Jan. 27, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Junior forward Ashlee Brown's school-record eighth double-double of the season with game highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds sparked Utah State to a 52-41 win over Hawai'i in Western Athletic Conference women's basketball play Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. USU overcame a 12-point first-half deficit and used an 8-0 and a 9-0 second-half spurt to snap its two-game losing skid.
The Aggies improve to 9-10 overall and 3-3 in WAC play. Hawai'i slides to 6-14 overall and 0-7 in conference action, as the Rainbow Wahine have now lost eight in row, and Thursday wrapped up their five-game road swing. UH has now lost 16-consecutive WAC games, dating back to last season. USU won its second-straight home game, improving to 3-1 in home league contests, while moving to 6-5 overall. Thursday was also the Aggies' second win in a row over the Rainbow Wahine, but UH still leads the series, 8-3, as WAC foes and 8-7 overall.
Brown's 21 points and 14 rebounds is her eighth double-double this season, passing the single-season school record of seven held by former Aggie Ali (Aird) Marchant during the 2003-04 season, which was the first year of action after the women's basketball program was reinstated at USU. Marchant was in attendance Thursday night, as she serves as the Aggies' radio color commentator for home games.
While Brown was the only Aggie player in double-digits Thursday night, a total of 10 different players scored as all 14 Aggie players on the roster saw action, including sophomore guard Chelsea Burns adding eight points off the bench. Burns buried back-to-back three-pointers, a season-high for treys made, on consecutive USU possessions to complete the Aggies' comeback and give them a 25-23 lead, their first since 3-2. Freshman guard Jennifer Schlott also chipped in with seven points off the bench, as the Aggie reserves had a 23-10 advantage over their Rainbow Wahine counterparts. Sophomore forward Banna Diop notched three blocked shots while sophomore guard Jenna Johnson swiped three steals.
Senior guard Alice Coddington added five points and four assists, while adding two steals, to give her 204 for her career, inching closer to the school record of 216 swipes held by former USU player and current Aggie assistant coach Danyelle Snelgro (2005-08).
Hawai'i also only had one player in double-digits, as Keisha Kanekoa tallied 15 points, while Julita Bungaite and Rebecca Dew added six points apiece. Bungaite pulled down a team-leading 12 rebounds. Shawna-Lei Kuehu had team-bests of three blocks and three steals.
The Rainbow Wahine rallied from a 3-2 deficit with a 17-5 run to take a 19-7 lead at the 6:50 mark after a layup by Courtney Gaddis. USU cut the gap to 21-17 at the half, as Schlott hit a three-pointer from the right corner with eight seconds on the first half clock.
Down 23-19, USU reeled off the next eight points, as Burns hit a three-pointer from the right corner and on the Aggies' next possession hit a trey from the right wing for a 25-23 lead with 16:23 to play, and Johnson capped the streak with a layup. After Hawai'i regained the lead at 31-30, Utah State scored nine unanswered, starting with back-to-back Brown buckets and capped by consecutive layups by Schlott for a 39-31 Aggie advantage with 9:12 to go and USU didn't relinquish its lead from there-on-out. Brown scoring on a putback with 25 seconds left for the Aggies' largest lead and the final scoring of the night.
Utah State shot 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the field, hitting 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) of its three pointers, while making a season-low 35.0 percent (7-of-20) at the free throw line. Hawai'i was 15-of-46 (32.6 percent) field goal shooting, netting just 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) of its three-pointers while making 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) at the charity stripe. USU is now 9-0 when having a higher three-point percentage than its opponent.
The Rainbow Wahine had a slight, 42-40, rebounding edge, as the Aggies improved to 5-8 when getting out-rebounded by the opposition.
The USU defense forced 20 UH turnovers, the eighth time this season causing 20 or more miscues. The one three-pointer made by Hawai'i and the 11.1 three-point shooting percentage is also a season-low allowed by the Aggie defense.
Utah State remains in the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, hosting San Jose State on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. (MT). Half of the proceeds from Saturday's women's basketball game will go to the International Red Cross to help with the flood relief efforts in southern Australia.
To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com under the "tickets" drop down menu.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Coach Pebley on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State Athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
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