Nov. 20, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - With eight seconds left on the clock, senior guard Devyn Christensen drained a three to give Utah State women's basketball its first win of the season 67-66 at Sullivan Arena at the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.
The Lady Panthers took a three-point lead with 51 seconds remaining in the second half after a Latia Williams lay up. On the next possession, Christensen hit a three to tie the score for the third time with 33 clicks of the clock left. Williams hit another jumper to put PVAMU back up by two 66-64 with 20 seconds left. Christensen had the last word with her career-high sixth trey of the game to seal the win.
The win was the first of the season for the Aggies (1-3), and the first Utah State win for head coach Jerry Finkbeiner. Prairie View A&M was also in search of its first win of the season and falls to 0-3 with the loss.
Christensen led all scorers with 24 points, while also adding a career-high eight assists. Wasilla, Alaska, native, Jenna Johnson scored 10 points in her return to Sullivan Arena and added seven rebounds and five assists. Freshman guard Stephanie Bairstow was also big on the boards with eight, as USU out-rebounded its first opponent of the season.
The Lady Panthers were led by 21 points from Kiara Etienne. Latie Williams added 17 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
After USU scored the first six points of the game, the Lady Panthers fought back, cutting the lead to 6-2. The Lady Panthers eventually trimmed the lead to 7-6 with 17:25 left in the first half. PVAMU took its first lead of the game 10-9 with 15:08 with left in the first half after a Gabrielle Scott jumper.
The Lady Panthers continued to fight stretching its lead to 23-19 before a lay up by sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu put USU within two points 23-21 with 8:44 left in the half, causing a Lady Panther time out. With under eight minutes remaining, a lay up by sophomore guard Elise Nelson put USU back on top 27-25.
USU was a strong defensive presence in the first half with 10 steals and four blocks.
The teams traded baskets before a three by Etienne gave Prairie View A&M the 32-30 lead. Christensen followed with back to back threes to put the Aggies back on top 36-32. The Lady Panthers cut the lead to 36-34 which is how the first half would end. This was the first time this season that Utah State entered the locker room with a lead.
In the first half, Utah State was led by 11 points from Christensen who also added four assists and three steals in the first 20 minutes. Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu added five points and two boards, while Johnson and Bairstow both had four first-half points. The Aggies out-rebounded the Lady Panthers 22-16 in the first half, including 16 defensive rebounds.
Prairie View A&M was led by a game-high 13 points from Etienne in the first half with Williams adding 10.
The Aggies opened up a 10 points lead 49-39 after a lay up by Christensen with 16:04 remaining. Utah State took its biggest lead of the game, 51-39, after a Johnson lay up. From there, the Lady Panthers began to cut into the Aggie lead.
The Lady Panthers slowly chipped away at the Aggie lead, making it a 53-50 game jumper by Chelsea Azore with 9:04 remaining. PVAMU re-took the lead 60-59 after another lay up by Scott with 4:00 left. From that point neither team would take more than a three-point lead.
Christensen's late heroics would finally put USU up to end the game. For her efforts, she was named Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout Player of the Game.
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.
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