Cheney Free Press -

Idaho State ousts Eastern


A quick 5-0 run on a 3-point basket by Sheryl Bitter with 3 minutes, 56 seconds to play in overtime, plus a layup from Jessica Tingey moments later, broke a 57-57 tie in overtime, propelling Idaho State to a 70-65 win last Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, N.D.

The victory, ISU’s second in seven days over the Eagles moved the Bengals into a semifinal game against host North Dakota, which they lost 78-53.

Eastern, which lost 86-62 in their next-to-last regular season game to ISU, March 6 in Pocatello, saw its season come to an end with a record of 16-14.

“There were times we were really good defensively and clicking on offense and things were going really well,” Eastern head coach Wendy Schuller said. “But at other times we just weren’t so good.

Senior forward Aubrey Ashenfelter paced the Eagles with 17 points. Junior Lexie Nelson, sophomore Hayley Hodgins, junior Melissa Williams and freshman Jade Redmon all finished with 10. But Nelson and Hodgins, both All-Big Sky Conference performers for the Eagles, were held scoreless in the overtime.

Defense ruled the day for both teams with Eastern making just 39 percent of its shots from the field, including only 4-of-14 free throws. Idaho State made 37.9 percent, and was 7-of-20 from the 3-point arc.

The only glaring difference in the game was ISU’s 46-32 advantage in rebounding, including 19 offensive rebounds leading to 16 second-chance points. The Bengals out-rebounded EWU 27-13 in the second half.

Lindsey Reed, a first team All-Big Sky selection for ISU, led the Bengals with 19 points. Tingey, who played the second half with four fouls, scored 13 points before picking up her fifth foul in overtime. But not before her bucket that gave her team the five-point lead.

“In the end they had some players step up and hit some really big shots,” Schuller said. “And we didn’t knock those same shots down.”

Eastern took a 30-28 halftime lead and upped that to 42-34 before it was wiped out with an 8-0 ISU run. Eventually Eastern would regain a 51-47 edge on a basket by Nelson, but six-straight ISU points gave the Bengals a 53-51 lead with 2:47 to play.

The game was tied at 53, 55 and 57 when Williams missed a short jumper with just under 30 seconds to play.


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