Freshmen Richards And Gross Lead Aggie Women To First Conference Win
Jan. 8, 2005
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Freshmen Taylor Richards and Jenny Gross both recorded career-highs in scoring to lead Utah State to a 71-60 conference win against Cal Poly in women's basketball action here Saturday night.
"We showed a lot of composure tonight against their pressure," said head coach Raegan Pebley. "We still had 25 turnovers in the game, but that is one less than Cal Poly has been forcing this year, so we can chalk that one up as a success."
Saturday's win marked the second straight year Utah State has defeated Cal Poly to record its first conference win of the season as it improved to 6-6 overall and 1-2 in the Big West. The win also gave the Aggies one more win then they had all of last year (5-22), with 15 games still on the schedule. Meanwhile, Cal Poly dropped to 7-4 and 2-2 in the league.
Richards' career-high of 20 points came on five-of-nine from the floor, including two-for-four from beyond the arc, while Gross' career-high of 14 points came on five-of-six from the floor. Gross had only scored a total of 11 career points going into Saturday's game. She narrowly missed a double-double as well, pulling down nine boards.
The Aggies and Mustangs kept things close for the majority of the opening half before USU went on a 14-6 run in the final six minutes to take its biggest lead of the half, 38-30. Cal Poly would score the final three points of the half, however, as the Aggies went into the intermission with a 38-33 lead behind 57.1 percent shooting from the floor.
Utah State continued to build on its lead through much of the opening minutes of the second as they led 49-39 at the 14:16 mark. The Mustangs would then break out on a 14-4 run over the next six minutes to tie the game at 53 with 8:21 to go in the game. USU's defense would then step up the intensity to close the game as it allowed just seven more points to propell USU to the 11 point victory.
Also scoring in double-figures for the Aggies was Christina Zdenek with 12, while Kalhie Quinones had nine points and six rebounds.
Cal Poly was led by Katy Paterson's 18 points, 14 of which came in the first half. She also led the Mustangs with seven rebounds.
The Aggies rebounded from a poor shooting night on Thursday to shoot 40.7 percent from the floor. They also dominated the Mustangs on the glass with a 51-31 advantage. Cal Poly shot just 32.8 percent on the night.
Utah State now returns to Logan for two conference games against Pacific and Cal State Northridge next week on Thursday and Saturday night. Both games start at 7 p.m.