(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – Idaho connected on 19 3-pointers, including fourteen from its dynamic duo of Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce, en route to a 90-65 victory over Montana State on Saturday afternoon at Cowan Spectrum.
“The three-ball was definitely a difference in the entire game,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “So was the glass. We lacked the effort and the resilience to play on somebodies home-court and defend like we needed, too. There were a couple of possessions that they really earned those threes, but for the contest, I thought we were super flat.”
Idaho (13-8, 10-2) jumped out to a 23-10 advantage after the opening 10-minutes, connecting on five 3-pointers in the opening stanza. The Vandals pushed its lead to 19-points on Ferenz’ first triple of the game at the 6:25 mark of the second quarter. UI held the 19-point margin going into intermission.
Montana State (12-11, 7-6) chipped the lead down to 51-42 on an old-fashion three-point play by Madeline Smith at the 3-minute mark of the third period. It capped an 18-8 Bobcat run. The Vandals quickly turned the momentum on back-to-back Ferenz three-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,” she added. “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, while Blaire Braxton notched ten. The Bobcats shot 38.5 percent from the field and were five-of-23 from three-point range.
Idaho held a 44-31 advantage under the boards. MSU was led under the glass by Smith and Braxton with five and four rebounds, respectively.
The Bobcats will host Idaho State on Thursday night in Worthington Arena.