Idaho State University Sports Information
POCATELLO, Idaho – The Idaho State women’s basketball dropped a 63-57 decision to visiting Northern Colorado Saturday afternoon at the ICCU Court at Reed Gym.
Idaho State (10-6, 2-3 BSC) was led by junior forward Grace Kenyon with a team-high 15 points, four boards, two assists, two blocks and two steals. Senior guard Brooke Blair added 13 points, three assists and three steals while junior guard Saylair Grandon chipped in 11 points.
The Bengals started off hot, building a quick 10-point lead five-and-a-half minutes into the first period, 12-2. Northern Colorado (13-4, 5-1 BSC) countered with a 10-0 run over the next 2:40 to tie the game 12-all. The teams traded point for point until a layup from UNC’s Savannah Scott pushed the Bears past ISU 16-15 to close the first period.
“I thought we started off the game great,” Head Coach Seton Sobolewski said. “We made a lot of great plays and we were really competitive. Some things didn’t go our way; you leave someone open…That’s what makes Northern Colorado so good is that they make you pay for any mistake you make.”
Northern Colorado sunk a jumper 10 seconds in to the second period to extend its lead to three, 18-15, but Grandon hit a trey after nearly two-and-a-half scoreless minutes on both ends to tie the game 18-all. The Bears briefly regained the lead following a jumper from UNC’s Savannah Smith at the seven-minute mark, but an 8-0 ISU run, fueled by two-straight jumper from Blair, gave ISU a six-point lead with 2:49 remaining.
However, the Bengals went ice cold for the remainder of the half while UNC finished 3-of-4 from the floor in the final minutes to tie the game 26-all heading into the break. Coming out of the half, Kenyon found sophomore forward Irene Vicente for the easy layup to put ISU in front once more, 28-26. UNC responded as Savannah Smith knocked down a trey to put the Bears up one, 29-28. This back-and-forth play continued for the next 70 seconds, but a foul from Kenyon sent UNC’s Scott to the line, where she converted both. Scott followed it up with a layup 30 seconds later to give UNC a four-point lead, 36-32, with 5:54 remaining in the third.
The Bengals countered with a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to take a four-point lead, 42-38, but Idaho State committed two more fouls, one resulting in an old-fashioned three-point play, to give UNC a one-point lead, 43-42, with 1:51 remaining. Idaho State missed jumpers on its two following possessions, and UNC’s Bridget Hintz hit a jumper with 28 seconds to give UNC the 45-42 lead. Idaho State’s final attempt missed the mark, giving UNC the advantage heading into the final quarter.
The Bengals forced the Bears to shoot 37 percent in the final quarter, and ISU clawed its way back, taking the lead 51-50 following a layup from sophomore guard Estefania Ors with 3:16 remaining. Both ISU and UNC took trips to the line in the next minute, tying the game 52-all with 2:28 remaining. However, Idaho State was plagued with five fouls in the final 2:30 minutes, sending the Bears to the line each time. UNC finished 8-of-10 from the line in the final minutes to surge ahead; the Bengals were unable to capitalize on their offensive opportunities in the final minutes, resulting in the 63-57 win for Northern Colorado.
“Their two top players, Savannah Scott and Savannah Smith, they turned it on in the second half,” Kenyon said. “They played really well, and that’s probably what led to their win today…We shut them down in the first half, and I think that just came with a lot of energy. It’s a team effort; the posts were switching on to them on ball screens. A team effort is what stops players like that.”
Smith and Scott led the Bears with 17 points each in 39 and 38 minutes of play, respectively. Kianna Williams also finished in double-figures with 11.
Idaho State hits the road for Big Sky play next week with games at Portland State (Jan. 18) and at Sacramento State (Jan. 20).