Faurholt Hits 1000th Career Point

Junior post Emily Faurholt became just the 14th University of Idaho basketball player to score 1000 career points. Last year's National Scoring Champion and a pre-season All-American coming into 2004-05, Emily still has one-and-a-half seasons left to add to her tremendous total, and could become Idaho's career scoring leader.

To see it happen any other way just wouldn't have seemed right, but as happened so frequently in the past 1-1/2 seasons for the Lady Vandals, point guard Leilani Mitchell whipped a perfect pass to Emily Faurholt who buried a 3-pointer from the top-left side of the arc with 13:17 remaining in the first half giving Faurholt 7 points on the game and 1,001 points in only her 43rd division I basketball game. The 3-pointer broke a 6-6 tie and the Vandals went on to crush University of the Pacific 74-52 before 1,213 fans at Cowan Spectrum.

Faurholt, who tied Korie Hiede of Dueqesne University for 9th place on the list of the 75 fastest players to reach 1,000 points, finished the game with 28 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds and an assist.

Asked about reaching the milestone, Faurholt said "It's cool. All of it's cool and it's good for our team. The scoring (achievements) are great and tonight is awesome, but that's not what's important to me. What I get is what I get and I don't go out any night thinking `I'm going to get this title tonight.' If they come, they come, but I'm not going to go for it."

"It's a tremendous team accomplishment when a player scores 1,000 points, and Emily will be the first to tell you that," Vandal coach Mike Divilbiss said. "Emily has a great take-on mentality and take-on players win championships. She loves to make baskets, she loves to be the best, she seeks excellence in everything she does, and a player with those qualities is infectious to others. She does a lot to make us a better basketball team. This is a tremendous accomplishment for her."

The two teams struggled offensively at the outset before Heather Thoelke passed off to Faurholt who canned a jumper for the first points of the game coming with 16:43 left in the first half. The Vandals never trailed but the game was tied twice before Faurholt's historic 3-pointer put the Vandals ahead for good.

Pacific, which held a decided size advantage, tried to wear down the Vandals by rotating 10 players into the game and trying to outmuscle the Vandals inside the paint. The strategy worked for a while as the Tigers hung with the Vandals and trailed by just 5 points when, with 7:56 left in the half Karly Felton put in a layup off a Thoelke pass. That ignited a 14-2 scoring explosion as the Tigers seemed to run out of steam while the Vandals cranked up their defensive pressure and transition game to take a 29-14 lead halftime. Idaho led by as many as 25 in the second half.

Every Vandal in uniform scored. Thoelke had 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists; Felton had 9 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds; Mitchell had 7 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals; Lauren Frazee finished with 7 points and 6 rebounds; Ticey Westbrooks had 4 points, 2 rebounds, and a steal; freshman post Jessica Summers had one of her best all-around games with 3 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocked shots; Stephanie Sax had 1 point, 1 steal, and 1 blocked shot; and Ann Marie Summerhays had 1 point and 1 rebound.

Pacific held a 46-38 edge on the glass, but on the game Idaho forced 27 Tigers turnovers and held them to 31% from the floor (27% in the first half). As a team the Vandals had 16 steals and 19 assists.

Divilbiss said the Tigers are a good ball club, and he expects them to continue their past history of coming on strong in the latter stages of the conference. "When the year ends they're going to be a lot better team than their record shows right now, " said. "For the last two years they've struggled early then stepped up during conference play, and by the time the Big West Tournament comes around they're a very formidable basketball team."

The Vandals improved to 4-1 in Big West action and 9-5 on the season while Pacific (which lost to Colorado by 4 at home and fell to Stanford, Duke, Illinois and Oregon State in non-conference road action) dropped to 2-4 and 4-9. In other Big West Conference action Saturday night league-leading Long Beach State moved to 5-1 with a 70-47 win over UC Riverside (3-2), Utah State (3-2) posted a 61-57 win over Cal State Northridge (3-3), and UC Irvine (1-5) edged Cal State Fullerton (0-5) at Irvine. Cal Poly defeated UC Davis 69-62 in non-conference action and UC Santa Barbara was idle.

Idaho will visit UC Riverside next Thursday and Cal State Fullerton next Saturday.

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