LOGAN, Utah -
Returning to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum from its first Mountain West bye, Utah State women’s basketball fell to Wyoming, 64-46, Wednesday.
Sophomore guard Olivia West was the leading scorer for the Aggies, putting up 11 points. Sophomore guard/forward Shannon Dufficy was the top rebounder on the night with seven. Wyoming had four players in double figures, led by Natalie Baker who tallied 21 points.
Utah State falls to 5-18 on the year, including a 3-9 Mountain West ledger. Wyoming moves to 15-7 overall and 8-3 in league action with the win.
It was a slow start on both ends of the court, Wednesday, as both teams struggled with early turnovers. Wyoming was first to score, doing so two minutes into the quarter. Dufficy put the Aggies on the board two minutes later, but USU would not score again until the 4:16 mark, where redshirt sophomore guard Victoria Price hit a pair of free throws. A short run for the Aggies briefly gave them the lead, but the Cowgirls answered with an 8-0 run. Sophomore guard/forward Hailey Bassett and Olivia West put up a quick four points to end the run, while Wyoming added one free throw on its final possession of the quarter. After one, Wyoming held a 16-12 lead.
The Cowgirls were at the free throw line on their first possession of the second quarter, but eight-straight points, including back-to-back treys from sophomore guard Eliza West, once again put the Aggies on top. Wyoming was quick to tie the score up again, but a layup from junior center Deja Mason moved it back to USU's favor. As Utah State held Wyoming scoreless for 2:38, roles reversed as the Aggies went another 3:57 without a basket. Mason ended that drought with a layup in the final minute of the half, but the Cowgirls took the 27-24 lead into the halftime break.
Wyoming opened the second half on a hot streak as Baker scored eight-straight points. Just like the start of the game, Dufficy was the one to get the Aggies back on the board, as she hit a layup at the 7:06 mark. Unfortunately the USU offense stalled again, going another 6:24 without a basket. Olivia West ended the drought in the paint, while Bassett added a jumper in the final seconds of the quarter. Olivia West then three up a last-chance shot near half court, banking it in as time expired, but Wyoming held a 47-33 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Cowgirls' hot streak returned in the early minutes of the fourth, opening on a 11-1 run, including three 3-point shots. After a USU timeout, Mason added a layup for the Aggies, followed by a shot from redshirt sophomore guard Lindsey Jensen. With two free throws and a layup, freshman guard Emmie Harris added a fast four points to the Aggie line. Olivia West then added another layup to reach double figures as the clock neared the minute mark. Utah State held Wyoming without a basket for the final 3:10 of the game, but the Cowgirls secured the win for the season sweep over the Aggies.
Overall, Utah State shot 37.0 percent (17-of-46) from the floor, going 37.5 percent (3-of-8) from the 3-point line and 90.0 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line. Wyoming shot 50.0 percent (24-of-48) from the field, including 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from behind the arc, and was 75.0 percent (6-of-8) from the free throw line.
The Aggies return to the road this weekend, playing at Boise State (14-9, 8-4 MW) on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball on Twitter, @USUWBasketball, on Instagram, @USUWBasketball, as well as on Facebook, at /USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at /USUAthletics.
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