Feb. 16, 2013
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Unable to combat a sharp-shooting night by New Mexico State, the Utah State women's basketball team fell, 106-94, at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces on Saturday.
With the loss Utah State had its eight-game winning streak halted, falling to 14-11 overall and 11-3 in Western Athletic Conference play. With a Seattle win, the Aggies are now in second place in the conference standings. New Mexico State improves to 11-14 overall and 5-10 in the WAC.
Utah State was led by 23 points from senior guard Devyn Christensen who also had seven rebounds. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott added 18 points with sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu scoring 16. Fighting foul trouble all night, senior guard Jenna Johnson and freshman guard Makenlee Williams scored 10 and eight points, respectively.
Stefanie Gilbreath led all scorers with 27 points and 11 rebounds for one of two double-doubles for the Aggies. Kelsie Rozendaal also had a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards. New Mexico State scored 27 second-chance points compared to 14 by USU.
The USU defense struggled all night with a season-low two steals. The Aggies also tied a season-low with only one block.
After the Aggies jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, NMSU bounced back to take a 7-6 lead. Utah State started strong from three making three of their first six.
A layup by Jasmine Rutledge opened up a 23-19 lead for the crimson Aggies as NMSU heated up from the field and USU cooled down after a quick start. After NMSU took a four-point lead, neither team was able to get much momentum for the remainder of the half.
A pair of Elise Nelson free throws put Utah State up 35-30 with 3:15 left which was the biggest lead of the half for Utah State.
In the first half, Utah State was led by 12 points from Schlott with Johnson adding eight. Both Johnson and Williams were hampered by early foul trouble, picking up three fouls in the first 20 minutes.
New Mexico State was led by nine points from Rozendaal, while both Gilbreath and Danesia Williamson added eight first-half points.
In the second half, New Mexico State came out aggressive, jumping out to an eight-point lead, 48-40 with under 17 minutes left in the half. The crimson Aggies started the second half on a 9-1 run, which was the biggest lead by any team to that point.
NMSU began to pull away early in the second half with some very sharp shooting. The USU shooting was cold to begin the second half. A Cmaila Rosen layup put NMSU up 64-50 with 10:40 left in the game. A Gilbreath three gave New Mexico State its first 20-point lead of the game, 73-53 with 8:04 left in the game. The crimson Aggies could not miss from three taking a 81-59 advantage after a Williamson trey.
Utah State was not able to recover the big New Mexico State lead, as the crimson Aggies out-scored USU 67-55 in the second half.
For the game, Utah State shot 40.8 percent from the field (29-of-71), while tying a season-high from beyond the arc, shooting 50.0 percent (14-of-28). The Aggies were perfect from the free throw line (22-of-22) in a game with 56 free throw attempts.
New Mexico State shot 42.7 percent from the field (32-of-75), while shooting a solid 39.4 percent from three (13-of-33). The crimson Aggies were also stellar from the charity stripe, shooting 87.9 percent (29-of-33).
Utah State will now take a week off before returning home for its final two home games of the season. The Aggies will host Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m., and UT Arlington on Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m. Against the Mavericks, the Aggies will honor their four seniors, Devyn Christensen, Jenna Johnson, Pualei Furtado and Banna Diop.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.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", while they can be heard by clicking on "Listen Live." Both can be accessed on www.utahstateaggies.com on the front page or the women's basketball page.
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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