Strong Second-Half Not Enough As USU Women's Basketball Falls To Colorado State, 88-78, Wednesday
Jan. 15, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - In the first meeting since 1987, Colorado State led wire-to-wire against the Utah State women's basketball team, stopping the Aggies, 88-78, at Moby Arena in Fort Collins on Wednesday.
The Aggies could not recover from a tough first half, despite out-scoring the Rams 48-35 in the second half. The Rams now leads the season series 11-9 with this being the first meeting of the two teams as members of the Mountain West.
After winning its first two Mountain West contests, Utah State now falls to 2-2 in league play and 8-7 overall. Second-place Colorado State improves to 4-1 in league play an 12-4 overall.
Senior guard Jennifer Schlott had her 10th 20-point game, leading all scorers with 24 points. She also added six assists and three steals in 39 minutes. Sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow scored in double figures for the third-straight game with 10 points. Junior forward Franny Vaaulu also added 10 points and four steals.
With six assists, Schlott now stands alone in second place with 342 career helpers. She is now 30 assists away from passing Taylor Richards who now leads with 371 career assists. She is also now fifth all-time in USU history in scoring with 1,105 points.
Four different Rams scored in double figures, led by Sam Martin who had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ellen Nystrom also had a double-double with 16 points ad 11 boards. Elin Gustavsson added 16 points, while Gritt Ryder scored 10.
After two quick Colorado State baskets, the Aggies were forced to call a timeout with the Rams taking the early 4-0 lead. USU reached the first media timeout without a basket, trailing CSU, 7-0 with 15:34 remaining in the first half. Schlott then scored five straight to cut the lead to 9-5.
Back-to-back threes, by Newton pushed the Colorado State lead to 25-14. Newton's third three of the game extended the lead even more, 30-14 with over eight minutes left in the half. The Rams continued to be torrid from the field shooting over 58.8 percent from the field in the first half, including 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.
The half ended with Colorado State leading Utah State 53-30. The 53 points were the most allowed in the first half this season. It also ties the most allowed in a half this year with the 53 allowed in the second half in a win against Air Force. The Aggies were led at halftime by eight points from Schlott and seven from Bairstow. Sophomore Tijana Djukic scored four points with junior forward Jasmine Porter adding six first-half points.
The Rams had two players in double figures in the first half with Gustavsson scoring 13 and Nystrom adding 10 points.
In the second half, the Rams continued to have the hot hand, stretching their lead to 68-41 after a pair of free throws by Nystrom. A jumper by Ryder gave the Rams their biggest lead of the game, 72-41 with under 12 to play.
Utah State would not go down without a fight, scoring eight-straight points to cut the Ram advantage to 72-49 with under 10 left. The Rams responded getting lead back up to 79-49 after a layup by Nystrom.
USU got the game under 20 with a pair of Schlott free throws with two minutes left. Despite being down as many as 31 points in the second half, the Aggies showed great moxie and fought to the final whistle. A three by freshman guard Liz Landreth got the lead down to 10 its smallest since the score was 22-14.
For the game, Utah State shot 34.3 percent (23-of-67) from the field. The Aggies shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-22), while ending the game shooting 80.6 percent from the charity stripe (25-of-31). Colorado State shot 51.6 percent from the field (33-of-64), while making 9-of-22 from three which was good for 40.9 percent. The Rams shot 72.2 percent from the free throw line (13-of-18).
The Aggies return home to open a two-game homestand, beginning with Boise State on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. Utah State will then host UNLV on Wednesday Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.
Live stats will be available this week by going to www.utahstateaggies.com. Live audio for both games is available by going to the "Listen Live" link on the front page of the Utah State web site at www.utahstateaggies.com.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at www.twitter.com/UtahStateWBB, as well as on facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUAthletics. Utah State women's basketball is now also on instagram at www.instagram.com/USUWbasketball.
Aggie women's basketball tickets will be available by contacting the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435) 797-0305 or at 1-888- -STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletics web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.