Vandals Reign Supreme Over NAU
MOSCOW, Idaho — The Splash Sisters brought the rain Saturday, leading the Vandals with 54 combined points in Idaho’s 83-68 win over Northern Arizona. The dynamic duo of Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce hit 13 of Idaho’s 15 3’s on the day, fueling Idaho’s 42.9 percent showing from beyond the arc.
Individually, it proved to be a monumental day for Ferenz. She scored a game-high 33 points, jumping her up two spots into eighth on Idaho’s all-time scoring list with 1,385 career points.
How It Happened
Idaho (8-10, 4-3) got the afternoon started with back-to-back 3’s from Ferenz and Pierce, setting the stage for the rest of the first half. The Vandals opened on a 10-0 run, holding Northern Arizona scoreless for the first four minutes of the quarter.
NAU (4-14, 1-6) fought its way back to a one-possession game in the second quarter. The Lumberjacks slimmed Idaho’s lead to 36-35 with 3:07 left to play in the quarter. Ferenz and Pierce answered with a 12-0 run to get the Vandals lead back to double-digits, 48-35. Pierce closed Idaho’s scoring with three consecutive 3’s.
The Splash Sisters totaled 10 of Idaho’s 11 3’s in the first half. Ferenz went 5-for-10, while Pierce shot 5-of-8. Freshman Allison Kirby hit Idaho’s only other 3 of the half.
The Silver and Gold kept NAU at a distance the rest of the afternoon. The Lumberjacks got within single digits a handful of time times after the half, never getting closer than six points The Vandal defense held the Lumberjacks to 15 points in each of the last two quarters, allowing just five field goals.
Geraldine McCorkell recorded her second straight double-double. She totaled 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Ferenz finished just shy of a double-double, closing with nine rebounds on the day. She wrapped 6-of-13 on the day from 3. Pierce led the team with seven triples, giving her 21 points.
Head Coach Jon Newlee
“I loved our energy. I think defensively we did a great job. In the second quarter, they [NAU] got hot. They have some excellent 3-point shooters. We didn’t do a good job of finding them in the second quarter. I think for the other three quarters we really stuck to the gameplan and did a great job. We made a change in our defense in that second quarter and the last two quarters it was really effective for us.
“I loved our offensive flow. I thought we were able to get out and run the ball. We got our shooters in space and gave them some pretty good looks.”
On scoring from Ferenz, Pierce and McCorkell
“It is just the way it has been going this year. They can score. I’d love to get some more contributions from some other people. I thought Allison had a couple of really good looks from 3 that she was going to knock down. Isabelle was under the weather today and did a great job of playing 15 minutes while sick. So the other guys had to step up. That is what we got. That is all we need though.”
On Idaho’s defense
“Just like Thursday, we talked about our rebounding this week after that Eastern game. Our emphasis this week was rebounding and I think we did a great job of getting in there, boxing people out and limiting them to one shot. I thought we did a good job of that.”