Idaho beats Southern Utah 83-68 in first round of Big Sky tourna - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Idaho beats Southern Utah 83-68 in first round of Big Sky tournament

Courtesy: Idaho Athletics Courtesy: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

RENO, Nev. – A hot start and a strong finish helped push Idaho past Southern Utah, 83-68, in the opening round of the 2017 Big Sky Tournament on Monday afternoon.  With the win, the Vandals move on to face No. 4 Eastern Washington at 2:35 p.m. on Wednesday at the Reno Events Center.
 
Idaho got out to a hot start, taking a 20-7 advantage midway through the first quarter behind three 3's from Brooke Reilly.  The Vandal defense was exceptional early on, holding the Thunderbirds to just two field goals in the first five minutes.  Southern Utah would mount its comeback late in the first quarter, cutting the Idaho advantage to 24-20 after one.
 
Southern Utah kept fighting going into the second, winning the quarter 16-13.  It was the Vandals, however, that closed out the half, with Karlee Wilson knocking down a 3-ball with 24 seconds to play to give Idaho the 37-36 lead at the break.
 
Southern Utah would take a lead of its own in the third quarter, but the Vandals responded yet again.  The Thunderbirds got up 47-42 with just under six minutes to play in the quarter, then the Vandals turned things on.  Idaho closed out the third frame on a 16-6 run to take a five-point advantage into the fourth.
 
Idaho was electric in the fourth quarter, shooting 7-of-11 from the floor to expand its lead to double-figures and cruise to the 83-68 win.
 
Mikayla Ferenz was the top scorer for the Vandals, finishing with 25 points, while Reilly added 18 points and 10 boards.  Wilson finished with 18 as well, while Taylor Pierce also finished in double-figures, scoring 13 points.
 
The Vandals finished the night 12-of-26 (46.2%) from beyond the arc, compared to just 1-of-8 (12.5%) by the Thunderbirds.  Idaho was also tremendous from the field overall, finishing 26-of-50 (52.0%).  The Vandals dominated on the glass, winning the battle of the boards 42-29.
 
Check back later for more notes, quotes and reactions from today's win.

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