Feb. 26, 2005
IRVINE, Calif. - Freshman Taylor Richards matched her career high with 20 points, but a six-minute second half drought proved costly as Utah State fell to UC Irvine, 81-74, in women's basketball action here Saturday night.
"We really had a lack of focus tonight," said head coach Raegan Pebley. "Most of our turnovers weren't forced. The lack of focus ended up contributing to our inconsistency."
Behind eight first-half points from Richards, Utah State led by as many as seven in the first 10 minutes of the game. Irvine slowly chipped away at the Aggie lead and ended-up with a one point lead (33-32) at the intermission.
In the second half, the two teams battled back-and-forth before the Anteaters went on a short run that gave them their biggest lead of the game, 57-51, with 9:47 left in the game. A Brittany Tressler three-pointer, and four straight points by Jessica Freeman, would then spark a 7-O run for the Aggies that gave them the lead (60-59) with just under eight minutes on the clock.
Utah State then suffered a shooting slump from the floor that saw them go without a field goal for six-plus minutes. Two Brittany Tressler free throws were the only points the Aggies scored in that span. UCI would take advantage of the slump, outscoring USU 20-14 in the final 7:12.
Tressler and Freeman also reached double-digits for USU with 16 and 12, respectively. Tressler went four-of-five from beyond the arc, while Freeman narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds.
UC Irvine was led by 24 points from Melissa Jacob, 19 from Angie Ned and 18 from Ashley Biggins. Lauren Yadon grabbed a team-high eight boards for the Anteaters.
Utah State shot better than 40 percent (42.9) for the sixth consecutive game in the loss. They also outrebounded the Anteaters by eight, but committed 24 turnovers to UCI's 18. As a team, Irvine shot 46.6 percent and swiped 11 steals to USU's four.
Utah State has just one game next week, traveling to Idaho on Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (MST)
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