Wilson Shines on Senior Night as Idaho Tops Southern Utah - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Wilson Shines on Senior Night as Idaho Tops Southern Utah

Courtesy: Idaho Athletics Courtesy: Idaho Athletics

by Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho-Senior night for Karlee Wilson will be one that is not soon forgotten. The senior guard flirted with a triple-double while matching a career-high 19 points in Idaho's 76-61 win over Southern Utah on Friday.

The win on Friday means Idaho will be the No. 5 seed in next week's Big Sky Tournament in Reno, Nev.

How it Happened
Idaho (16-13, 11-7 BSC) opened the night with a 0-for-5 start from the field. Things were revered for Southern Utah, who used an 8-0 run, to go up 10-3 inside the first five minutes. The Vandals answered back with an 8-0 run of their own, taking a 13-12 lead off a Taylor Pierce 3-pointer. Idaho extended the run to 11-0 to end the quarter with a 16-12 lead.

Junior Geraldine McCorkell scored Idaho's first seven points in the second to keep Idaho in front, 23-20. Brooke Reilly put Idaho up by eight, 28-20, with the first of her three 3's. The Thunderbirds climbed back within one, 30-29, with an 8-0 run closing at the 1:04 mark of the quarter. Pierce hit a triple from eight feet behind the arc to extend the Idaho lead to 33-29 at the break.

Southern Utah (7-22, 2-16 BSC) trimmed the Idaho lead to 35-32 in the opening two minutes of the third quarter. That would be a close as the visitors would get the rest of the way. A 3 from Wilson immediately put Idaho back up by six. Two more 3's from Reilly and Sue Winger helped cap off a 23-point quarter, giving Idaho a 56-47 lead.

Idaho's advantage grew to 15 off a Reilly 3 with 6:43 mark of the fourth. Wilson's third three of the night put Idaho by its largest margin of the night, 70-52, with 4:26 to play. Wilson scored nine of her 20 points in the final quarter, including six from the free-throw line.

Five Vandals reached double figures scoring totals. McCorkell posted 16 points, closing just shy of a double-double with eight rebounds. Pierce added 13 points, going 3-for-7 from behind the arc. Reilly tied her season-high with 3 3-pointers, totaling 11 points. Ferenz totaled 10 points, going a perfect 6-fo-6 from the free-throw line.

Jessica Richardson led Southern Utah with 17 points.

Offense: Karlee Wilson was the spark for Idaho on Friday. She was all over the floor and the stat sheet. Her eight rebound tied a career-high, grabbing seven on the defensive glass. She scored 16 points in the second half, while totaling six of her rebounds and four of her assists.

Defense: Idaho held Southern Utah to 0-for-11 from 3-point range, outscoring the Thunderbirds 36-0. The Vandals withstood SUU's initial punch in the first quarter and picked up the intensity the remainder of the night. The Vandals forced 11 turnovers that led to 15 points for Idaho.

Idaho's 11th different starting lineup of the season…Idaho now has 290 consecutive games with a 3-pointer…second time this season an opponent was shutout from 3-point range (LCSC)…first time in almost a year the Vandals had five players score double figures (EWU, 3/11/16)…Idaho finished the season 6-0 when shooting .400-.449 from 3-point range (.400 tonight).

Head Coach Jon Newlee
Overall thoughts
"I thought we started out pretty sluggish again. It was kind of like Thursday. After our timeout we talked about picking up our effort and our intensity. I thought from that point forward we did a much better job. It was a tough battle. They are a very good basketball team. I know Chris [Boettcher] always has them ready to play. He does a fantastic job with that team. We really had to bring it tonight."

On playing for the seniors
"I think they did a great job. I think the team rallied around our seniors. Karlee [Wilson] obviously had a good game. It is a great way to go out as a senior. Everybody wants their seniors to go out with a win. I think everybody realized they were going to have to play a little harder than they were in the first few minutes. This team just came off a good win in Cheney against Eastern Washington. They are a good team. You cannot just show up in this league and think you are going to win.

On Karlee Wilson
"She brought it. She plays so hard every day in practice in in every game. She brings it defensively and offensively. She is the heart and soul of this team. People were definitely feeding off of her energy. She really put it in another gear in the second half and just played great on both ends."

Karlee Wilson
On her performance
"My teammates did a good job finding me. Most teams put an emphasis on Geri [McCorkell], Taylor [Pierce} and Mikayla [Ferenz]. They did a really good job of helping off me and Brooke tonight. They did a really good job of finding us and knocking down our shots. We moved the ball really well in the second half. My team gave me a lot of confidence at halftime, telling me to keep shooting. That helped a lot. I had to do it for my team."

On rematch with Southern Utah
"Our motto before this game was effort, energy and intensity. Some things just do not go your way sometimes, but you have to play harder than the other team if you want to get a win in this league. You have to play 40 minutes. Despite our slow start I think we did that."

Geri McCorkell
On playing for the seniors
"I think it was important to send them off with a win. They have been here for four years and given everything to the program. Playing really well and playing as a team for them was really important, because they have contributed so much.

On rematch with Southern Utah
"I think it is really important that we concentrate on our effort and energy. That is what got us through this game tonight. They have some great players. A lot of it is going to be on us to stop them by doing all the little stuff."

Next up for the Vandals is the Big Sky Tournament on Monday. Idaho enters as the No. 5 seed and will play No. 12 Southern Utah. Idaho owns the season series, 2-0, and has won the last seven meetings between the teams. The winner will go on and face No. 4 Eastern Washington on Wednesday.

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