The top four women's teams in the Big Sky play each other tonight, and Idaho State can finish the evening as high as first or as low as fourth. The Bengals, a half-game back of Idaho, play fourth-place Northern Colorado tonight in Reed Gym. It's senior night, which means the most successful senior class in Idaho State history (they have won 76 games, most in any four-year stretch at ISU) will play their last home game. That means farewell to Grace Kenyon, Saylair Grandon, Maddie Heinrichs and Sai Tapasa, who has decided to forego her fifth year of eligibility. It's an excellent class led by two players -- Kenyon and Grandon -- who have scored over 1,000 career points. Kenyon ranks in the all-time top 10 in nine different categories for ISU, and is one of the best all-around players to wear the Bengal jersey.
Northern Colorado comes in with a win in hand vs. ISU, 60-56 in Greeley, so the Bengals want to avoid giving them the outright tiebreaker with a season sweep. The Bears are led by Savannah Smith, arguably the best player in the conference -- in fact, there may not even be an argument. She's won Conference Player of the Week honors five times this season, including four of the last five weeks. Smith is coming off a school record 40-point outburst against Montana Monday night, and lest you think she is a one-trick pony, she also had 7 rebounds and six assists in that game. She is "Miss Clutch" for UNC, the player everybody knows is going to get the ball down the stretch, but still nobody has figured out how to stop her from making plays. (Smith needs 62 points to pass current ISU assistant coach D'Shara Strange as UNC's all-time leading scorer).
BTW, Idaho, a half-game ahead of ISU in first, is playing at third-place Portland State tonight. A Bengal win and a Vandal loss and ISU will be in first place with two games to play. Should be a terrific atmosphere tonight -- senior night, a battle for first place, and a visit from the premier player in the league. Hope you can all join us in person at Reed, it would be great to fill the place up to bid farewell to four terrific Bengals.
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