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STORY BY JAIME SCHROEDER-ISU Sports Information
POCATELLO, Idaho – Idaho State’s senior forward Ashleigh Vella led Idaho State with 18 points Thursday night in the Bengals’ 50-49 loss to Northern Colorado. A jumper with 8.1 seconds to go gave the visiting Bears the victory. ISU drops to 6-5 in Big Sky Conference play and 11-9 overall while Northern Colorado improves to 10-9 overall and 7-3 in league action.
In a game where both teams struggled in shooting from the field, the Bengals had the lead with 1:06 to go 49-48. UNC’s D’shara Strange made a well-contested jumper as the shot clock expired to give her team the win.
“I felt like we had a good second half,” ISU Head Coach Seton Sobolewski said. “We held them to just 19 points but we gave up too many offensive rebounds. Strange hit a tough shot at the buzzer and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Vella’s 18 points led all players and she had a team-high seven rebounds with two assists and a steal. Senior guard Kaela Oakes followed Vella with 13 points, two assists and two rebounds.
Six of Vella’s 18 points came late in the game while the Bengals were trailing 42-37 with just over four minutes to go. Vella made two 3-pointers in a row at the 3:59 and 3:34 mark to give the Bengals the lead 43-42.
Junior guard Kara Jenkins added eight points to the total and had three rebounds and two assists. A 3-pointer from her at the 10:38 mark sparked a second half push for the Bengals.
The game was a true back-and-forth battle as the contest had 12 lead changes.
The Bengals had 15 points off of 11 UNC turnovers. Junior forward Cydney Horton tied her career-best with four blocks on the night.
The Bengals stay at home this weekend as they host North Dakota (8-11, 3-7 BSC) this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Reed Gym.