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STORY BY JOHN VAN VLIET-ISU SPORTS INFORMATION
POCATELLO, Idaho - With three players in double-digit scoring, the Bengals defeated visiting Weber State 68-37 Thursday night in Reed Gym. Idaho State improves to 10-6 in Big Sky Conference play and 15-10 overall. Weber State remains winless, 0-25 overall and 0-16 in the Big Sky.
Senior forward Ashleigh Vella led all scorers with 14 points off 6-9 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds. She also had three assists, two blocks and one steal in 28 minutes of play. Junior guard Lindsey Reed added 13 points, three assists and a steal and senior forward Jessa Jeppesen added 12 points, seven rebounds and one block off the bench. Kaela Oakes added five points and six rebounds with three assists.
Head coach Seton Sobolewski recorded his 50th career Big Sky Conference win with the victory over Weber State. Sobolewski is just one of three ISU coaches all-time to reach that mark and only one coach, Ardie McInelly, has reached it faster. Sobolewski, who is in his fifth season with the Bengals, needs just four more conference wins to tie Jon Newlee for the most career conference wins. Newlee recorded 54 conference wins in six seasons with the Bengals.
Idaho State dominated the paint in the game. The Bengals out-rebounded Weber State 56-31 and out-scored the Wildcats in the paint 36-14. Junior forward Cydney Horton and senior guard Abyee Maracigan each had eight rebounds. The duo had eight and six points, respectively.
“We did a good job on the offensive boards and the low post,” ISU Head Coach Seton Sobolewski said. We posted up against some mismatches that helped us in the first half.”
Two high-scoring runs helped the Bengals pull away from the Wildcats after a closely contested first 10 minutes of the game. At the 6:36 mark in the first, the score was in the Bengals’ favor 19-16. A 14-3 run by the Bengals, with contributions from ISU’s top-three scorers, had the Bengals ahead 31-19 going into the half.
An 18-3 run from the 13:26 to 3:12 mark in the second half allowed reserve players such as junior forward Jessica Jensen, junior guard Alissa Willard and redshirt-freshman Justine Joudrey to get some time in the game. Joudrey added five points and Jensen had two.
The Bengals were 17-24 from the free throw line. Weber State struggled there, hitting just seven of 14 shots. Nine Bengals were able to score for ISU in the contest.
Next week, the Bengals host their final home games of the season. Idaho State takes on Northern Arizona Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. before hosting Sacramento State Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m. on Senior Day. It will be the final home stand for seniors Ashleigh Vella, Kaela Oakes, Abyee Maracigan, Jessa Jeppesen and Taylor Floyd.