MOSCOW, Idaho — The Idaho women's basketball team connected on 19 triples, including 14 from its dynamic duo of Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce, en route to a 90-65 victory over Montana State on Saturday at Cowan Spectrum.
"The three-ball was definitely a difference in the entire game," MSU coach Tricia Binford said. "So was the glass. We lacked the effort and the resilience to play on somebody's home court and defend like we needed. There were a couple of possessions that they really earned those threes, but for the contest, I thought we were super flat.”
Idaho jumped out to a 23-10 advantage in the first quarter, connecting on five 3-pointers. The first-place Vandals pushed their lead to 19 points on a Ferenz triple at 6:25 in the second quarter. The Vandals held the 19-point margin going into intermission.
Montana State cut its deficit to 51-42 on a three-point play by Madeline Smith at the 3-minute mark of the third period. The Vandals quickly turned the momentum on back-to-back Ferenz 3-pointers to secure the Idaho victory.
“We made a good run in the third quarter, but I think they started to figure out a little bit of our change,” Binford said. “We were going a little bit of a zone on the make, and then man on the miss, and I thought that threw them off for a little bit.
“And then, once again, you let them get a little bit comfortable in something they start getting in a groove. With a deficit like that you’re continuing to play catch-up. We need to have a better start. We weren’t ready to go and that’s the outcome of the game.”
Ferenz finished with 32 points, while Pierce added 24. The duo converted 14 of 28 shots from beyond the arc. For the game, the Vandals shot 50.8 percent from the floor and were 19 of 38 from long distance.
Montana State had four players in double-figures. Tori Martell, Oliana Squires and Smith all recorded 13 points. Blaire Braxton added 10.
IDAHO STATE 80, SOUTHERN UTAH 47: At Pocatello, Idaho, the Bengals routed the Thunderbirds behind 53.3 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range. It was the fifth time this season ISU posted a field goal percentage of 50 or higher. Meanwhile, the Bengals forced 18 turnovers while holding Southern Utah to a low field goal percentage (34.0). Delaney Moore and Estefania Ors each had 15 points to lead the hosts.
PORTLAND STATE 85, NORTHERN COLORADO 66: At Portland, Ore., the Vikings knocked the Bears out of first place behind 22 points by Sidney Rielly. Ashley Bolton added 17 points for the hosts, who shot 50.8 percent from the field (33 for 65), Northern Colorado suffered through a 27-for-70 shooting day. Bears standout Savannah Smith was held to just five points.
NORTHERN ARIZONA 75, WEBER STATE 64: At Ogden, Utah, the Jacks dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring Weber State, 31-12. Northern Arizona trailed by nine points with eight minutes remaining. Coupled with their victory at Idaho State on Thursday, the Lumberjacks headed home with their first 2-0 Big Sky road trip in nearly 14 years. The last time NAU swept a conference road trip in a week was February of 2005 when it defeated Montana State and Montana.