Vandal women advance to Big Sky semi-final

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The Idaho women take down Southern Utah behind a 23-point night from Lizzy Klinker

BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Vandals women’s basketball team defeated Portland State, 56-54, on Tuesday evening in the Big Sky Championships. After trailing for most of the game, the Vandals outscored Portland State 18-12 in the fourth period to secure the win and move on to the Big Sky Conference Semifinals. Natalie Klinker led the way for the Vandals with a double-double, recording 15 points and 12 rebounds. Lizzy Klinker had 19 points, while Beyonce Bea chipped in 16 points and eight boards.

The Vandals opened the game on a 6-0 run, forcing a quick timeout by the Vikings. However, Portland State would not go away lightly, and the two teams battled back and forth in the first, finishing tied, 16-16 at the end of the first period. Beyonce Bea gave the Vandals a two-point lead, 18-16, to open the second quarter following a jumper in the paint. Portland State responded with a 9-2 run over the next eight minutes, to lead by five, 25-20. Natalie Klinker cut the Viking’s lead to one, 26-27, at the free-throw line just before halftime.

Portland State jumped out to an eight-point lead in the early goings of the third period to lead 36-28. Idaho responded with a 10-4 run to cut Portland State’s lead to two, 38-40 with 50 second left in the period.
The Vandals scored 18 points in the fourth period; a game high. Lizzy Klinker jumpstarted the Vandals early in the period with a jumper, less than five seconds in.

Klinker then tied the game, 42-42 with a breakaway layup at the 8:39 mark in the period. Neither team was able to pull away down the stretch of the fourth. With 2:18 to play in the fourth, Natalie Klinker fought to secure an offensive rebound and was fouled on her put-back to give the Vandals a one-point lead, 51-50. Beyonce Bea extended the Vandals lead to three, 55-52 with 15 seconds left following a layup.
The Vandals would go on to win, 56-54, and advance to the conference semifinals.

The Klinker sisters combined for 34 of Idaho’s 56 points, while also totaling a combined 17 rebounds.  Lizzy led the Vandals with 19 points, while Natalie totaled a team-high 12 boards, to go along with 15 points.

Idaho won the battle on the boards, 41-31 over Portland State, including 16 offensive rebounds which generated 15 second chance points.

The Vandals turned the ball over just eight times and forced the Vikings into 13 turnovers.

Each side pounded the paint inside with 26 points each.
Portland State and Idaho each recorded 13 team assists. Gina Marxen led the Vandals with nine assists.