March 15, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Senior guard Devyn Christensen scored a career-high 37 points, including 26 in the second half, but Idaho's Addie Schivo made a pair of free throws with 3.5 seconds left to play in leading the Vandals to an 84-82 win against Utah State Friday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament.
Sophomore center Franny Vaaulu, who had nine points and six rebounds in the game, converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound with 0:11 remaining to tie the contest at 82-all. Idaho's Krissy Karr then missed a layup with 0:06 to play, but Schivo grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with 0:04 left. After Schivo made both free throws, USU had one last chance to tie or win the game but was unable to get a shot off as the final horn sounded.
Utah State, who has now lost in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament in each of last three years, falls to 18-13 on the season. Idaho improves to 16-15 with the win.
Christensen, who was 14-of-24 from the field and 9-of-16 from three-point range, scored the second-most points in a single-game in school history behind Pat Montgomery's 38 points against Weber State in 1979. Senior guard Jenna Johnson added 12 points and 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season and 10th of her career, while freshman guard Makenlee Williams also scored 12 points.
Leading up to Vaaulu's three-point play to tie the game in the final seconds, Christensen scored 26 of the Aggies' 31 points during a 12:43 stretch in the second half.
In the second half, Utah State shot 52.9 percent from the field (18-of-34), 61.1 percent from three-point range (11-of-18), but only shot one free throw, while Idaho shot 56.3 percent (18-of-32) in the final 20 minutes, including 75.0 percent from behind the arc (6-of-8) and 90.9 percent at the charity stripe (10-of-11).
Utah State finished the game shooting 43.9 percent from the field (29-of-66), including 42.4 percent from three-point range (14-of-33) and 76.9 percent at the free throw line (10-of-13). Idaho shot 40.0 percent from the field (28-of-70), including 41.7 percent from three (10-of-24) and 78.3 percent at the line (18-of-23). However, the Vandals out-rebounded the Aggies by 12 (47-35), including 19-9 on the offensive glass, which led to an 18-12 advantage in second-chance points. USU also had one more turnover (13-12) in the game, but the Vandals had a sizeable 21-9 scoring margin in points off turnovers.
Leading 34-32 at intermission, Utah State made 7-of-8 three-pointers to start the second half and built an eight-point advantage at 54-46 with 11:39 remaining on a Christensen trey. USU later led by six at 57-51 with 10:11 to play, before Idaho went on a 17-2 run over the next 4:55 to lead 68-59 with 5:16 remaining. USU later trailed by eight at 77-69 with 2:28 left, before using a 13-5 run to tie the game at 82-all in the final seconds.
After a pair of Johnson free throws for Utah State's first points of the game, Christensen scored USU's next 11 points as she made her first four field goal attempts, including three-straight from behind the arc. Trailing 12-10, USU used a 9-0 run to take its largest lead of the half at 19-12 with 12:23 to play following a Williams jumper. Idaho eventually tied the game at 32-all with 0:34 to play in the first frame, before Williams made a pair of free throws to give USU a 34-32 lead at the half.
Utah State shot 34.4 percent in the first half from the field (11-32), including 20.0 percent from three-point range (3-15) and 75.0 percent at the free throw line (9-12). Idaho shot just 26.3 percent (10-38), including 25.0 percent from three (4-16) and 66.7 percent at the line (8-12). The Vandals, however, out-rebounded the Aggies by four (27-23), including a 10-4 advantage on the offensive glass that led to a 9-2 margin in second-chance points. Christensen led USU with 11 first-half points, while Johnson added 10. Barr had 12 points to lead Idaho at intermission.
The Aggie women will now await their postseason future. Fans can stay tuned to www.UtahStateAggies.com for more information.
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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