Jan. 7, 2012
LOGAN,Utah - Four different players reached double-digits in scoring, as the Utah State women's basketball team completed non-conference action with a 61-43 win over in-state rival Utah Valley Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State ends non-conference action with a 9-5 record, and has won four-straight games. This is the second four-game winning streak of the season for the Aggies. Utah Valley is now 6-9 this season and has lost two-straight games to Western Athletic Conference teams after losing to San Jose State on Jan. 5.
Senior forward Ashlee Brown and senior guard Brooke Jackson led Utah State with 13 points each. Brown was one of three Aggies with eight rebounds along with senior forward Maddy Plunkett and freshman guard Elise Nelson, who had a stand out game. Nelson also added a career-high 12 points, going 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Plunkett added 10 points as the fourth Aggie in double figures.
Junior guard Jenna Johnson played stellar defense with a career-high six steals. USU ended the game with a season-high 17 steals.
Utah Valley was led by nine points off the bench from Whitney Jenkins. Sammie Jensen, the Wolverines leading scorer, was held to seven points but added a game-high 11 boards.
For the fourth-straight game, USU won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Wolverines, 47-34. Utah State is now 6-0 when out-rebounding its opponents this season. The 47 boards was the most this season and only the second time this year they have reached the 40-rebound mark.
In a very physical game, UVU ended with 27 fouls compared to 15 by USU.
The Wolverines came out strong early in the game, taking an early lead after a three pointer by Kyra Prause. The game was back and forth the first eight minutes of the game with three lead changes.
A pair of free throws by freshman guard Elise Nelson put USU back in the lead 13-11 with less than nine minutes remaining in the first stanza. Utah State used a mini 4-0 run to extend its lead to 15-11. From this point on, the Aggies would never trail again.
Plunkett's second three pointer of the half gave USU its then-biggest lead of the half 20-12 with under five minutes remaining in the half. A Plunkett three pointer opened up the Aggie lead to 28-16 with less than a minute left.
In the first half, USU was led by 10 points from Plunkett, while Brown added five points and five rebounds. Junior guard Jenna Johnson had a strong defensive presence in the first half with three steals and a block.
The Aggies kept UVU's leading scorer, Jensen, to only three points in the first half all of them from the charity stripe. The 16 first-half points for the Wolverines was the fewest allowed by Utah State in a half this season.
In the second stanza, Utah State took as big a lead as 18 points before the Wolverines cut that lead to 13, 36-23 with 12:27 left in the game.
Utah Valley was not finished, cutting the lead down to 40-28 with 9:14 left in the game, but a Brown basket with nine minutes left extended the Aggie lead to 42-28. Utah State would never trail by less than 10 points in the second half.
The Aggies improved their free throw shooting in the second half, making 16-of-22 for 72.7 percent in the final 20 minutes. USU was busy from the charity stripe shooting 33 free throws in the game, making 23.
USU ended the game 17-of-53 (32.1 percent) from the floor. The Aggies were 4-of-21 from three-point range (19.0 percent), while shooting 23-of-33 (69.7 percent) from the charity stripe. Utah Valley was 14-of-50 (28.0 percent) from the field, making 2-of-14 threes (14.3 percent). The Wolverines went 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) from the free throw line.
Utah State will now prepare for WAC action. The Aggies begin on the road, taking on New Mexico State on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 12 p.m. (MT). USU concludes the road trip at Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. (MT)
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
Live stats will be available for most Utah State women's basketball games through the women's basketball page on www.utahstateaggies.com, by clicking on GameTracker in the current events box. All home games can be viewed by clicking on "Watch Live."
For tickets contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435)797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletic web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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