March 7, 2006
RENO, Nev. - Utah State's three seniors all scored in double figures in their final game in Aggie uniforms as Idaho defeated USU 70-59 in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament here Tuesday.
With the loss, Utah State finished the season 3-24 overall, including a 2-14 mark and a ninth-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference. Idaho improved to 10-18 overall and will meet 17th-ranked Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Wednesday night.
Senior post player Jessica Freeman led the way for the Aggies scoring 16 points on eight of nine shooting, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking four shots. Her 16 points were the fourth most ofher career.
Fellow seniors Ashley Rutledge scored 10 points, while making two three-pointers and Ali Marchant came off the bench to hit all five of her shots for 10 points in just 15 minutes of play.
Freeman scored 12 of Utah State's first 20 points in the game in the first 13 minutes of the contest. The senior hit six of seven shots from the field in the first half and finished the night eight of nine from the field.
Idaho was led by Leilani Mitchell, who scored 24 points and Emily Faurholt, who added 19 points.
The Vandals outscored USU 37-24 in the second half en route to the victory.
The teams were tied at 18 before USU went on a 13-4 run to gain a 31-22 advantage late in the first half. Idaho responded with its own 11-4 run to cut the margin to 35-33 at halftime. USU's halftime lead was its first in the last five games.
After USU gained a 42-41 lead on an Ashley Rutledge three-pointer, Idaho went on an 8-0 run to gain a 49-42 lead. UI pushed its advantage to 59-46 on an 18-4 run and the Vandals never looked back.
Utah State was one shot shy of shooting 50 percent from the field for just the second time in three years as the Aggies were 24 of 49 from the field for 49 percent. USU struggled from three-point range, making just five of 20 treys. USU also committed 18 turnovers to Idaho's nine miscues.
UTAH STATE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES Vs. Idaho (WAC First Round) March 7, 2006
O - Jessica Freeman scored 12 of USU's first 20 points (all in the first 13 minutes). She was six of seven shooting in the first half. She proceeded to hit eight of nine shots on the night.
O - Freeman recorded the fourth best scoring night of her career with 16 points - 21 vs. Utah Valley State this year, 20 vs. UC Irvine last year and 18 vs. Louisiana Tech this year.
O - Freeman reached double-figure points for the sixth time in the last 10 games as well as the 10th time this year.
O - USU just missed shooting 50 percent from the field for just the second time since the program was re-instated for the last three years (shot 53.7 percent against Idaho State in the fourth game of this year). The Aggies were 24 of 49 from the field.
O - After USU went on a 13-4 run with the score tied at 18, Idaho ended the half on its own 13-4 run to pull within 35-33 at the break.
O - USU led at halftime for the first time in the last five games, but for the second game in a row lost after holdinig the first period lead.
O - USU dropped to 1-8 all-time against Idaho, including a 1-2 mark this season.
O - USU ended its year losing six straight games. The Aggies' last win was against this same Idaho team in Logan on Feb. 16 (USU won 63-53).
O - USU women's basketball is in its third year of existence after the program was dropped back in 1987 due to budget cuts. USU was 5-22 in its first year back in 2004, went 14-14 a year ago and was 3-24 this season.
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