Vandals win, will host second round at Memorial Gym
LOS ANGELES — Idaho women ‘s basketball jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 79-64 win Thursday, at Loyola Marymount in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Vandals will host their second round game Sunday, against Denver at Memorial Gym. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tickets are available now .
” It’s great to be coming home, ” said head coach Jon Newlee . ” Thanks to everyone who stepped up to get us home and have a NIT game in Memorial Gym. It’s going to be awesome. Let’s get that place rocking and sell it out. ”
The win is Idaho’s first in a WNIT since 1986 – when the Vandals went on to win the tournament.
Taylor Pierce led the first-half onslaught, scoring 20 points before the break. Pierce was 5-for-10 from three-point range in the first half, breaking the NCAA single-season record for three-pointers. She finished with 24 points, including five triples to bring her season total to 143.
Idaho led 45-22 at halftime. The Lions closed the gap to nine in the third quarter. After the Vandals pushed the lead back to 15 in the fourth quarter, LMU made another run and cut the margin to eight with just over a minute to play. Idaho responded by going 9-for-12 from the free throw line in the final 60 seconds to ice the game.
Lizzy Klinker matched Pierce with a career-high 24 points. Klinker added a career-best 15 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
Tickets for the second round matchup are $10. U of I students will be admitted for free.