POCATELLO, Idaho -
Utah State opened a three-game week on the road Monday, falling 64-44 at regional rival Idaho State.
Junior center Deja Mason led the Aggies with a season-high 10 points. Scoring was pretty evenly spread otherwise, including a career-high eight points from freshman guard Emmie Harris. Mason and sophomore guard/forward Shannon Dufficy were tops in rebounding, tallying six apiece. Idaho State had two players score in double figures, led by 12 points from Brooke Blair. The Bengals out-rebounded the Aggies 42-23 on the night, the biggest differential for USU this season.
Utah State suffered its third-straight loss Monday night, falling to 1-4 on the season. Idaho state improves to 5-1 overall with the victory.
Idaho State opened the game with a 3-point shot on its first possession, but Eliza West quickly evened things up with one of her own. The Aggies then took their first lead of the night when Olivia West arced a perfect shot over her back. After that opening trey, the Bengals would not score again until the 5:53 mark, allowing USU to jump out to a 9-3 lead. That scoreless streak ended with another shot behind the arc, while roles reversed and Utah State went another 3:03 without a point. A quick 7-0 run by the Bengals gave them the lead. Despite three points from Mason, ISU responded with three more to secure the 19-14 lead at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter started strong for the Aggies, with a pair of free throws from freshman guard Emmie Harris and a layup from Mason. Harris then hit her first collegiate 3-point shot to put USU ahead. Idaho State had several opportunities, including a stop at the free throw line, but did not score until the 6:38 mark of the quarter. The back-and-forth feel of the game continued, as the teams traded shots and the lead. However, the Bengals found an offensive spark in the final minutes of the quarter, embarking on an 11-0 run and taking a 35-25 lead into the halftime break.
Though USU missed its first shot of the second half, Eliza West ended the Aggie scoring skid with a layup after an Idaho State turnover. Mason added a jumper to reach as season-high scoring mark, but that was the last field goal for the Aggies for several minutes. Idaho State continued to find success on the floor, scoring another eight straight before USU could respond. A free throw from sophomore guard/forward Hailey Bassett and a layup off a turnover from Olivia West put the Aggies back in it momentarily, but the Bengals finished the quarter with a 53-34 lead.
The fourth quarter started slow, with Bassett scoring the first basket on either end two minutes in. The teams were evenly paced, scoring just five points each up until the three-minute mark. Redshirt sophomore guard Lindsey Jensen connected on an old-fashioned three-point play, followed by a layup from redshirt sophomore guard Victoria Price. Idaho State was held without a field goal for 3:19 before a 3-pointer ended the drought, but it wasn't enough time for the Aggies to make up the ground. A final offensive rebound on their own end of the court sealed the deal for the Bengals, taking the 64-44 win.
Overall, Utah State shot 28.3 percent (15-of-53) from the field, 15.8 percent (3-of-19) from the 3-point line and 73.3 percent (11-of-15) from the free throw line. Idaho State shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the floor, 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from behind the arc and 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the free throw line.
The Aggies now head to the island of Maui, where they will play two games in the Maui Jim Maui Classic, hosted by Oregon State. There, Utah State will play Montana State on Friday, Dec. 1, at 9 p.m. (MT) and No. 21 Oregon State on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 11 p.m. (MT).
Fans can follow USU women's basketball on Twitter, @USUWBasketball, on Instagram, @USUWBasketball, as well as on Facebook, at /USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at /USUAthletics.
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