Jan. 27, 2005
LOGAN, Utah - Jessica Freeman scored a career high 20 points to lead Utah State to a 71-68 victory in Big West women's basketball action here Thursday night.
USU improved to 10-7 overall and 6-3 in the Big West while winning for the fifth time in its last six games. UCI dropped to 2-14 and 1-7.
Freeman actually reached her career best by scoring 14 points in her first 13 minutes of action. Her previous best was 13 points earlier this season against Northern Colorado.
Freeman, a 6-2 junior forward, hit eight of 11 shots from the field while adding two rebounds and three blocked shots. Taylor Richards added 14 points, six rebounds and matched her career high with seven assists, while Ali Aird pumped in 13 points, while chipping in six rebounds and three blocks.
UC Irvine was led by Angie Ned, who scored a game-best 30 points, while adding eight rebounds and three steals. Melissa Jacob added 17 points for the visitors who were down to just seven healthy and eligible players for the game.
Utah State never trailed during the first 26 minutes, but fell behind 47-46 when Ned hit a layup with 13:46 remaining in the game. The Anteaters pushed their lead to 52-48 when Ned hit one of her six three-pointers at the 9:35 mark.
However, USU went on a 13-3 run to lead 61-55 with less than five minutes left in the game. The visitors cut the margin to two on three occasions, including 70-68 with :29 left after a three-pointer by Lauren Yadon.
Trailing 71-68, UCI attempted to tie the game on a Ned three-pointer, but her attempt was blocked by Kalhie Quinones and the Aggies escaped with the narrow victory.
USU matched its season best field goal percentage by shooting 46.4 percent. The Aggies won despite getting beat badly on the boards as UCI out-rebounded the hosts 40-27. However, 21 Anteater turnovers gave Utah State too many opportunities.
The Aggies will host Long Beach State on Saturday at 7 p.m., while UC Irvine will visit Idaho on the same day.
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