A matter of time: Idaho State stresses patience, process through ups and downs

Coreyoun Rushin vs. Southern Utah

POCATELLO — Ryan Looney isn’t used to losing four out of five.

It doesn’t happen often when you’ve won nearly 70 percent of the games that you’ve coached.

But that’s the reality facing the Idaho State men’s basketball team and its first-year head coach, who are 1-4 in their past five games and host league-leading Montana on Thursday.

The Bengals (6-10, 3-4 Big Sky Conference) are mired in their first major slump of the new year — nothing new for the program, but a point of frustration for Looney.

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Idaho State’s Michael Dean to play in Hula Bowl

Michael Dean

Former Idaho State wide receiver Michael Dean will play in the Hula Bowl, a postseason all-star game for graduating seniors, his father announced Tuesday on Twitter.

The 74th annual Hula Bowl is Sunday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu at 8:30 p.m. MST and can be watched on the CBS Sports Network.

Dean joins former Bengals teammate Ty Flanagan at the Hula Bowl. Flanagan was announced as a participant on Sunday.

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Idaho State women lose to Portland State for first time in 9 years, 66-61

Ellie Smith vs. Portland State

POCATELLO — Twice, the Idaho State women’s basketball team fell behind at the start of a half against Portland State on Saturday.

The first time, the Bengals were able to claw back and take their only lead of the game, 32-31, at halftime. But, forced to do it again in the second half, they didn’t have an answer as Portland State walked out of Reed Gym with a 66-61 win.

It was the Vikings’ first win against Idaho State (7-9, 3-4 Big Sky Conference) in nine years and a day, as PSU (10-7, 4-3) had lost 16 straight against the Bengals between an 89-79 victory on Jan. 17, 2011, and its win Saturday.

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ISU running back Flanagan to play in Hula Bowl

Former Idaho State running back Ty Flanagan will play in the Hula Bowl, a postseason all-star game for graduating seniors.

Flanagan’s participation was announced Sunday in a tweet by the Hula Bowl’s account.

The 74th annual Hula Bowl will be Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu at 8:30 p.m. MST.

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Idaho State runs out of gas, falls to Weber State in overtime

ISU vs Weber men's bball

POCATELLO — First, Idaho State’s seven-point halftime lead disappeared.

Then, the Bengals ran out of gas.

Weber State rallied behind a combined 49 points from Jerrick Harding and Cody John and outlasted ISU, 76-68, in overtime Thursday at Reed Gym.

It’s ISU’s second overtime loss of the season dropped the Bengals to 5-2 when leading at halftime.

“It was a tough loss,” ISU’s Chier Maker said. “In the first half, I think we had our chances, and then we missed a lot of free throws. Down the stretch, we turned it over too much. … Just gotta move on. Next one.”

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“Official Secrets” Plays Sunday at ISU

Seattle Film Festival winner, “Official Secrets” will be shown this Sunday, January 19, at 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. in the Bengal Theater at ISU’s Pond Student Union. Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes star in this true story about the whistleblower who uncovered the British and U.S. government’s efforts to mislead the public into supporting the Iraq war. Admission is $3 for the public, $2 for ISU staff, and free for ISU students with Bengal ID. For trailer and more information, go to www.pocatellofilmsociety.com/official.
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After winless weekend, ISU women travel to take on Weber State

Konate vs. NAU

POCATELLO — After its first losing streak in Big Sky Conference play in nearly two years, the Idaho State women’s basketball team gets exactly the reprieve it needs this week — a road trip to play the last-place Weber State Wildcats.

The Bengals (6-8, 2-3 Big Sky) go to Ogden, Utah, to play Weber on Thursday before returning home Saturday to host defending conference tournament champion Portland State at Reed Gym.

Seton Sobolewski’s young squad has been through some growing pains early in Big Sky play thus far, blowing out Eastern Washington and Sacramento State but losing to Idaho, Southern Utah (in overtime) and Northern Arizona.

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Transfer QB Tyler Vander Waal settling in at Idaho State

Vander Waal Wyoming headshot

POCATELLO — Shortly after he put his name in the transfer portal in mid-December, then-Wyoming quarterback Tyler Vander Waal got a call from Idaho State offensive coordinator Mike Ferriter.

“Idaho State was the first school to reach out to me,” Vander Waal said Saturday in an interview with the Idaho State Journal. “Within five minutes, coach Ferriter called me, and (head coach Rob) Phenicie offered me a scholarship within, you know, 10 minutes of me being in the portal, essentially.”

That’s just how desperate the Bengals were to add an experienced transfer quarterback after Matt Struck’s interception struggles last season. Vander Waal is expected to compete with Struck and redshirt freshman Sagan Gronauer for the starting job, although he’ll likely go into spring ball as the favorite.

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