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.
It’s the second 100-point game in as many seasons for Idaho State (3-3), which scored 115 last year versus Bethesda.
“The main focus we wanted to have tonight was, no matter what the score said, we wanted to execute, we wanted to be focused and locked in,” said Smellie, who was a perfect 7 for 7 from the floor and added three rebounds and three assists to his line. “We knew that if we ran our offense, we’d get lots of layups. ... We were all trying to run the offense hard, set good screens.”
ISU made its final nine shots of the first half, helping the Bengals go into halftime on a 37-3 run. West Coast Baptist (1-4) didn’t score for more than 13 minutes before capping the frame with a 3-pointer ahead of the buzzer.
Idaho State didn’t lead by fewer than 31 points the rest of the way. A 17-0 run in the second half pushed the Bengals’ lead to 56 points and brought the record for margin of victory within reach.
Idaho State went 6 for 13 from the 3-point line and 38 of 48 inside the arc Wednesday.
The Bengals passed up open 3s, exploited their size advantage and racked up 76 points in the paint.
ISU’s previous record for winning margin was 56 points against Western State in 1959. Its previous high mark for field-goal percentage was 70.7% against Boise State in 1987.
“In that first media timeout we started talking about, ‘Hey, they’re willing to give up the paint. Everyone who catches it needs to have vision to our cutters coming through the lane,” ISU coach Ryan Looney said. “Going to have to be disciplined enough to pass up what you think is a good shot from 3 to, later in the possession, give ourselves an opportunity to lay it up.”
The Bengals also won the rebounding battle 42-19 and committed a season-low nine turnovers. All 12 ISU players who entered the game scored, contributing to 55 bench points.
“Great opportunity for some of our guys who haven’t got a lot of playing time on game day to get in there, do some good things and get rewarded,” Looney said.
West Coast Baptist, which is located in Lancaster, California, and plays in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), was led by 13 points from Ian Russell — one of two players on the Eagles’ roster listed at 6-foot-6 or taller.
The Eagles kept it close early, cutting ISU’s lead to one point with 13 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the first half. They didn’t score again until the 3-pointer in the half’s closing seconds.
Smellie was one of seven Bengals to set or tie his career-high in scoring. Udengwu’s 13 points tied his career high, Rushin’s 10 set a new high, as did Nico Aguirre’s nine, Lyle Sutton’s six, Will Reichelt’s five and Nick Huston’s four.
Idaho State plays Dec. 6 at Pepperdine.