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ISU Women's Basketball

Diaba Konate achieved something only three other Bengals in ISU history had Saturday afternoon
Diaba Konate achieved something only three other Bengals in ISU history had Saturday afternoon

Konate's Record Game Propels Bengals Past Bears

Written by Jon Match

POCATELLO, Idaho – Diaba Konate achieved something only three other Bengals in ISU history had Saturday afternoon as the ISU Bengals (13-7, 9-2 BSC) defeated the Northern Colorado Bears (6-10, 2-6 BSC) 68-56.

Konate playing lights out guard for the Idaho State Bengals shot 90.9 percent from the floor on 10-of-11 shooting. Konate joins Charly Bond in 1977, Kelly Palmer in 1985 and Grace Kenyon in 2018 as Bengals with a single-game shooting percentage of 90.9 percent with 10 or more field goal attempts.

The game began physically with both teams trading the lead three times in the opening 10 minutes. At the buzzer the Bengals took a 17-16 lead to the second. 10 of the Bengals’ 17 points had been scored in the paint and Diaba Konate went two-of-three from the field, recording her only missed field goal for the remainder of the game.

The battle continued in the second, with both teams showing their defensive strength. Idaho State was held to 10 points, but the Bengal defense was even better holding the Bears to just nine second-quarter points.

Down one with 10 seconds left in the half, the Bengal defense held firm and caused a shot clock violation out of the Bears. The Orange and Black took the ball drove the court and Dora Goles passed it to Tomekia Whitman who hit a three pointer with just four seconds left on the clock. The Bengals took that confidence into the locker room with a 27-25 lead.

The Bengals started the second half hot. First when Ellie Smith hit a jumpshot to extend the Bengal lead to 29-25. On the ensuing Bear possession, Konate showed her speed and used her quick hands to intercept the bears pass, run the length of the court and lay the ball in giving the Bengals a 31-25 lead and forcing the Bears coach to call a timeout.

One minute later, coming out of the break, Konate took advantage of the Bears once again, stealing the ball in about the same place and manner, driving the court and giving the Bengals an eight-point advantage at 33-25.

The Bears would try to come back in the fourth, cutting the Bengal lead to only three points, but the Orange and Black didn’t give up and instead put their foot on the gas, going on a 13-4 run over the final five minutes of the quarter to take a 48-39 lead into the final period.

With 7:38 to play in the final quarter, Konate drove to the basket and laid the ball in to give the Bengals the largest lead they would have in the game at 54-39, 15 points.

The Bears would make a run with 3:47 to go, cutting the Bengal lead to six after a pair of made free throws, but ISU would let up pushing their lead right back to 11 after another Konate fastbreak layup. The Bengals would hold off the Bears for the remainder of the game and come away with the 68-56 victory.

Konate led both team in scoring with 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field.

Estefania Ors and Whitman followed with Ors scoring 11 points and Whitman nine.

Whitman had one of the more complete games for the Bengals. She also added on 10 boards, five assists, three steals and two blocks.

The Bengal Trio of Konate, Whitman, and Montana Oltrogge combined for 10 steals in a game where the Bengals had 21 points off of 19 UNC turnovers.

The Bengals absolutely dominated under the basket, outscoring the bears 38-16 in the paint.

The Bengals are on the road this week as they head north to take on the Montana Schools.

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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.