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2nd Half Video by Dr. Smitty Faure
STORY BY JON VAN VLIET-ISU MEDIA RELATIONS
POCATELLO, Idaho - The Idaho State women’s basketball team held on to the win against Utah Valley 69-67 Saturday afternoon at Reed Gym. The Bengals improve to a 4-3 record overall and are now 2-0 at home this season. Three Bengals were able to score in the double digits and were led by senior forward Ashleigh Vella who recorded 14 points and 10 rebounds in the contest for her first double-double of the season.
“Hats off to Utah Valley,” ISU Head Coach Seton Sobolewsi said. “Kathy Nixon does a great job and they play hard. They always find a way to keep themselves in games and hit tough shots.”
Senior guard Abyee Maracigan played another impressive game off the bench for ISU as she neared a double-double with 10 rebounds and eight points. Senior forward Jessa Jeppesen and junior guard Lindsey Reed scored in double digits for the Bengals. Jeppesen notched 10 points with two rebounds while Reed posted 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
“I would love to see Abyee keep building momentum and be in a really good place by the time conference starts,” Sobolewski said. “Sheryl Bitter and Rebecaa Schrimpsher also did a really nice job stepping up and filling in. This was a very strong game for Becca and to have her start producing like that is big for us. There are a lot of unsung heroes in this game like Jessa Jeppesen who had some big o-board put backs that were very crucial for us.”
With senior guard Kaela Oakes and sophomore guard Blaire Brady unable to play due to injuries, junior guard Sheryl Bitter and sophomore guard Rebecca Schrimpsher stepped in and made solid contributions to the winning effort. Bitter facilitated a team-high six assists to her teammates while Schrimpsher added a career-high eight points and two rebounds to the bottom line.
Overall, Idaho State shot 38.2 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range. ISU had the advantage on the boards, out-rebounding UVU 49-37. ISU posted seven blocks, 12 assists and seven steals in the contest. The Bengal bench outscored UVU’s 26-23. ISU’s defense forced 20 UVU turnovers that the Bengals converted into 18 points.
The Bengals allowed the most points of an opponent so far this season with UVU’s 67. The Wolverines shot 40.7 percent from the field and the squad’s 3-point shooting helped UVU stay in the game as Utah Valley shot 62.5 percent from beyond the arc. Ashley Klemz, who had averaged 1.1 points per game prior to today’s match-up, hit three 3-point shots in the contest and tallied 11 total points for UVU. The Wolverines’ leading scorer, Sammie Jensen came into the game averaging a double-double with 18.7 and 13.0 rebounds per game. She ended the game with 16 points and five rebounds. She also scored her 1,000th career point during the contest.
The Bengals went into the locker room with a narrow 35-31 lead after leading by as much as 12 points in the first half. UVU went on a 14-7 run beginning at the 13:04 mark that cut ISU’s lead down to five with 6:14 remaining in the half. Quick makes by Reed, Vella and Schrimpsher helped ISU pull away to an 11-point lead with five minutes remaining but UVU kept battling back and cut the lead to two with one minute left. However, a UVU foul sent Jeppesen to the line. The senior forward sunk both to give the Bengals a four-point lead at the half.
Both teams struggled a little offensively to begin the second half. ISU led by just four points with 12:46 remaining when the team started a 21-10 run to give the Bengals a 15-point lead with five minutes to play. The Wolverines didn’t give up and answered with a 19-6 run to cut the lead to two points with just four seconds left in regulation. UVU had a chance to win the game on its final possession but did not get a shot up in time, giving ISU the win 69-67.
The Bengals remain at home in the upcoming weeks and next face Carroll College Friday, Dec. 14 at 7:05 p.m. in Reed Gym.