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Idaho State women’s basketball staged a comeback victory in overtime

Last gasp celebrations
Last gasp celebrations

Clutch Threes Propel Bengals Over Carroll College in Overtime

Written by Jon Match

Idaho State women’s basketball staged a comeback victory in overtime to pick up its third win of the year, 69-66 vs Carroll College.

Montana Oltrogge hit her only three-pointer of the contest with 31 seconds to play Wednesday afternoon. It was vital though, as it tied the game at 55 and sent the Bengals to overtime.

The game started with a strong back and forth battle from both teams. Whenever the Bengals would score, the Carroll College Fighting Saints responded.

The two teams tied six times in the first quarter and while the Bengals held the lead the majority of the period, the two teams ended the first 10 at 16-16.

The second quarter saw more of the same, Ellie Smith and Tomekia Whitman scored the majority of the Bengals points but neither team was able to successfully pull away from the other.

The Saints would go three-of-four from the charity stripe in the final minute to take a one-point 29-28 lead into the locker room at halftime. This didn’t bode well for the Bengals who up to this point in the season were 0-5 when trailing heading into the locker room.

The Fighting Saints came out of the locker room with everything to prove, going on a 10-3 run that gave Carroll its biggest lead of the game, 11 points.

The Idaho State Bengals were not going to go down without a fight, which led to the highlight of the game.

In the last two minutes of the third period, The Orange and Black methodically broke down the Saints defense forcing four turnovers as the Bengals went on a 9-0 run.

With 36 seconds to play, Jordan Sweeney it a layup off of a Whitman Steal, not 10 seconds later, Oltrogge stole the ball and made her fast break field goal.

Continuing the trend, Whitman stole the ball with two seconds to play. Having secured the ball and a full ¾ court in front of her, Whitman heaved it across the court to beat the buzzer with .1 seconds on the clock.

The Bengals went into the fourth quarter only down two and full of energy that just minutes before had been missing from the team.

The Bengals started the fourth quarter with that same energy they finished the third with as Oltrogge hit a jumper at 8:56 to tie it at 42.

The Fighting Saints weren’t done, coming back ferociously with a 10-0 run.

Once again looking down a 10-point deficit, the Bengals let their offense go to work. With 3:16 to play in regulation, Bourne hit a jump shot from outside the paint to cut the Saints lead to seven.

Estefania Ors followed it up with a steal and a made field goal with 2:29 to play cutting the lead to five.

With 2:04 top play, Bourne showed her strength on the glass, grabbing the board and forcing the Saints to foul her sending her to the line. With ice in her veins, Bourne hit both free throws to make it a one-possession game.

The Bengals defense held firm forcing a shot clock violation from Carroll with 39 seconds to play.

After calling a timeout, the Bengals ran a set play and with 31 seconds left of the clock, Oltrogge hit the equalizer three-pointer to send the game to overtime.

The first three minutes of overtime followed the same script the rest of the game had seen, both teams trading baskets with strongly contested rebounds.

With 1:41 to play, Ellie Smith hit her layup to give the Bengals a slim, one-point lead.

Just as it had in regulation, the Bengal defense came out strong and forced a pivotal shot clock violation out of the Saints with 47 seconds to go.

The Bengals pounced on the turnover and Smith hit another layup with 24 seconds left. The 700 local school children who were in attendance drowned out the sound of the referee’s whistle as Carroll called a timeout.

The Bengals would up the lead to 69-64 with a pair of Bourne free throws as the clock wound down. The Saints were able to hit the buzzer-beater layup but it was too late, the Bengals came out victorious 69-66.

The Bengals shot 38.7 percent on 29-of-75 field goal attempts. Ellie Smith led the team with 17 points on eight-of-12 shooting.

Bourne had the second double-double for the Bengals this year, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 boards, tying her career-high for rebounds. She also added five assists, two blocks and a steal to her impressive stat line.

Whitman and Ors also tacked on double-digit scoring for the Bengals, both finishing with 11 points.

Whitman showed why she is near the top of the Conference in steals, tying her career-high with five steals against the saints.

The Bengals dominated the paint, outscoring the Saints 38-20 under the basket.

The Orange and Black is right back at it this weekend, heading to Minnesota to take on St. Thomas in the first meeting ever of the two programs.

Follow along at to keep up to date with the team and don’t forget to follow along on social media at

Rachel was born and raised in Pocatello and is now studying for a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Rachel is a student-athlete on both ISU’s Track and Cross-Country teams. When Rachel isn’t running, she enjoys travelling, sleepy Sundays spent working in coffee shops and adventuring in Idaho’s wilderness. Her research interests include sustainable development, environmental policy and public policy theory.