Courtesy: Montana State Sports Information
Montana State rolled past Idaho 80-64 with help of its underclassmen, Saturday in front of 1,667 fans in Worthington Arena.
Senior Peyton Ferris, coming off a season-high 30 points against Eastern Washington, scored a game-high 22 points for the Bobcats, despite playing less than half the game due to early foul trouble. Senior Riley Nordgaard, who also found herself in foul trouble, finished with just eight points but managed to grab a season-high 13 rebounds.
With the duo of Ferris and Nordgaard limited, sophomore Annika Lai did impressive job scoring a career-high 15 points, doubling her average of 7.4 points per game. Lai finished the game connecting on seven-of-13 from the field and played a starter-caliber 29 minutes. Freshman Madeline Smith also had an impressive showing, scoring 13 points on six-of-eight shooting. Smith has stepped in as a key reserve lately, posting her fourth straight double digit scoring game.
"This was the best game of the year from a tempo stand-point for us offensively," said MSU 12th year head coach Tricia Binford. "It certainly happened by the energy we had on the defensive end. That's an extremely tough team to guard. We challenged the players, particularly the fives, to defend around the perimeter and I just loved our relentless energy on that end of the floor."
Idaho came into the game after an impressive shooting performance against the Montana on Thursday night connecting on 14 3-pointers. The Vandals looked to continue their hot shooting against the Cats, attempting nine 3-pointers in the first quarter alone. The 3's did not fall as the Vandals failed to convert on in the first quarter and shot two-of-nine from behind the arc in the second frame.
The Vandals finished shooting eight-of-36 from 3-point range. Despite knocking down five triples in the fourth quarter, the Vandals were never able to keep up with MSU as the Bobcats led wire-to-wire.
Mikayla Ferenz paced the Vandals with 19 points, while Geraldine McCorkell registered 17 and Taylor Pierce 14.
The Bobcats moved to 10-4 overall and 3-1 in Big Sky Conference play, while Idaho slipped to 6-8 overall and 1-2 in league action.
MSU will play at North Dakota on Thursday night in Grand Forks.