After reaching the semifinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational last year, the Vandals had to wait almost six months to get back on the court.
“I feel like this has been a long time coming,” said head coach Jon Newlee, who went 19-15 (11-7 in the Big Sky) last year.
Idaho, picked to finish fifth in the Big Sky, returns its top three scorers, including senior forward Geraldine McCorkell and junior guards Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce.
Ferzenz, a first-team preseason pick from Walla Walla, did it all last year, averaging a conference-leading 18.5 points while finishing second in free-throw percentage (88.8), third in the league in 3-pointers (91) and fourth in minutes (34.6 minutes per game).
Pierce added 12.6 points a game, while McCorkell averaged 12.8 points and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds.
The Vandals’ 11-player roster includes three returnees: senior post Nejra Solo, sophomore post Isabella Hadden and sophomore guard Jenae Lewallen.
However, Idaho will need to develop depth in a hurry among five newcomers.
Freshmen Nina Carlson, from Post Falls, and Natalie Klinker will provide help at the post.
Junior Sarah Bersang, a Horsens, Denmark, native, transferred in over the summer from Eastern Wyoming College. Freshmen Haley Blankinship (Springfield, Virginia) and Allison Kirby, from Spirit Lake both will battle for time at guard.