MOSCOW, Idaho — Natalie Klinker scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds, while sister Lizzy Klinker added six points and five boards as the University of Idaho women’s basketball team defeated the University of Denver 88-66 in the second round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) on Sunday.
Natalie Klinker, a sophomore who played her high school basketball at Fairfield, played more than 31 minutes Saturday, making 3 of 5 field goals and hitting a pair of free throws. She also added two steals, a blocked shot and an assist in a key contributing role for the Vandals, who advance to the third round of the WNIT later this week.
Lizzy Klinker, a Utah State transfer who played at both Fairfield and Great Falls High, joined her younger sister in the starting lineup, playing just shy of 20 minutes and hitting 3 of 5 from the field. She also had a steal in the win.
Idaho’s “Splash Sisters” — Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce — led the Vandals with 49 combined points, 33 from Ferenz, who made five 3-pointers. Pierce added 16 points on five 3s of her own as Idaho rallied from a 41-32 first-half deficit.
The Vandals outscored the Pioneers 36-9 in the third quarter to take a 68-50 lead, one they would never relinquish. Denver shot nearly 60 percent in the first half, but was held to 8-of-28 shooting in the final 20 minutes.
The Klinkers and Idaho continue their season on Thursday, traveling to Tucson, Ariz. to meet the Arizona Wildcats in the WNIT’s Round of 16. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. MDT start at McKale Center.