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ISU Women's Basketball: Whitman Has Career Night as Bengals Down Eagles 87-66

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Tomekia Whitman taking flight

Written by Jon Match

Tomekia Whitman had a slow start to what would be a career night for the Guard from Spokane Washington as the Bengals (9-6, 5-1 BSC) defeated the EWU Eagles (2-11, 0-4 BSC) 87-66 Thursday night in Cheney. After missing her first four field goal attempts of the game, things weren’t looking good for Whitman. At the end of the first period The Bengals were up 16-13 on the Eagles led by Diaba Konate and Montana Oltrogge. After 10, Whitman on the other hand only had two points on one-of-five shooting.

After taking a 10-point lead with 6:53 to go in the half, The Eagles surged back, outscoring the Bengals 24-20 in the quarter to take a slim one-point 37-36 lead in to the half. Coming out to of the locker room, the Bengals knew they needed to tighten down.

“[In the first half] Eastern played really well,” said Head Coach Seton Sobolewski. “We had 15 steals, the knack of our team this year is the ability to get steals and turn people over. We started playing much better defense. Offensively, we calmed down and started playing our game, did a great job of making our extra-effort plays.”

The Bengals came out firing in the 3rd, going nine-of-14 from the floor and four-of-five from the charity stripe to outscore the Eagles 24-16. Headed into the final 10 minutes with just a seven point lead, Whitman took control of the game, scoring 15 points on five-of-six shooting from the floor and three-of-three from 3-point range. The Bengals showed their strength and pulled away in the final 10 to close out the 21-point 87-66 win.

Whitman had a career night, the Bengal guard went 64.7 percent from the field on 11-of-17 shooting. From behind the three point arc, Whitman shot a perfect five-for-five from the three point line. All told, the Bengal Guard accounted for 30 points. Her point total, three-point made, and FG made were career bests. On top of her offensive performance, Whitman also went three-of-four from the free throw line, had six boards, three assists, two steals and a block.

“[Tomekia] has always been fired up playing at home,” remarked Sobolewski. “I’m real proud of her, she didn’t have a great first half, but she didn’t let that dictate the second half. She came out and hit shots and stayed aggressive. She stayed locked in.”

Whitman is now the 10th Bengal during Sobolewski’s tenure to score 30 or more points in a game and is the 12th Bengal in school history to achieve it.

Whitman wasn’t the only Bengal to have a strong night for the Orange and Black. Oltrogge and Konate both had 18-point nights for ISU. Oltrogge went six-of-14 from the floor with three three-pointers made. Konate went six-of-nine from the field and a perfect six-of-six from the charity stripe.

Before fouling out, Ellie Smith had eight points on three-of-six shooting and Estefania Ors had six points going three-of-10.

As a team the Bengals shot 49.2 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from three-point range. The two teams were even on the glass with 38 boards each. Oltrogge led the Bengals with nine grabs. Whitman was just behind with eight. The Bengals dominated the paint, scoring 40 of its 87 points under the basket.

ISU forced EWU into 21 turnovers with 15 steals. Off of those turnovers, the Bengals scored 30 points. Idaho State took advantage of fastbreak opportunities, scoring 31 point on fastbreaks compared to EWU’s seven.

Up next for the Bengals is an ICCU Battle of the Domes rivalry game with the Idaho Vandals in Moscow Saturday, Jan. 15 at 3:00 p.m. MT. Follow along at ISUBengals.com to keep up to date with the team and don’t forget to follow on social media at @HeartofaBengal on Twitter