Nov. 17, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - Despite a career-high 31 points from senior guard Devyn Christensen, the Utah State women's basketball was stopped by Loyola Marymount, 98-81, at the Gersten Pavillion in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 0-3 this season. This is the second-time in the last three years that the Aggies have started the season 0-3. During the 2010-11 season, USU began the season 0-4 and ended with an 18-15 record.
Besides the 31 points from Christensen, sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu scored in double figures for the second-straight game with 18 points. Senior guard Jenna Johnson added 12 points and was the Aggies' top rebounder with nine boards. Eight of the 10 players that played for USU scored at least two points.
LMU also had three players in double figures in scoring with Alex Cowling leading the pack with 24 points. Mackenzie Keirns had a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Hazel Ramirez was solid for LMU with a double-double of her own with 15 points and 12 assists.
The Lions started strong led by six-straight points from Keirns to take a 9-2 lead. After a Ramirez jumper, LMU jumped out to an early 11-4 lead with 16:26 left in the first half. A 6-0 USU run, cut the Lion lead to 11-10 with less than 15 minutes remaining in the half.
The Aggies took their first lead of the game with just under 11 minutes left after a Christensen three gave USU a 20-18 advantage. Utah State took the lead for a little over a minute. But once LMU re-took the lead on a Deanna Johnson layup, the Aggies would not re-take the lead again.
USU was turnover prone in the first half with 14 in the first 20 minutes, helping LMU take a 35-27 lead with less than five minutes left in the half. A pair of Cowling free throws led to a 10-0 LMU run. The Lions took a 37-27 advantage with 4:41 remaining in the first 20 minutes.
LMU took its biggest lead of the half, 43-31, after Gomez's fourth-straight point. Christensen helped cut the lead to single digits with her third three of the half, trimming the lead to 43-34 with 1:22 on the clock. The first half would end with a Ramirez three that put LMU up 46-36.
In the first half, Christensen led all scorers with 13 points. Vaaulu remained hot in California with eight first-half points. Both Christensen and senior guard Cristal Turner had five rebounds to lead USU.
LMU was led by 12 points from Kerins who also added five rebounds and two steals. Cowling added nine points for the Lions, while Gomez put in six.
The Lions started hot in the second half, increasing the margin to 14 points with 17:27 left in the game after a Ramirez layup. LMU slowly increased its lead throughout the second half. A jumper by Cowling gave the Lions a 60-44 lead with 16:28 left. Ramirez hit a pair of free throws to push the Lion lead to 67-46 with 14:15 left in the game, giving the Lions a game-high 21-point lead. Turnovers continued to plague Utah State throughout the game with USU ending the game with 25.
Christensen took over for USU scoring 18 second-half points to help the Aggies stay in the game. The never say die mentality cut the lead to 10 at 77-67 before LMU scored five-straight points to up the lead to 83-68 with under six minutes left in the game. The Lions were able to make free throws and close out the game.
For the game, Utah State shot a favorable 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the field. The Aggies were 25.0 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-20). USU was again solid from the free throw line, shooting 85.7 percent (24-of-28).
The Lions shot a 48.6 percent from the field (36-of-74) and 41.7 percent from three (5-of-12). LMU shot 84.0 percent from the free throw line (21-of-25).
Utah State will return home for a brief time before heading to Alaska for the Great Shootout, taking on Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 8 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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