Nov. 25, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Junior guard Devyn Christensen drained a three with seven seconds left to break a 68-68 tie and lift the Utah State women's basketball team to a 71-68 win over UC Riverside on Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies have now won four-straight games to improve to 5-1 this season. Utah State is off to its best start since the 1978-79 season when USU started 5-1. The very tough UC Riverside team fell to 1-5 with the loss.
For the second-straight game, Christensen scored in double figures, scoring a team-high 15 points, adding three rebounds and three steals. Senior forward Ashlee Brown scored 13 points and added eight rebounds, while senior guard Brooke Jackson scored 11 points and had a season-high six assists. Brown also tied a career high with three blocks in the win.
UC Riverside had five players in double figures, out-scoring the Aggies 45-40 in the second half. The Highlanders were led by 15 points off the bench from Jazzmin Lewis. Both Natasha Hadley and TreShont Nottingham had 12 points. Hadley completed the double-double with 11 rebounds to lead all players.
Behind evenly distributed shooting, Utah State jumped out to an early 16-8 lead with 11:15 left in the first half. USU extended its lead to 21-10 the biggest lead in the first half with less than nine minutes left in the game.
The Highlanders scored four-straight points to cut the lead to 23-16 with 6:19 left in the game. A jumper by junior guard Pualei Furtado followed by a turnover by UC Riverside helped cool the Highlanders as the Aggies took a 25-16 advantage.
The tenacious Highlanders cut the lead to 27-23 after a three by Brittany Palmer. USU closed out the half with a 4-0 run to end the first 20 minutes with a 31-23 lead. UCR was plagued when its third leading scorer Jessica Ogunnorin had three fouls by intermission.
After keeping the turnovers to a minimum against Boise State on Wednesday with only 10, Utah State struggled in the first half with 10. The Aggies would end the game with 19.
Eight different Aggies scored in the first half led by eight by Brown. Diop came up big in the first 20 minutes with six points, while the star of the game against the Broncos, Brooke Jackson, scored five first-half points.
The Highlanders came out strong in the second half scoring eight of the first 10 points of the half to cut the Aggie lead to 35-31. A 7-0 run highlighted by five-straight points from Schlott gave the Aggies a 42-31 advantage. USU maintained a double-digit lead the bulk of the second half, but UC Riverside went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 55-47. The Highlanders cut the lead down to 55-53 after a Nottingham lay up. The Aggies turned up the heat after that with seven-straight points to take a 62-53 lead with less than four minutes left.
The Highlanders had one final push left in them, using a 7-0 fun to take its first lead of the game, 66-64, after a lay up by Leah Washington with 36 seconds remaining in the game. Two Jackson free throws tied the game 66-66 with 28 second left in the game. Nottingham sunk two free throws to put UCR back up 68-66 with 22 seconds left. Brown answered with two free throws of her own to tie the score for the fourth time, 68-68, with 20 second left on the clock.
In a key moment, freshman guard Elise Nelson took a charge which gave USU the ball back with 12 seconds left. The ball eventually got back in the hands of Christensen who drained the game-winning three with seven seconds on the clock to secure the Aggie victory.
USU was 23-of-53 (43.4 percent) from the floor in the game, including 6-of-12 from three-point range (50.0 percemt), while UCR hit 27-of-64 (42.2 percent) from the field, hitting 3-of-5 threes (60.0 percent).
The Aggies now hit the road for a trio of road games against the Big Sky Conference. USU begins the trip on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at Montana at 7 p.m. Utah State concludes the tour of the Big Sky State at Montana State on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. The Aggies will take on Idaho State in Pocatello on Dec. 10 at 2 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."
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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