March 4, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Despite four different Aggies fouling out, the Utah State women's basketball stood tall, defeating Wyoming at the Arena Auditorium Tuesday, 84-80, on the Cowgirls' senior night.
The Aggies did something that no other Mountain West team had done this season by defeating Wyoming at the Arena Auditorium. The Cowgirls were 8-0 at home in MW games entering the game against Utah State. The Aggies also put a damper on Wyoming's senior night as the Cowgirls had three senior, playing their final regular-season game at home.
With the win, USU ends the regular season, winning three-straight games, improving to 14-15 overall and 8-10 in Mountain West action. Wyoming falls to 19-9 overall and 10-7 in league play.
The Aggies were led by 31 points by senior guard Jennifer Schlott, who scored 27 in the first half. Despite fouling out with over eight minutes left in the game, Schlott had her conference-leading 12th 30-point game of the season. Sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow had a career-high 16 points to go along with five rebounds. Junior forward Ingrida Strikas was clutch in the second half, tying her career-high with 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Strikas was a stellar 11-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Senior Fallon Lewis led the Cowgirls with a double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Kaitlyn Mileto used the long ball to score 30 points, going 7-of-18 from beyond the arc. USU was able to keep Kayla Woodward, who is third in the MW in scoring, off the scoreboard. She ended the game with on eight points in 37 minutes.
Behind a fast start from Mileto, the Cowgirls jumped out to an early 10-6 lead before a Bairstow three cut the lead to 10-9. Mileto scored eight of Wyoming's first 11 points.
The Aggies jumped out to a 16-11 advantage after five-straight points from Schlott. Behind the Cowgirls' fourth trey of the first half, Wyoming came fighting back cutting the lead to 21-19 with 12:20 left in the half.
USU stretched its lead to 29-19 after back-to-back threes by Schlott. The Aggies scored eight-straight points before a Woodward stopped the run. Wyoming came roaring back with an 7-0 run to trim the Utah State lead to 33-29 with under seven left in the first period. Another Bairstow three put the Aggies back up 36-29.
As the fouls began to mount for Utah State, Wyoming stayed in the game with a strong performance from the free throw line. A Chelan Landry free throw cut USU's lead to 43-38 with 1:54. The Cowgirls ended the half making 15-of-20 free throws.
Schlott scored her 27th point of the half off of a three as time expired to give the Aggies the 51-41 halftime advantage.
Besides Schlott's 27 points, Bairstow had 13 points matching her career high, including going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Senior guard Cristal Turner added five points with Nelson bringing down four boards.
Wyoming was led by 16 points from Mileto, while Lewis added 12. On the boards, Mileto was also led UW on the boards with a game-high seven first-half rebounds.
It took the Aggies almost three minutes in the second half to get on the board. A Turner old-fashioned three kept the USU lead at 10 points, 54-44.
Wyoming back to fight back as the Aggie foul count continued to rise. With 14 minutes left both Nelson and Vaaulu had been called for their fourth fouls.
The Cowgirls cut the lead to 58-53 after a Mileto trey. Lewis cut the lead to 58-56 as Bairstow picked up her fourth foul. She was one of three Aggies with four fouls with 11:47 still left on the clock.
Wyoming took the lead 62-60 after Mileto's seventh three of the game with under 11 minutes remaining. From that point the home team kept the lead for much of the second half.
To add insult to injury with 8:50 still left in the game, Schlott fouled out with 31 points. Mileto's eighth three-pointer of the game once again put the Cowgirls 71-68 as the battle between Wyoming and Utah State continued without Schlott.
With 2:38 left on the clock, Williams hit three free throws to cut the lead to 75-73. Strikas began to take control for the Aggies, tying the score at 76-76 with a three-point play.
With under two minutes left, Williams came up with a huge steal and a fast break layup that gave the Aggies the lead, 78-76. From that point USU did not give up the lead. USU made seven free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory.
For the game, Utah State shot 41.3 percent (26-of-63) from the field. The Aggies shot 37.0 percent from beyond the arc (10-of-27), while ending the game shooting 84.6 percent from the charity stripe (22-of-26). Wyoming shot 34.4 percent from the field (21-of-61), while making 10-of-34 from three which was good for 29.4 percent. The Cowgirls shot 70.0 percent from the free throw line (28-of-40).
The Aggies have now concluded the regular season and are the only team in the MW that will not play on Friday. USU awaits the announcement of the Mountain West Tournament bracket. The tournament begins on Monday, March 10 in Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack Arena.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at www.twitter.com/UtahStateWBB, as well as on facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUAthletics. Utah State women's basketball is now also on instagram at www.instagram.com/USUWbasketball.
Aggie women's basketball tickets will be available by contacting the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435) 797-0305 or at 1-888- -STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletics web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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