Jan. 19, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State women's basketball shot a season-high 56.4 percent en route to an 85-69 win over Denver Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
This was the first meeting between the Aggies and the Pioneers. USU has now won two-straight games, improving to 8-10 overall and 5-2 Western Athletic Conference action. Denver falls to 8-11 overall and 3-5 in league play.
Four Aggies scored in double figures led by 25 points from senior guard Devyn Christensen, who also had three steals and two assists. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott was close to her first career double with 15 points and nine assists, which tied her career high. Senior Jenna Johnson had her double-double streak come to an end with five, as she had 15 points and eight boards. Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu came off the bench, scoring 12.
The Pioneers were led by 18 points from Kailey Edwards and Michaela Neuhaus. Emiko Smith also added a team-high five assists.
After the Aggies jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, the Pioneers came back to take a 7-5 lead. USU scored six-straight to take a 11-7 lead with under 15 left in the half. A three by senior guard Cristal Turner helped the Aggie lead balloon to 21-11.
After Christensen's second three of the game, Utah State took a 30-18 lead with under seven remaining, which led to a Pioneer timeout.
The Aggies remained hot from the field making 17 of their first 25 shots in the first half. With its sharp shooting, USU took as big a lead as 20 points in the first 20 minutes.
Christensen scored eight-straight points to give USU a 42-24 lead with 4:17 left in the half. USU went on to score 22 points in the paint in the first half.
Christensen broke out of a shooting slump with 23 first-half points to lead all scorers. Vaaulu added eight points off the bench, while Schlott scored seven in the first half. After two early fouls, Johnson played only eight minutes. The 68 percent that USU shot in the first half was the highest in the first half this season.
Denver was led by 11 points from Neuhaus and Smith had 10. The Pioneers out-rebounded the Aggies 19-15, all of USU's rebounds were defensive.
Utah State scored the first four points of the second to take a 55-33 lead. Denver used a mini 9-2 run to cut the lead down to 67-51 with under 10 remaining. Johnson then scored four-straight points all from the free throw line to put the Aggies back up by 20, 71-51. Utah State eventually scored six-straight points all from the line.
The Pioneers, who are second in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage, had rough night from beyond the arc. They ended the game going 5-for-24 from three for 20.8 percent.
The Aggies maintained a double-digit lead much of the second half, allowing some starters to get some much-needed rest. The biggest lead USU took was 23 points after a Turner layup with 12:31 left in the game. The 16-point win was the biggest of the season for the Aggies.
Utah State was 31-of-55 (56.4 percent) field goal shooting, making 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) of its three-pointers. The Aggies were also 16-of-18 (88.9 percent) from the free throw line.
Denver shot 24-of-71 (33.8 percent) from the field, making only 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) from behind the arc. The Pioneers were 16-23 (69.6 percent) from the charity stripe.
Utah State now hits the road Thursday, Jan. 24 to take on WAC newcomer UT Arlington at 6 p.m. (MT). The Aggies then face Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. (MT).
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.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", while they can be heard by clicking on "Listen Live." Both can be accessed on www.utahstateaggies.com on the front page or the women's basketball page.
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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