Nov. 22, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Three players scored in double figures as the Utah State women's basketball team improved to 4-0 with a 78-66 win over Idaho State Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
This is the first time since the 1978-79 team started the season 5-0 that USU has won its first four games. With the loss, Idaho State falls to 2-3. The win against the Bengals halted a six-game winning streak for Idaho State. Utah State had not won a game against Idaho State since Nov. 17, 2006. Overall, ISU leads the season series 16-14.
Sophomore guard Makenlee Williams led all scorers with 24 points to go along with four rebounds. Senior guard Jennifer Schlott added 20 points, including going 11-for-14 from the free throw line. Junior guard/forward Ingrida Strikas had a season-high 15 points to go along with eight rebounds. The Aggies were out-rebounded for the first time this season, 50-42.
Idaho State was led by 22 points from Lindsey Reed. Jessica Tingey had the game's only double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. Both teams had turnover issues with ISU turning over 26 times to USU's 22.
Both teams were turnover prone early with 13 in the first 13 minutes.
A wide open three by Strikas gave Utah State the 15-6 lead early on which was followed by a three by sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow to give USU the 18-6 advantage. A Schlott trey stretched the lead with 12:46 left in the half, putting USU up 21-8.
Four different Aggies drained threes to put USU up 24-8 with 11 minutes remaining after senior guard Cristal Turner hit from deep. The Bengals used a 7-0 run to cut the Utah State lead to 24-15 before a Williams fast-break layup but an end to the run.
USU took its first 20-point lead when Strikas was left alone under the basket as USU took a 35-15 lead with under four left in the first 20-minutes of action. The Aggies used a 18-0 run to pull away from the Bengals late in the first half. The Aggies biggest lead of the game was 27 points after a free throw by junior forward Franny Vaaulu.
The 18 first-half points were the fewest allowed by the Aggies since giving up only 11 against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 28, 2013. In the first half, the Aggies were led by 17 points from Williams, while Strikas added nine. Schlott added seven points and four steals.
Idaho State was led by eight points from Tingey, while Anna Policicchio scored four. The Bengals were plagued by 17 first-half turnovers. The Bengals scored the first five points of the half to cut the lead to cut the lead to 44-23. Idaho State continued to chip away at the lead to get it under 20 at 50-31.
Utah State found themselves in foul trouble early in the second half with Strikas and junior guard Elise Nelson both getting whistled for their fourth foul before the mid-way point of the half.
USU held on to win despite being limited without a field goal for the last 6:29 of the game, as the ISU defense limited them to just five field goal attempts. However, Utah State was able to draw fouls by Idaho State and the Aggies cashed in on their opportunities at the free throw line to keep the Bengals at bay by making 11-of-14 (.786) at free throw line over that span, including 6-of-8 (.750) in the final 2:00. Those numbers were highlighted by Schlott going 6-of-6 at the charity stripe during that stretch, with all six coming in the last 2:58.
For the game, Utah State shot 41.4 percent from the field (24-of-58), including 55.9 percent in the first half. The Aggies were 7-of-20 from beyond the arc which was good for 35.0 percent, while shooting 71.9 percent from the charity stripe (23-of-32).
Idaho State shot 30.3 percent from the field (20-of-66) and 17.2 percent from three (5-of-29). The Bengals shot 67.7 percent from the free throw line (21-of-31).
Utah State hits the road for the first time next week traveling to Northridge, Calif., for the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic. The Aggies open the tournament against Hampton on Friday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. (MT). USU will then take on either host Cal State Northridge or Santa Clara on Saturday, Nov. 30.
All USU home games are streamed on the Aggie Digital Network in conjunction with the Mountain West Digital Network. Fans can watch the streaming by going http://www.utahstateaggies.com/videos/.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at www.twitter.com/UtahStateWBB, as well as on facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUAthletics. Utah State women's basketball is now also on instagram at www.instagram.com/USUWbasketball.
Aggie women's basketball tickets will be available by contacting 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 athletics web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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