Feb. 10, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Sophomore center Banna Diop scored a career-high 22 points, including 20 in the second half to lead the Utah State women's basketball team to a, 70-64, victory Thursday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The win was the Aggies' fifth-straight and the second five-game winning streak of the season. USU also won five-straight from Nov. 27 to Dec. 8.
With the win, Utah State improves to 13-10 overall and 7-3 in the Western Athletic Conference. The Vandals fall to 12-10 overall and 5-5 in WAC action. The fifth-straight WAC win for the Aggies is their longest-conference winning streak since the 1975-76 season when USU finished 10-3 in Intermountain Athletic Conference action.
Along with 22 points from Diop, sophomore Devyn Christensen and junior Ashlee Brown both added 11 points. Brown also led the Aggies with eight boards. Senior Alice Coddington was crucial on the defensive end with six steals. Coddington has 214 steals in her career and is now two steals away from tying the USU record for held by assistant coach Danyelle Snelgro (2005-09) with 216 in her career.
Idaho had all five of its starters score in double digits and were lead by a 16 point, 14 rebounds performance from Yinka Olorunnife. Derisa Taleni also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah State earned the first points of the game with a layup from sophomore Banna Diop at the 17-minute mark as neither team sunk a bucket for almost the first three minutes. The Vandals used aggressive offense to climb the scoreboard eventually going up by 14 points with six minutes left in the first half. USU halted Idaho and ended the half with an 11-2 run, leaving the Aggies down by five as the score at half was 29-24.
In the first 20 minutes, USU shot 23.3 percent (7-of-30) from the field, hitting 25 percent (3-of-12) from three-point range. The Aggies sunk 7-of-10 (70.0 percent) at the charity stripe. The Vandals were 33.3 percent (7-of-21) in field goal shooting, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from behind the arc, while making 11-of-13 (84.6 percent) at the free-throw line.
Utah State returned from locker room continuing the same fire with which it ended the first half. USU climbed the scoreboard and regained the lead at the 16-minute mark. From that point on, the Vandals and the Aggies battled back and fourth for control of the scoreboard, tying the game three times, until USU finally took over with 1:35 remaining. Diop closed out the game with a demonstrative layup and tough defense on the inside stopping two layups by Idaho's Taleni. Coddington and Christensen each sunk a set of free throws to finalize the win at 70-64.
For the game, Utah State shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61) from the field, including 6-of-18 (33.3 percent) from behind the arc. USU added 16-of-23 (69.6 percent) from the charity stripe. Idaho shot 39.1 percent (18-of-46) from the field and 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from three-point range, while adding 19-of-25 (76.0 percent) from the free-throw line.
Utah State will head to Fresno, Calif for to take on Fresno State who is ranked second in the WAC on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. MT. The battle between the Aggies and the Bulldogs is crucial in the WAC standings. Fresno State currently holds sole possession of second place in the league standings, while the Aggies are still in third place.
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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