MOSCOW, Idaho -
The Aggies had a late rally, but it wasn't quite enough, as Utah State wrapped up the 2016-17 season in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational Wednesday, in a 64-57 loss at Idaho.
Freshman guard Olivia West led the Aggies in scoring with 15 points on the night, while adding a career-high five assists. Freshman forward Shannon Dufficy logged her fifth double-double of the season as she added 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Idaho had two players in double-figures, led by 19 from Taylor Pierce.
Utah State's season comes to an end with a 17-15 record. Idaho improves to 18-14 as it advances to the next round of tournament play.
The Aggies opened the game on a 7-0 run, as sophomore guard Rachel Brewster scored from behind the arc on the first possession to get things started. However, Idaho responded with seven-straight points of its own to tie things up. The teams traded shots back-and-forth around the media timeout before the Aggies hit a rough patch. Utah State was held without a basket for just over three minutes, missing six field goal attempts. Freshman guard Olivia West ended the skid and the quarter with a jumper, but the Vandals led, 17-14.
The second quarter opened in Utah State's favor, where Dufficy was the first to score. A layup from senior forward Antoina Robinson then followed to give Utah state the lead back. The Aggies started the second quarter on an 11-2 run, allowing just a single field goal from the Vandals in the first six minutes of the quarter. Idaho found an offensive spark then, however, as it held Utah State scoreless for the remaining four minutes, while scoring eight points. A 3-point shot just before the buzzer put Idaho back in the lead, taking a 27-25 advantage into the halftime break.
Out of the break, Idaho struck early with a pair for 3-pointers, taking its biggest lead of the night and forcing a Utah State timeout. That lead continued to grow for Idaho, as Utah State didn't score until the 6:35 mark of the third quarter, allowing a 10-0 run for the Vandals. A single free throw from Robinson snapped Utah State's scoring skid, while West added a layup on the next possession. Utah State got in on the 3-point scoring action in the final minutes of the quarter, but it wasn't enough, as the Vandals led, 52-38, after three.
Much like she had the final say in the third quarter, Toole scored first for either team to start the fourth. The Aggies continued their run with a jumper from freshman forward Hailey Basset and a trey from Dufficy. Utah State tallied nine points in the first minutes of the quarter, cutting Idaho's lead in half. The Vandals were held scoreless until the 6:25 mark of the quarter before ending their skid with a pair of free throws. Brewster hit a 3-pointer to put the Aggies within two, but the Vandals answered with their first field goal of the quarter, also behind the arc. The teams traded 3-point shots for the next few minutes, as the Aggies continued to fight. The Vandals had the final say on the night, hitting their 12th trey of the night as the last minute ticked down.
Overall, Utah State shot 36.4 percent (24-of-66) from the field, including 29.2 percent (7-of-24) from the 3-point line, and was 33.3 percent (2-of-6) from the free throw line. Idaho shot 35.2 percent (19-of-54) from the field, 37.5 percent (12-of-32) from behind the arc and 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the free throw line.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball on Twitter, @USUWBasketball, on Instagram, @USUWBasketball, as well as on Facebook, at /UtahStateWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at /USUAthletics.
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