Idaho State University Sports Information
POCATELLO, Idaho – The Idaho State women’s basketball team grinded out a 57-46 win over visiting North Dakota Thursday evening at the ICCU Court at Reed Gym. The Bengals dominated the Fighting Hawks in the paint with a 32-8 advantage, yet Idaho State was out-rebounded for only the third time this season, 38-30.
“I think we were really well prepared,” Head Coach Seton Sobolewski said. “I think [Associate Head Coach] Ryan Johnson did a great job of getting us prepared for this game. We were helping each other out, trying to anticipate some things and putting a little extra effort into everything. I think that’s what was working for us.”
Idaho State (10-5, 2-2 BSC) was solid defensively, forcing North Dakota (8-8, 1-4 BSC) to shoot just 24 percent from the floor for 46 points, the second-lowest scoring output for the Fighting Hawks this season. The Bengals limited UND’s two leading scorers, Lexi Klabo and Fallyn Freije, to just seven and five points, well below their season averages of 19.1 and 14.8 points, respectively.
“I don’t think there’s anything too complicated about it, we just played hard,” Sobolewski said.
Senior guard Brooke Blair led the Bengals in scoring with 21 points including a career-best 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Estefania Ors also reached double-figures with 10 while sophomore forward Sai Tapasa finished with nine points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of play.
The Fighting Hawks took the early lead, building a five-point lead midway through the first quarter, 11-6. A quick four-point swing in favor of the Bengals cut the lead to one, but UND outscored the Bengals 4-2 to close the quarter for a three-point lead, 15-12.
Idaho State countered in the second, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. Offensively, the Bengals found success inside, outscoring UND 8-0, and though UND earned a 14-8 edge on the glass, including six offensive rebounds, Idaho State limited the Fighting Hawks to just one second-chance point. The Bengals also forced two offensive fouls in the second period including a major charge drawn from sophomore point guard Dora Goles at the 1:08 mark. With the score tied, Goles drew a charge on UND’s Freije; the Bengals capitalized to score off a jumper from junior forward Grace Kenyon with 27 seconds remaining and claim a two-point lead at the break, 26-24.
In the third period, Idaho State shot 40 percent from the floor for 14 points while forcing eight UND turnovers and limiting the Fighting Hawks to 10 points on 25 percent shooting. By the end of the third quarter, Idaho State held a six-point lead, 40-34.
A jumper from Ors to open the fourth put ISU up eight, 42-34, but UND put together a 5-0 run over the next 3:06 to cut ISU’s lead to three, 42-39. Yet that is the closest the Bengals would allow. Idaho State finished with 17 fourth-quarter points behind a nearly perfect 11-of-12 performance from the charity stripe to seal the win, 57-46.
“We worked really hard as a team; we worked really hard on that in practice this week, and focusing on our energy,” Tapasa said. “We made sure that we played with great energy today out on the court.”
North Dakota was led Melissa Dailey and Jill Morton who each finished with nine points while Chastity Franklin and Morton each added a team-high five boards.
Idaho State continues its homestand this Saturday, Jan. 13 as it hosts Northern Colorado at 2 p.m. in Reed Gym.