LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Lizzy Klinker scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, each team-highs, to lead the Idaho Vandals past Loyola-Marymount 79-64 in the opening round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday evening.
Klinker, who played at both Fairfield and Great Falls High, hit 9 of 15 field goal attempts, including a 3-of-4 performance from behind the 3-point line, on her way to the 24 points. The Utah State transfer grabbed five offensive rebounds and added 10 more on the defensive end to pace the Vandals, who will host the University of Denver in the second round of the WNIT on Sunday in Moscow, Idaho.
Klinker’s younger sister, Natalie, added two points and three rebounds for Idaho, which led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
Taylor Pierce tied Lizzy Klinker with 24 points in the win.
Thursday marked the second consecutive year Idaho has participated in the WNIT, after the Vandals earned the top seed in the Big Sky Conference Tournament but fell to eventual champion Portland State in the semifinals. The Vandals didn’t advance past the opening round last March.
Idaho (21-11) and Denver (18-13) are scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. PDT on Sunday after the Pioneers defeated New Mexico 83-75 in their opening game of the tournament on Thursday.