Feb. 5, 2012
HONOLULU - For only the second time since joining the Western Athletic Conference, the Utah State women's basketball team captured both ends of the lengthy road trip at San Jose State and at Hawai`i as the Aggies defeated the Rainbow Wahine 69-55 at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday night. This is the first time since the 2008-09 season that USU won both of those road games.
With the win, the Aggies are now 15-6 overall and 6-1 in the WAC which is their best start ever. For the first time in school history, Utah State is now 5-0 on the road in conference games. The Aggies have now won six-straight games on the road overall. Hawai`i falls to 8-14 overall and 3-4 in league play.
Junior guard Devyn Christensen scored a season-high 25 points, including the first 15 points of the game. Senior guard Brooke Jackson scored 16 points and added three three pointers. Senior forwards Ashlee Brown and Maddy Plunkett both scored 11 points in the win.
The tough Aggie defense was able to keep Hawai`i's leading scorer Kamilah Jackson to only two points. She did add 14 rebounds for the Rainbow Wahine. Breanna Arbuckle led all UH scorers with 19 points.
Behind eight-straight points from Christensen, USU jumped out to an early 8-1 lead. The junior would go on to score the first 15 points for USU with nine points coming from beyond the arc. A free throw by Jackson was the first point not scored by Christensen as the Aggies took a 16-10 lead with under 13 minutes left in the half.
After Christensen's 17th point of the half, USU jumped out to a 23-13 lead with 9:22 left in the half. Four-straight points cut from the Rainbow Wahine cut the lead to 26-19 before a Plunkett lay up stretched the lead to 28-19.
Throughout the first half, the Rainbow Wahine were hampered by poor free throw shooting, ending the half 3-for-10 from the charity stripe.
After going most of the first half without scoring, Brown scored the final six points of the half for the Aggies as Utah State entered the locker room with a 38-25 advantage.
In the first half, Utah State was led by 17 points from Christensen, including nine points from three. Jackson added eight first half points for USU. Brown added six points and four rebounds. Freshman guard Elise Nelson added four rebounds and three assists in the first half.
Hawai`i was led by seven points from Arbuckle who also added two rebounds. The Rainbow Wahine leading scorer Jackson was held to two points in the first half but did bring down six rebounds. Kalei Adolpho led both teams with eight rebounds in the first half.
Plunkett scored the first four points of the half, putting USU up 42-27 and leading to a Hawai`i timeout with 17:56 left in the game. The Aggies continued to maintain a double-digit lead much of the second half. After an Arbuckle lay up, the Rainbow Wahine were able to cut the lead to 60-49 with just over six minutes left. The Aggies used a 7-0 run to help shut the door on the Rainbow Wahine and take a 67-49 lead.
The Rainbow Wahine recovered from their free throw shooting problems in the second half going 11-for-11 in the final 20 minutes of action.
Both Hawai`i natives, Pualei Furtado and Kamie Imai saw playing time for the Aggies as this is their last time on the islands with Hawai`i leaving the WAC next season. Both were able to get on the scoreboard.
Utah State ended the game, shooting 24-of-59 (40.7 percent) from the floor. The Aggies were 9-of-18 from three-point range (50.0 percent), while shooting 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) from the charity stripe. Hawai`i was 19-of-58 (32.8 percent) from the field, going 3-of-15 three (20.0 percent). The Rainbow Wahine were 14-of-21 (66.7 percent) from the free throw line.
After a successful three-game road trip, Utah State returns home for a short two-game home stand. The Aggies take on Louisiana Tech on Thursday. Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. USU will then face New Mexico State on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. Both games are doubleheaders with the Utah State men's teams. The game against the Aggies can be seen live on KMYU. It will be televised live on KMYU-TV (Comcast Ch. 22, Dish Network Ch. 12, Over-the-Air 2.2) throughout the state of Utah with Mychal Clanton (play-by-play) and Brooks Hansen (analyst) calling the action.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.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."
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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