Vandal Women Fall in First Round

Behind an outstanding double-double effort by sophomore <b>Keisha Moore</b> (25 points and 12 rebounds), the Vandal Women (10-18, 8-8 BWC) came just short of earning a first round Big West Conference Tournament victory. In the end the Women lost a hard fought battle to UC Irvine (60-65).<br> <br> This young team set high goals for the tournament, and are going to be disappointed with this loss. But they should also walk away proud of what they accomplished this year.<br> <br> We are.

Official Site Game Write-Up

What a ride. For those that didn't follow Idaho Women's hoops this year, 2nd year Head Coach Mike Divilbiss left little doubt that he has the team pointed in the right direction. Much like the Men's team, the Idaho Women's team is exceptionally young, and welcomed several first year Vandals to the program this year. For one multi-week stretch prior to the Christmas holiday, Idaho fielded 3 true freshmen in the starting lineup. A couple transfers were major contributors, including Wing Alyssa Erickson (6-0, Jr), who ended the season the leading scorer on the team (12.6 points per game). Unfortunately she battled injuries most of the season (and did not play against UC Irvine), but still managed to tie for the lead on the team with 89 assists in just 13 games.

Without Erickson in the lineup the Vandals started 2 true freshman in this first round tournament matchup (Autumn Fielding, 5-9, Wing, and Toni Kinsey, 5-4, Guard). Both would post admirable performances as Autumn (voted to the All-BWC Freshman Team) scored 7 points and 2 assists in the first half (as if missing Erickson wasn't enough, Idaho also lost Autumn in the first half due to an injury), while Toni sunk 6 points, 3 assists and grabbed 3 boards. In just seven minutes, true freshman post Breann Sitton (6-4) efficiently hit a basket and grabbed a rebound.

AP Photo / Chris Carlson
#23 Heather Thoelke
6-0, Wing, Soph
Fights for one of 2 steals on the night.
But in the end Wednesday night, it was a pair of sophomores who carried the day for the Vandals, much like they have all year. Wing Heather Thoelke was number 2 on the team for the night (11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals). In 24 games this year (24 starts), she ended as the #2 scorer on the team with 12.3 points per game, 89 assists, 7.1 rebounds per game, and an impressive 81% free throw shooting percentage. Without a doubt, this teams toughness jumped a few notches when Heather (2nd Team, All-BWC) joined the Vandals after missing the early part of the season.

The workhorse in the paint is Post Keisha Moore (Honorable Mention, All-BWC), who had a stellar night Wednesday (25 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals). She ends the year #3 on the team in points per game (in 28 games this year - tied for the most games played this season - she averaged 12.2 points per game). She also was the team's leading rebounder (8.2 rebounds per game), and blocked 37 shots this year...twice as many as anyone else on the team.

This team, under the guidance of Head Coach Mike Divilbiss and his staff, have plenty to look forward to next season. And we'll be watching.

From the staff of, we say congratulations on an outstanding effort this season, and for laying a solid foundation for the future of Vandal Women's hoops.

AP Photo / Chris Carlson
#44 Keisha Moore
6-2, Post, Soph
Goes high to defend the shot.

AP Photo / Chris Carlson
Heather Thoelke
Fights between UC Irvine defenders.

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