Vaaulu Scores Career-High 27 as Aggie Women Fall to Hampton, 98-88, Friday at Thanksgiving Classic
Nov. 29, 2013
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Despite a career-high 27 points from junior forward Franny Vaaulu, the Utah State women's basketball team had its four-game winning streak halted by Hampton, 98-88, in the opening game of the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Cal State Northridge.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 4-1 this season with its first loss coming in its first road game of the season. Hampton improves to 4-2 with the win. This was the first-ever meeting between the Aggies and the Lady Pirates.
The Aggies will conclude the tournament on Saturday, Nov. 30 against the loser of the game between host Cal State Northridge and Santa Clara at 6 p.m. (MT).
Vaaulu, a native of nearby Los Angeles, Calif., broke her previous career high of 24 which was also set in the Golden State against UC Riverside last season. Her total of 27 included two three pointers. She only had three treys in her first two seasons in an Aggie uniform.
Senior guard Jennifer Schlott and junior guard/forward Ingrida Strikas had the Aggies' first double-doubles of the season. Schlott scored 17 points to go along with 11 assists, which was also a career high, while Strikas had 13 points and pulled down 10 boards. Sophomore guard Makenlee Williams added 15 points.
The Lady Pirates were led by a stellar performance from Malia Tate-DeFreitas who had a game-high 36 points. Alyssa Bennett added 26 points and 17 rebounds, while Nicole Hamilton had 13 points and 12 assists for Hampton.
Both teams were solid from three early on with a Strikas three tying, the score at 10-10 with under 17 left in the half. Utah State took its first lead of the half on a fast-break layup by Schlott. The Aggies had four different players make a three half-way through the first half. The Lady Pirates had three different player make from long distance in that same span.
The Lady Pirates took a 10-point lead 46-36 after a bucket by Hamilton. The Aggies cut that lead down to 46-39 after a three by senior guard Cristal Turner. For the remainder of the half, Utah State was not able to get the deficit under seven points as Hampton continued its torrid shooting. The Lady Pirates ended the half shooting 48.7 percent from the field.
The Aggies had a solid half as well from the floor, shooting 47.1 percent from the field, including 46.7 percent from beynd the arc. In the first half, the Aggies were led by 14 points from Vaaulu which already matched her season high.
Hampton's Tate-DeFreitas led all scorers with 20 points in the first half. Bennett also added 12 points and six boards for the Lady Pirates in the first half.
After four-straight to start the second half, junior guard Elise Nelson got the Aggies going with a hard-fought rebound that led to an old fashioned three-point play. USU cut the lead to five 55-50 after pair of Schlott free throws. Hampton used a 7-0 run to take control of the game for good, taking a 69-55 lead. The biggest lead the Lady Pirates would take would be 19 mid-way through the second half.
Utah State fought hard throughout the second half, despite the hot shooting of the Lady Pirates. Two Strikas free throws made it a 10-point game before a Bennett basket pushed back to 12 at 87-57 with under four to play. Strikas came back again with a basket to make it 87-77.
For the game, Utah State shot 43.8 percent (32-of-73). The Aggies shot 41.4 percent from beyond the arc (12-of-29), while ending the game at 66.7 percent from the charity stripe (12-of-18). Hampton shot 46.7 percent from the field (35-of-75), while making 11-of-25 from three which was good for 44.0 percent. The Lady Pirates shot 53.1 percent from the free throw line (17-of-32).
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.