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Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 11/7/2023 1:11:00 AM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information
Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 11/7/2023 1:11:00 AM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information

Bengals Dominate in Season Opening Win in Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho-The Bengals men's basketball team took the court Monday evening for their first regular season matchup of the season. Idaho State faced off against the Warner Pacific Knights for the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

The Bengals put on a show from the get-go, taking a nine-point lead just 6 minutes into the game thanks to a Kolton Mitchell steal and fastbreak layup. Warner Pacific would cut the Bengals' lead to just 6 points with a little over 11 minutes remaining in the first half, however, after that Idaho State was all gas and no brakes, going on a 33-4 run to end the first half, and heading into the halftime break up, 51-16.

In the second half the Bengals picked up right where they left off, opening on a 17-3 run in the first 6 minutes and 30 seconds. The Bengals went on several other runs in the second half and continued their dominance in this one till the very end, finishing with a final score of 92-36. The Bengals notch their first win of the 2023-24 season, and improve to 1-0.

All five starters finished in double figures for the Bengals tonight. Brayden Parker led the way as he put up 21 points on an efficient 8-of-9 shooting from the field, 2-of-2 from deep, seven rebounds, two steals, and one block. Newcomer Kiree Huie had himself a coming out party for Idaho State, finishing with a double-double, totaling 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. Maleek Arington finished the game with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 from beyond-the-arc, two rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block. Isaiah Griffin also impressed in his first game in the Orange and Black, as he put up 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal, and Miguel Tomley also had a good game, scoring 11 points, going 3-of-6 from three-point land, snatching down 5 boards, and dishing out 2 assists.

The bench provided a big boost for the Bengals tonight, accounting for 24 ISU points. AJ Burgin came in and scored 10, going 2-of-5 from three, grabbed 6 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists all in 15 minutes. Trent Johnson, Briggs Ranstrom, and true-freshman, Kolton Mitchell, were also big factors for Idaho State off the bench. Mitchell tallied 8 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals in 19 minutes. Johnson was a stat sheet stuffer with 3 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in 26 minutes played. And Ranstrom finished tonight with 3 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in 9 minutes.

The Bengals finished the game shooting 59 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from deep making 9-of-21 shots from three-point territory. The Bengals tallied 20 assists, 44 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 13 steals. The Bengals held Warner Pacific to just 28.3 percent shooting from the field and 22.2 percent from distance.

The Idaho State men's basketball team will be on the road for their next two games. The first will be in St. Paul, Minnesota for a battle with St. Thomas on Friday, November 10th and the second will be in Ames, Iowa where the Iowa State Cyclones will host the Bengals on Sunday, November 12th.