Idaho State University Sports Information
POCATELLO, Idaho – The Idaho State women’s basketball team handled visiting Utah State 64-44 in front of over one thousand fans Monday evening at the ICCU Court at Reed Gym. The Bengals forced the Aggies to shoot just 28 percent from the floor while dominating the boards, 42-24.
“One of the first things I said to the team is that I really like the way the stat sheet looks,” Head Coach Seton Sobolewski said. “There was no one that was overwhelmingly awesome; everybody contributed.”
Two players reached double-figures for Idaho State (5-1), led by senior guard Brooke Blair with 12 while sophomore guard Dora Goles added 11. All but two players who saw the floor scored, while six players scored at least seven points or more. The Bengals rebounding numbers were also spread, with all but one player collecting at least one board while six players finished with four or more. This unselfish play, coupled with ISU’s strong defensive effort, limited Utah State (1-4) to just 44 points, its lowest offensive output on the season.
“Coach Sobolewski told us something about 95 percent, that 95 percent are the controllables, the things that get you going,” Goles said. “Defense, rebounding and giving 100 percent [effort].”
After a slow start that saw Utah State gain a six-point lead just over three minutes into the contest, back-to-back Bengal threes tied the game at nine apiece. ISU limited the Aggies to 14 points in the first quarter shooting just over 30 percent, yet Utah State kept the game close by grabbing three of its six total offensive boards in the first 10 minutes. With 2:19 remaining, the Bengals broke an 11-all tie with another three, and nearly two minutes later they had extended that lead to five, 19-14.
In the second quarter, neither team led by more than five, and with 4:10 remaining in the half the score was tied 25-all. Idaho State exploded next, scoring 10 unanswered points over the final four minutes to gain a 35-25 advantage heading into the break.
The Bengals, who typically have seen the third period be their lowest scoring effort this season, shot over 53 percent from the floor to score 18 points. Combined with a halting defensive effort that saw the Aggies score just nine points on 3-of-15 from the floor, Idaho State pushed ahead for the 19-point advantage by the end of the period, 53-34.
In the final period, the Aggies applied full-court pressure and forced ISU to commit six of its 18 turnovers in the final 10 minutes. However, Idaho State returned the favor, forcing five turnovers and limiting Utah State to 10 points in the final 10 minutes. The Bengals cruised to the 64-44 win to improve to 5-1 on the season.
“Utah State is actually a really good offensive team,” Sobolewski said. “They’ve got the leading scorer in the Mountain West right now with Olivia Wes, and Coach Finkbeiner, he’s had multiple years where his Oral Roberts teams led the nation in scoring. They know how to score. For us to go out there and dig in and play some great defense, that’s big for us.”
Utah State’s 44 points on the night was 29 points below its season average of 73.0, while the Bengals limited Olivia West, who leads the Aggies in scoring at 19.8 points per game, to just six points. Utah State was led by Deja Mason who finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
The Bengals hit the road for a four-game road swing over the next three weeks before returning to Pocatello to host Westminster on Dec. 28. Idaho State will kick off its road trip at Washington State Friday, Dec. 1 in Pullman, Wash. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. MST.