Klinker sisters each record a double-double as Idaho edges Montana 52-51
MOSCOW, Idaho — The University of Idaho Women’s basketball team (10-5, 5-1) took down the Montana Lady Griz (9-7, 4-3) Saturday afternoon, 52-51 in Cowan-Spectrum Arena. Lizzy and Natalie Klinker each recorded a double-double, to lead the Vandals. Idaho trailed Montana by as many as eight points throughout the game. However, a layup from Natalie to put the Vandals ahead 52-51 with 2:18 remaining would be enough for the win. The Vandals made a strong defensive effort in the end to win 52-51 and hand Montana their third Big Sky loss. The Klinker’s combined for all of Idaho’s 15 points in the final period.
Idaho fell behind early to Montana, 10-3, with 4:32 remaining in the period. After a timeout Idaho responded with a 9-0 to take a 12-10 lead over Montana at the 1:57 mark, following a steal and layup from Caitlyn Jones. Gina Marxen added a three in the last minute of the period to put Idaho up 15-10. The Vandals closed the final 4:32 of the first period on a 14-1 run to take a 17-11 lead into the second period.
The Vandals held the lead for the entire second period as each team totaled 20 points. Idaho led 37-31 at halftime after a 53.3 percent shooting performance form the floor in the second period.
The third period was all defense as the Lady Griz held Idaho to zero points in the period. Idaho made a defensive stance in the third, only allowing nine points to Montana. The Lady Griz led 40-37 entering the fourth.
It didn’t take long for Idaho to get on the board in the fourth period as Natalie Klinker scored her 11th point of the game less than 20 seconds in, cutting the deficit to 40-39. Following the basket, Montana began an 8-0 run to go up 45-39 over Idaho with 8:16 left in the game. Idaho responded with a 6-0 run, cutting the deficit to 45-47 with 5:56 to play. The run included back-to-bak and-1 plays form Lizzy Klinker, who then tied the game 48-48 from the free-throw line with 4:23 to go. A little over a minute later Natalie found an easy bucket inside to put Idaho ahead 50-49 with 3:10 before scoring again inside to put the squad up 52-51 with 2:18 to play. A strong defensive stance by Idaho in the end sealed the win, 52-51.
Idaho shot just 31.6 percent from the floor in the game while holding Montana to just 30.6 percent.
The Vandals won the turnover battle with the Lady Griz, 13-8. Idaho forced Montana into 10 first half turnovers.
While not shooting the three-pointer well, the Vandals focused on inside scoring and totaled 30 points in the paint, compared to just 20 by Montana.
Idaho’s strong defensive effort included six blocks and seven steals.
Montana shot just 25 percent from the field in the fourth period while Idaho posted a 45.5 percent shooting percentage in the final ten minutes.
Lizzy and Natalie Klinker carried the Vandals throughout the contest with a combined 31 points and 24 rebounds, including 15 points combined in the fourth period. Natalie led the way offensively with a game-high 15 points while Lizzy led the way on the boards with 13. Natalie also chipped in 11 rebounds while Lizzy also scored 13 points. The Klinkers grabbed a combined seven offensive rebounds and each totaled five points from the free-throw line.
The Vandals will hit the road for a trip to Greeley, Colorado to face Northern Colorado next Saturday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m.