Vandal women grit out a win over Sacramento State for road sweep

Vandal women grit out a win over Sacramento State for road sweep

Despite a slow start in the first quarter, Idaho women’s basketball found a way to hold off a gritty Sacramento Hornets team in 69-65 win Saturday afternoon. The Vandals stay atop the Big Sky Conference standings with a 15-3 league record and 18-9 overall record. With two more games left of the conference season, Idaho looks to win its way to a Big Sky regular season title.

Taylor Pierce led all scorers with 26 points on 8-of 19 shooting from the field and 5-of-16 from the three. She shot perfection from the stripe, two of which secured the game for the Vandals in the last seconds.

Not too far behind, Mikayla Ferenz put pup 25 points hitting nine baskets from the field and four triples, including a three that helped the Vandals to a two-point lead with 30 seconds left in the game. She added six boards and two assists.

An 8-0 run by the Hornets put the Vandals in unfamiliar waters as Idaho played catch up in the first frame. Idaho worked to pull the game within three points, 16-13, by the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, Idaho tied the ball-game twice before taking its first lead on a three-point play by Gina Marxen . Marxen, who had eight assists in the first half, found an open Pierce at the elbow to put Idaho up by its largest lead in the half, five points, 33-28.

The Vandals enjoyed a seven-point lead early in the third quarter. At the 4:36 mark, the Hornets found space to cut the lead to one, but Idaho regained its seven-point advantage by the end of the third, 54-47.

Not giving up, the Hornets used another long scoring run, 9-0, to erase a ten-point deficit in the final quarter. The score tied twice before the Vandals found themselves trailing by one point with 57 seconds left in regulation. Idaho called a timeout. With 30 secs left in the game and time expiring on the shot clock, an open Ferenz sinks a three-pointer that gave the lead back to the Vandals. After two quick timeouts by the Hornets, Idaho gets the stop needed and ends the game on the free-throw line, 69-65.

Idaho returns to Moscow for its final two games of the regular season with Weber State up first on Thursday, March 7 at 6 p.m.