Dec. 17, 2007
LOGAN, Utah - Montana State shot a blistering 65.4 percent from the field in the first half to build a big lead and pulled away to beat Utah State, 71-49, Monday night in women's basketball action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies were making their first home appearance since Nov. 24.
Former USU assistant coach Tricia Binford returned to the Spectrum Monday night for the first time since 2005 when she was an Aggie assistant and left the arena the same way she last left it after a win in her final game on the Aggie bench at the Spectrum. With Monday's win, Binford is now 2-0 against her former mentor, USU head coach Raegan Pebley.
The Aggies lost their second in a row in falling to 2-7 overall while the Bobcats have now won three in a row and are 5-4 on the season.
MSU defeated USU for the second year in a row in taking an 8-2 all-time series lead including 3-2 on the Aggies' home court.
Senior guard Jamelah Brown (Phoenix, Ariz.) was the lone USU player in double-figures with 12 points, while sophomore forward Nicole Johnson (Vancouver, Wash.) and junior guard Danyelle Snelgro (Altadena, Calif.) tossed in eight each.
Montana State had two players in double-digits as both Krislyn Wallace and Rebecca Mercer netted 15 points apiece. Mercer was held to just one point in the second half after tallying 14 in the opening 20 minutes. Eleven of the 12 Bobcat players to see action scored.
The Bobcats out-rebounded the Aggies, 40-28, led by Ana Phippard's six boards while Brown led USU with a career-high nine rebounds.
MSU hit a scorching 17-of-26 (65.4 percent) from the field in the first half in jumping out to a 39-26 intermission lead. The Bobcats cooled off to 12-of-24 (50.0 percent) in the second half, finishing the night 29-of-50 (58.0 percent), including 4-of-10 (40.0 percent) from three-point range.
USU was a paltry 33.3 percent (19-of-57) from the field, including 4-of-16 (25.0 percent) three-point shooting.
The Aggies, who came into Monday's game leading the Western Athletic Conference and ranking 13th in the NCAA in free throw percentage, went to the free throw line six more times than the Bobcats (18 to 12), but made two fewer shots (seven compared to nine), as USU was 7-of-18 (a season-low 38.9 percent) at the charity stripe while MSU was 9-of-12 (75.0 percent).
Utah State trailed just 11-10 at the 15:02 mark of the opening half after a layup by senior guard Taylor Richards (West Valley City, Utah) but the Aggies then went scoreless for the next five minutes. Meanwhile the Bobcats scored seven unanswered as part of a 22-5 spurt to take a 33-15 lead with 5:07 left in the first half. USU trimmed the gap to 13 by halftime, taking a 39-26 deficit to the locker room.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, MSU had pushed its lead to 20 for the first time at 56-36 at the 10:15 mark and stretched it to 22 on two different occasions while USU could only close to 17 at 66-49 with 2:07 remaining. The Bobcats scored the last five points of the game for the final margin.
USU continues its three-game homestand on Saturday, Dec. 22, taking on Saint Mary's in a 1 p.m. tip-off. The Aggies return from the holiday break to face in-state rival BYU on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 5 p.m. in a doubleheader with the Utah State men against Oral Roberts.
For Utah State basketball ticket information, fans can go to www.UtahStateAggies.com and click on "tickets" or call the USU Ticket Office at 1-800-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305.
All the Utah State women's basketball games can be heard on KLGN (1390 AM) in Logan with Evan Nyman calling the play-by-play and Clair Anderson providing color commentary for home games. They can also be heard on the web through Yahoo! Sports, by going to the Utah State Athletic home page at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the Yahoo! Sports link in the right hand column.
Fans can follow all the Aggie home games through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker, a free service, which updates play-by-play and statistics throughout the game.
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