Nov. 19, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - With three players scoring in double figures, the Utah State women's basketball team battled to a 69-64 road win against UC Irvine at the Bren Events Centers on Saturday. Senior forward Ashlee Brown led the Aggies with 21 points.
Senior guard Brooke Jackson and senior forward Maddy Plunkett both scored 12 points for the Aggies in the win. Brown added 14 rebounds which was just one shy of her career high. Brown brought down 15 rebounds in an overtime win at Northern Arizona last season.
The Anteaters were led by 20 points from Jazmyne White, while Methlyn Onogomuho had 11 and Jasmine Bernard added 13.
Utah State improves to 3-1 this season with the win, while UC Irvine falls to 0-4 this season. The 3-1 start is the Aggies best since starting 3-1 during the 2009-10 season.
"Ashlee Brown was great for us today. She helped us with offensive rebounds and from the foul line. She is just working really hard for us. We are just working on getting better around her," USU head coach Raegan Pebley said.
Both teams started slowly with several turnovers in the first four minutes of the game. UC Irvine would jump out to a 7-2 lead before a Brown lay up cut the lead to 7-4. The senior scored the first six points of the game for the Aggies, helping cut the lead to 7-6 with 14:30 remaining in the first half.
Brown continued to lead the Aggie offense scoring the first eight points of the game until a lay up by Plunkett cut the lead to 12-10 with less than 11 minutes left in the first half. Brown continued to be a one-woman show, scoring 13 of USU's first 15 points.
The Aggies took their first lead of the game on a lay up by sophomore guard Kamie Imai to take a 19-18 lead with 5:12 left in the half. Jackson scored six-straight points on an old-fashioned three-point play followed by a three to tie the score at 25-25 with less than two minutes left in the half.
Turnovers plagued Utah State in the first half with 16 compared to seven by UC Irvine. Despite the turnover problems in the first half, the Aggies would enter the locker room tied with the Anteaters 28-28. Brown would record her third double-double of the season in the first half with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Jackson ended the first half with eight points. UC Irvine was led by eight points from Kiara Belen.
"We do need to cut down on the turnovers. It is the little things that we need to take care of. It is not just one thing. We did face a high-tempo defense with aggressive ball pressure. It is only going to make us better seeing this kind of defense at this point of the season," Pebley said.
Behind three-straight field goals by junior guard Jenna Johnson, USU pulled out to a 37-30 lead early in the second half. After taking as much as a nine-point lead, the Anteaters fought back to cut the lead to 41-40 at the 14:29 mark. Despite getting within one point, the Anteaters would never re-take the lead.
The Aggies opened up a nine-point lead, after two free throws by Imai to go up 54-45. Utah State continued to maintain at least a six-point lead until a jumper by White cut the lead to 61-58 with 2:54 remaining in the game.
Plunkett gave the Aggies a 65-60 lead with a huge basket with less than two minutes remaining in the game to help seal the win for Utah State.
For the game, USU out-rebounded UCI 37-31. The Aggies shot 43.4.0 percent from the field (23-of-53) and 25.0 percent from three (1-of-4). Utah State shot 81.5 percent from the free throw line (22-of-27). The Anteaters shot 47.5 percent from the field (28-of-59) and 10.0 percent from three (1-of-10). UCI shot 43.8 from the free throw line (7-of-16). USU made six more free throws than UC Irvine attempted.
Utah State returns home for two games the week of Thanksgiving, taking on Boise State on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. On Friday, the Aggies will take on UC Riverside on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind 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." 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.
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