Aggie Women's Basketball Opens the Finkbeiner Era With Exhibition Win Over New Mexico Highlands Friday
Nov. 2, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Behind a stellar first-half performance, the Utah State women's basketball team captured an 81-72 exhibition win over New Mexico Highlands Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Senior guard Devyn Christensen led all scorers with 32 points, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott added 13. Senior guard Jenna Johnson ended the game with six points and six rebounds to lead USU on the boards. Christensen also added a team-high seven steals as the Aggies ended with 27.
New Mexico Highlands was led by 17 points from Alyssa Lopez and 11 from Haley Grossman. On the boards, both Kate Cryderman and China Smith had 10 rebounds.
New Mexico Highlands finished its tour of the Beehive State 2-1 with losses to USU and Southern Utah, while beating Utah Valley.
"You have to credit your opponent for not giving it away because they came back in the second half. I don't think they did many things different. They pressed us a little bit which didn't have too much of an impact, but what they did do they didn't give up. That is a credit to their coach and their kids, because they could have," USU coach Jerry Finkbeiner said.
The Finkbeiner era began with a bang as the Aggies used a 6-0 run to jump out to a 18-8 lead with 12:04 left in the first half.
Utah State used back-to-back three pointers by freshman guard Makenlee Williams and Christensen to stretch its lead to 20 points with a 33-13 advantage with 8:41 remaining in the half.
The teams would enter the lockerroom with the Aggies leading the Cowgirls, 51-30. Christensen scored 24 points in the half, including shooting 4-for-8 from three. Schlott added six points in the half. Defensively, the Aggies were strong in the first half with 19 steals. Four players had three steals, including Christensen, sophomore Franny Vaaulu, senior Cristal Turner and senior Jenna Johnson. Turner, who turned 23 Friday, also added a rebound in the first half in her Aggie debut.
The Cowgirls did out-rebound the Aggies, 24-18, in the first half. Lopez led all Highlands scorers with nine first-half points.
In the second half, the Cowgirls began to claw their way back in to the game. After Turner drained a three to give USU a 20-point lead at 61-41 with 14:56 left to play, the Cowgirls slowly fought back. A three by Michelle Traynham with 10:01 left on the clock cut the lead to 70-55. A 5-0 Cowgirl run trimmed the lead to 11at 71-60 with 8:37 remaining in the second half. The smallest the lead would be was nine which is how the game ended.
For the game, USU was 28-of-75 (37.3 percent) from the field, hitting 9-of-32 (28.1 percent) behind the three-point arc. The Aggies were also 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) at the free throw line.
New Mexico Highlands was 41.8 percent (21-of-30) field goal shooting, making 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from three-point range, and the Cowgirls were 21-of-30 (70.0 percent) at the charity stripe.
Before beginning the regular season on the road against Utah Valley on Thursday, Nov. 15, the Aggies will take on the Aggies in the Blue-White Scrimmage on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Spectrum. Admission is free as fans are encouraged to come see the new-look Aggies in person.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at http://twitter.com/USUwbb and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
Live stats will be available for most Utah State women's basketball games through the women's basketball page on www.utahstateaggies.com, by clicking on GameTracker in the current events box. All home games can be viewed by clicking on "Watch Live", while they can be heard by clicking on "Listen Live." Both can be accessed on www.utahstateaggies.com on the front page or the women's basketball page.
For tickets contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435)797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletic web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.