Dec. 4, 2012
Provo, Utah - In the closest battle with BYU since a 61-60 overtime loss in 2008, the Utah State women's basketball team came up just short against the Cougars at the Marriott Center in Provo on Tuesday, 81-77.
The Aggies out-scored the Cougars 46-42 in the second, not once backing down. Utah State has now lost three-straight games, falling to 2-6 overall this season. BYU evens out its record at 4-4 with the win.
Four different USU players reached the double-figure mark led by 18 from senior guard Jenna Johnson who also added five rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Devyn Christensen added 17 to go along with four rebounds and four steals. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott was one point from tying her career high with 16 points, while freshman guard Makenlee Williams broke her season-high with 15 points to go along with a team-high six boards.
BYU was led by 22 points from Haley Steed who scored six three pointers which made up 18 of her 22 points. Ashley Garfield led all players with 16 rebounds. With the win, the Cougars are now 31-3 all-time against the Aggies.
Utah State was fast out of the gate, scoring the first five points of the game before a Kim Beeston three cut the lead to 5-3. Good defense and solid shooting pushed the Aggie lead to 11-5 before the Cougars fought back making the score 11-10. USU's active hands gave it four steals in the first seven minutes.
A Steed three gave BYU its first lead of the game with under 11 minutes left in the half. A Schlott three pointer tied the game for the second time in the game,18-18, with under 10 left in the first period. In what became a three-point battle in the first half, the teams exchanged threes with BYU jumping out to a 31-28 lead with 3:29 left in the half.
The Aggies tied the score four times but would never re-take the lead.
The Cougars used a 10-0 run to pull ahead late in the first half. A pair of Bailey Morgan free throws gave BYU its biggest lead of the half 39-28. A Stephanie Bairstow three broke the streak, trimming the lead to 39-31 before the half ended.
Williams led all scorers in the first half with 10 points, including a perfect 2-for-2 from three. Both Schlott and Christensen added seven points in the first half.
BYU shot better from three in the first half from three than from the field, shooting 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from beyond the arc and 45.2 percent (14-of-31) from the field. Steed led the Cougars with nine first-half points, while Bailey Morgan was the top rebounder with seven.
After the Cougars jumped out to a 12-point lead in the second half, 46-34, the Aggies powered back with four-straight points to cut the lead to eight points, 46-38 at the 17:11 mark. A pair of free throws and a three by Kylie Maeda stretched the BYU lead to 13 points, 51-38 as USU hit an offensive drought. Johnson scored seven-straight to stop the drought and put USU down 51-45.
The Aggie run inflated to 10-0 before a Steed by three got the Cougars back on board, 54-48 with 12:00 left in the game.
Christensen's third trey of the game put USU down only three 60-57 with 9:05 remaining as Utah State continued to fight. USU continued tough on the defensive end of the ball, forcing nine second-half turnovers. After the Aggies got within one point at 62-61, the Cougars bounced back to take a 71-63 lead with less than four minutes remaining.
The Aggies never gave up, clipping the lead to three on three separate occasions in the final 1:15. A Schlott three with 13 seconds left got USU as close as 79-77 before BYU took over for good.
For the game, Utah State shot 48.2 percent (27-of-56) and 42.9 percent from three (9-of-21), both of which were season highs. The Aggies shot 82.4 percent from the charity stripe (14-of-17). BYU shot 44.1 percent from the field (26-of-59), while shooting 44.8 percent from three (13-of-29). The Cougars were 16-of-19 from the free throw line which was good for 84.2 percent.
Utah State remains on the road to take on No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. (MT) in South Bend, Ind.
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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