho got three quick points from Wilson to cut the Bengal advantage down to seven with under three minutes to go, but could not get any closer.

Three Vandals hit double figures in the loss. Reilly led the team with 13 points and seven rebounds. Wilson and Ferenz both finished the night with 11 points. Wilson added a game-high six assists.

Freya Newton totaled a game-high 21 points, closing 7-of-10 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. Ors went 4-for-nin from 3-point range, closing with 14 points.

Keys
It turned out to be an uncharacteristic night for the Vandal defense. Idaho State entered the night averaging 60.5 points and 5.9 3-pointers per game. The Bengals went off for season-highs in points (21) and 3-point field goal percentage (66.7 percent). ISU's 12 made 3's were its second most of the season.

Ors threw up a career-high six 3-point attempts, tying her career-best with her three makes. Newton also set career-highs in points and field goals made.

Notes
The Vandals have now hit a 3-pointer in 287 consecutive games…the Vandals fall to 5-3 on the road in Big Sky play…Idaho matched a season-high with nine steals…ISU's 80 points tied for the third most by an opponent this season…ISU's .537 (29-for-54) field goal percentage is the best by an Idaho opponent this season…O'Neill set a career-high with her eight points.
 
Quotes
Head coach Jon Newlee

On overall performance
"They [Idaho State] shot the heck out of the basketball. You have to give them credit. They are a team that usually does not shoot as well as they did. They shoot better here at home and they came ready to play. They just made shots. I loved our start. The two fouls on Mikayla were killer. I could not play her that second quarter, taking all our momentum away."

On Idaho's defense
"When you give up 80 points to a team that averages 58 to 60 points again, something is not going right. I was really disappointed in our execution of the defensive game plan. They got really out of sorts. I am not sure if it was the fouling or what it was. It certainly did not go our way."

On 3-point shooting
"We let them get way to comfortable at the 3-point line tonight without a doubt. We had a few misses at crucial times where we could have got back in the game. They made theirs and we did not make ours. It was a huge swing for them."

Upcoming
Idaho will play its final road game of the season on Saturday at Weber State. The Wildcats fell 70-42 against Eastern Washington on Thursday. Idaho won the first meeting, 95-77, back in Moscow.

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

Be sure to get your Big Sky Tournament tickets by visiting GoVandals.com/tickets.

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