Nov. 12, 2012
OREM, Utah - Utah State women's basketball dropped the 2012-13 season opener, 78-62, at Utah Valley Monday in Orem, Utah. The Aggies were not able to recover from first-half shooting woes despite much better second-half shooting.
With the loss, the Aggies fall to 2-8 in season openers since the program's re-instatement. Utah State is now 0-1 this young season, while Utah Valley evens its record at 1-1.
Utah State was led by 16 points from senior guard Devyn Christensen, who scored 11 of her points in the final 20 minutes. Fellow senior guard Jenna Johnson added 13 points. Both had four of the Aggies' game-high 19 steals. In her USU debut, senior guard Cristal Turner was the Aggie leader on the boards with seven.
Utah Valley's Sammie Jensen led all scorers with 31 points and 14 rebounds. Kaycee Mansfield also added a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards for the sharp-shooting Wolverines. For the game, UVU shot 50.9 percent from the field.
Johnson made the first two baskets of the season for the Aggies, but a pair of Wolverine baskets put UVU up 7-4 early. USU used a mini 5-0 run after three by Christensen and a fast-break layup by junior guard Jennifer Schlott to tie the score at 9-9 with 14:59 left in the first half.
The Aggies were cold from the field to open the game, shooting under 23 percent in the first nine minutes of the half. As USU's shooting woes continued, the Wolverines used an 8-0 run to take a 19-11 lead with less than nine minutes left in the half. The run was halted by two free throws by Christensen to trim the lead to 19-13. The six-point deficit was as close as the Aggies would get the rest of the half.
After Utah Valley took its biggest lead of the half 30-18, Utah State looked to chip into that lead with basket by freshman guard Stephanie Bairstow, only to see Jensen stretch the lead back to12 with two of her 13 first-half points. Baskets by newcomers Bairstow and Turner helped USU end the half down eight, 34-26.
In the first half, Utah State was led by nine points from Johnson who also added three rebounds and two steals. Despite a rough first-half shooting, Christensen added five points in the first 20 minutes of action. As a team, the Aggies were 9-of-42 shooting in the first half, including 2-of-15 from three. USU was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. The Aggies did out-rebound the Wolverines 30-23 in the first half.
Utah Valley was led by 13 points and seven rebounds from Jensen with Alle Cardwell adding six points in the first half.
The Aggies used a 6-0 run to start the second half to cut the Wolverine lead to 34-32. Utah State closed within one point, 40-39 before the Wolverines scored five-straight points to extend their lead to six points at 45-39.
A Jensen lay up helped UVU take a 63-52 with 5:58 remaining. USU was not able to recover from that point. The Wolverines took its biggest lead of the game, 78-58, after a free throw by Whitney Jenkins. The Aggies were able to score the final four points of the game, all by freshman guard Makenlee Williams, to cut the lead to 78-62, which is how the game would end.
For the game, Utah State shot 29.1 percent (23-of-79) from the field and 17.2 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-29). USU was a solid 11-of-13 from the free throw line for 84.6 percent. The Wolverines shot a stellar 50.9 percent from the field (29-of-57) and 23.1 percent from three (3-of-13). Utah Valley shot 63.0 percent from the charity stripe (17-of-27).
The Aggies remain on the road heading to the Golden State for a pair of games, USU will take on UC Riverside on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. (MT). The Aggies will then travel to Los Angeles to take on Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. (MT). Utah State will play its first six games of the season away from Logan.
Utah State's women's basketball tickets are available through USU's website at www.UtahStateAggies.com or by calling the ticket office toll free at 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball on twitter at http://twitter.com/USUwbb or on facebook at http://facebook.com/USUWBB, or Utah State athletics on twitter at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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