Idaho State launches Champions Fund to bolster athletic programs

Idaho State Athletics is excited to announce the launch of the Champions Fund, established to provide support for the department of athletics in areas of greatest need that advance the mission of leading the Big Sky Conference academically, athletically, and in the culture and experience available for Bengal student-athletes. The Champions Fund may be used at the discretion of the athletic director to help the Bengals compete for and win championships.

It is intended to provide student-athletes and coaches with more of the essential tools they need. Donations will be used to assist with the expenses of summer school, better team travel, upgrades to the strength and conditioning center, equipment for the athletic training room, more home games and tournaments, and many other initiatives intended to elevate the entire breadth of Bengal athletics.

Over the next 60 days, the newly created Champions Fund is getting a significant boost from Idaho State alumni Joseph and Judy Saratore, who have committed to match up to $50,000 in gifts to the Fund between now and January 31, 2020

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Bengals add post Zoe Hutchings to 2020-21 signing class


The Idaho State women’s basketball team has signed Zoe Hutchings to the 2020-21 recruiting class.

The Olympia, Washington, native will join Idaho State after graduating from Montesano Jr. Sr. High School this spring. The 6-foot-3 center earned two-time first-team All-League honors her sophomore and junior years, adding on most improved honors as a sophomore and MVP her junior year. Hutchings was also a member of her high school volleyball team.

“Zoe is a player we feel can really help us in the post,” ISU head coach Seton Sobolewski said. “She is innately physically and hard working.”

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ISU women blow out Utah Valley, 88-61, in Seton Sobolewski’s 350th game

Montana Oltrogge Utah Valley

A blowout win over Utah Valley had Idaho State women’s basketball coach Seton Sobolewski feeling the holiday spirit.

“It was like early Christmas, or a Thanksgiving present,” Sobolewski said in his postgame radio interview. “We played well. We shot it really well. … It was a great group effort.”

Dora Goles scored a career-high 19 points, shooting 7 for 8 from the field and 5 for 6 from 3-point range, and the Bengals (4-2) led by double digits for the final three quarters to give Sobolewski a win in his 350th game as ISU’s head coach, 88-61 over the Wolverines (1-6) in Orem, Utah, on Tuesday.

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Sunday Movie – “Blinded By The Light” at ISU

Heartland Film Festival winner, “Blinded By the Light” will be shown this Sunday, December 1, at 4:30 and 7 p.m. in the Bengal Theater at the ISU Pond Student Union. Based on a true story, British Pakistani teenager Javed is struggling to find his voice in a time of political and racial unrest. It’s the 1980’s and New Wave music has hit the airwaves, but it doesn’t speak to his soul, as he yearns to be a writer and poet, and to break away from his family’s desire to maintain their Pakistani roots. During a particularly tough time, a schoolmate turns him on to the music of Bruce Springsteen and it opens his eyes to the transformative power of music to inspire one to follow their dreams.  As the varying paths in his life collide, he uses the music of Springsteen to guide him forward toward his own path. The film is rated PG-13. Admission is $3 for the general public, $2 for ISU staff and children under 12, and free for ISU students with Bengal ID. For more information and trailer, go to

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Once banished to the bench, Chidi Udengwu finds role as Idaho State’s energizer

Chidi Udengwu Montana Tech

POCATELLO — Amid all the commotion of Ryan Looney’s high-energy basketball practices, it’s never hard to track down Chidi Udengwu.

If you’re not careful, you might mistake his voice for the head coach’s.

Idaho State’s spirited senior is authentically loud. But that’s just fine with Looney. ISU’s first-year head coach preaches effort and energy, and Udengwu carries his onto the court as one of the Bengals’ key bench players.

“It just (comes) from within,” Udengwu said. “Outside the court, I’m a loud guy, so it wouldn’t make any sense to get to the court and be quiet. There always has to be that one person on the team . … There always has to be the person that’s kind of enforcing everything that’s not a coach, kind of like the voice in the locker room, voice on the court, voice while you guys are playing defense, stuff like that.”

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Idaho State sets multiple records in 102-43 blowout win vs. West Coast Baptist

ISU vs West Coast Baptist mbball

POCATELLO — Idaho State had its Thanksgiving feast a day early at the expense of West Coast Baptist.

The Bengals made a school-record 72.1% of their field goals and beat the visiting Eagles 102-43 on Wednesday at Reed Gym, setting a school record for largest margin of victory at 59 points.

Austin Smellie and Jared Stutzman led four double-digit scorers with 16 points apiece. Chidi Udengwu added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Coreyoun Rushin chipped in 10 points.

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Big off the bench: Sophomore Montana Oltrogge plays key role for Idaho State women’s basketball team

Oltrogge vs. MT Tech

POCATELLO — It took a little while for Montana Oltrogge’s game to grow on Seton Sobolewski.

As a high schooler, Oltrogge played on AAU teams with Shaylee Gonzales, who set a BYU freshman scoring record with 17 points per game last year, as well as UC Santa Clara’s Lindsey VanAllen, who joined Gonzales on the West Coast Conference’s all-freshman team last year.

Those two took up most of the headlines, but behind them was Oltrogge, who caught the eye of Sobolewski, Idaho State’s women’s basketball coach.

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ISU athletics hosts 2nd annual Turkey on the Turf event to recognize student support

Turkey on the Turf


Idaho State University Athletics, the ISU Alumni Association and Idaho Central Credit Union partnered to thank ISU students for their support of Bengal athletics. The event, called “Turkey on the Turf,” began last year, and is slated to continue as an annual event held at Holt Arena on the Thursday prior to Thanksgiving each year.

Attendance nearly doubled from last year, as 300 Thanksgiving meals were served before going to a second menu option because attendance was higher than expected. Nearly 400 were served by the end of the event.

ISU Athletic Director Pauline Thiros said Turkey on the Turf is the Bengals’ way of expressing appreciation for student support.

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