Jan. 6, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Sophomore guard Devyn Christensen netted a career-high 21 points, while sophomore center Banna Diop tied a school record with eight blocks, two shy of a triple-double as Utah State used a 16-0 first half run to lead the way to a 69-57 win over Boise State Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Thursday was the Western Athletic Conference opener for both women's basketball teams. USU ended the night with a school record 14 blocks.
Diop registered 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight rejections. The eight blocks tied a school-record set by Jill Swainston from 1987 vs. Northern Colorado. The Aggies' 14 blocks topped their school record of 11 set twice last year vs. North Dakota State and San Jose State.
Diop now has 59 career rejections, moving into the number seven spot on USU's career list. Her former teammate, Nicole Johnson holds the Aggie record with 133 blocks. Diop recorded her double-double early in the second half, posting her second double-double of the season and third of her career. It is USU's sixth double-double of the season as junior forward Ashlee Brown has the Aggies' four other double-doubles.
Utah State evens its record at 7-7 and opens WAC play with a 1-0 mark for the third time in the last four seasons, evening its WAC opener record at 3-3 in the Aggies' six years in the conference. USU avenged an 80-70 loss to Boise State in the 2006-07 WAC opener.
With the loss, BSU is 9-6 overall and 0-1 in league action. It was the Aggies' third win over the Broncos in the last five meetings, as Boise State now leads the series, 9-3, as WAC foes, while holding a 16-5 all-time series advantage.
Senior guard Amber White joined Christensen and Diop in double-digit scoring with a season-high 14 points, while Brown added nine rebounds. Senior guard Alice Coddington dished out a game-high seven assists, part of USU's 17 helpers on the night. Coddington also had a game-best four steals, the Aggies' seventh game in double-digit swipes. Utah State entered the night ranked second in the WAC at 10.54 steals per game.
Boise State was led by Kate Isham's 18 points, while Lauren Lenhardt tossed in 10 points and Janie Bos pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds as the Broncos had a slim, 44-43, rebounding advantage. Both teams committed 20 turnovers.
Utah State shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the field, making just 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) of its three-pointers, tying a season-low. Boise State was 23-of-72 (31.9 percent) field goal shooting, also struggling from behind the arc at 3-of-24 (12.5 percent).
The Aggies were 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) at the free throw line, making more than the Broncos attempted, as BSU was 8-of-11 (72.7 percent).
Boise State took its lone lead of the game at 4-2, before Utah State went on a 16-0 run to open an 18-4 advantage. Diop started the spurt with a pair of free throws and freshman guard Jennifer Schlott hit a three-pointer at the 9:40 mark. BSU closed to 20-13 with 4:07 left in the first half on a layup by Kinzi Poteet, but the Aggies stretched their lead to 30-18 at the half as Schlott hit two free throws 43 seconds before intermission.
USU scored the first eight points out of halftime as Diop hit a layup at the 17:39 mark for a 38-18 Aggie advantage. After Utah State took a 46-30 lead on a jumper by sophomore guard Chelsea Burns at the 12:27 mark, Boise State scored eight unanswered, while USU was held without a field goal for eight minutes as the Broncos closed to 46-38 after a Bos layup with 8:41 on the clock.
That would be the closest BSU would get, as Diop ended the Aggies' drought with a layup and USU re-took a double-digit lead and coasted to victory. Christensen hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1:37 to ice the win.
Utah State continues WAC action by hosting Fresno State on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. (MT). Saturday is Fresno State's WAC opener. Saturday is also Pack The House Night where all Aggie fans wearing blue will get in free.
To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com under the "tickets" drop down menu. Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Coach Pebley on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State Athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
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