March 13, 2013
LAS VEGAS. Nev. - Junior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 21 points, including 17 in the first-half, to lead Utah State to a 78-65 win against Denver Wednesday at the Orleans Arena in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
Utah State, who has now advanced to the semifinals of the WAC Tournament in each of last three years, improves to 18-12 with its third win of the year against the Pioneers. Denver ends its season with a 14-17 record.
Schlott, who was 8-of-14 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and 3-for-4 at the free throw line for her 21 points, added eight assists in the game. Senior guard Devyn Christensen and freshman guard Makenlee Williams both scored 16 points, while senior guard Jenna Johnson finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four steals. Williams also led the team with seven rebounds. Senior guard Pualei Furtado also played well for USU as she scored a career-high eight points.
Kailey Edwards had 18 points and Emiko Smith scored 14 points to lead Denver.
Utah State finished the game shooting 54.7 percent from the field (29-53) and a season-high 52.0 percent from three-point range (13-25) as its 13-made treys are tied for the second-most in a single-game this year. USU was also 7-of-9 (.778) at the free throw line. Overall, it was just the second time this year that USU shot 50 percent from the field, and just the third time in shot at least 50 percent from three. Denver shot 42.6 percent (23-54) for the game, including 68.0 percent from the free throw line (17-25), but made just 2-of-16 (.125) three-pointers. Utah State also out-rebounded Denver by one (31-30) and had 11 more assists (18-7).
Schlott scored Utah State's first five points of the game as it raced out to an early 7-0 advantage. Denver closed to within four at 13-9 with 13:27 to play in the half, before USU went on another 7-0 run take its first double-digit lead of the half at 20-9. USU increased its advantage to 13 at 23-10 following a Christensen three-pointer only to see DU score six of the next seven points to get back within eight at 24-16. Leading 27-18, USU went on a 14-6 run to take its largest lead of the half at 41-24 with 3:29 to play on another Christensen trey and led by 17 in the final minute before the Pioneers scored the final four points to make the score 45-32 for USU at the half.
Utah State shot 58.6 percent from the field (17-29), 57.1 percent from three-point range (8-14) and 75.0 percent at the free throw line (3-4). Denver shot 40.0 percent (10-25) in the first-half, including 14.3 percent from behind the arc (1-7), but stayed within striking distance as it made 11-of-15 (.733) free throws. Edwards led the Pioneers with 11 points in the first-half.
The Aggies continued their hot shooting as it made five of its first six second-half shots to take its first 20-point lead of the game at 58-36 with 15:44 to play on a Williams three-pointer. Another Williams trey at the 9:25 mark gave USU its largest lead of the game at 68-45, before Denver answered with a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 13 at 70-57 with 5:44 to play in the game. USU, however, scored the next five points to push its advantage back to 18 and coasted to the 78-65 win as the Pioneers never got closer than 11 points in the entire second half.
Utah State, the second-seed in the WAC Tournament, will now face third-seeded Idaho (15-15) in the semifinals on Friday, March 15 at 1 p.m. (MT). UI defeated San Jose State, 57-55, in the first quarterfinal of the day Wednesday.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at http://twitter.com/USUWBB and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. Fans can also follow all the WAC Tournament action through the "Watch Live," "Listen Live" and "Live Stats" links at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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