Dec. 29, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Behind 24 points from junior guard Jennifer Schlott, the Utah State women's basketball team cruised to a 79-66 overtime win against UTSA in the Aggies' Western Athletic Conference home opener Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State set a school record, shooting 96 percent from the free throw line, making 24-of-25. The previous record was 95.6 against Colorado in 1980.
USU has now won two-straight for the first time this season, improving to 4-8 overall and 1-0 in WAC action. UTSA falls to 6-6 overall and 0-1 in its first ever WAC game. The Aggies are now 1-0 against the Roadrunners. USU is now 3-2 in WAC home openers and 5-3 overall in WAC openers.
Utah State had two players reach the 20-point plateau with senior guard Devyn Christensen adding 20 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu was huge on the boards with 10 rebounds and eight points. The rebound count was tied between the Aggies and the Roadrunners with 46. Senior guard Jenna Johnson scored 17 points to go along with seven boards and three assists.
UTSA had two players in double figures led by Simone Young's 18 points. Niaga Mitchell-Cole scored 12 points and added eight rebounds for the Roadrunners.
USU's defense forced two turnovers in the first three minutes. Layups from Vaaulu and Schlott helped the Aggies take an early 4-0 lead. After USU scored the first six points of the game, the Roadrunners bounced back, hitting two threes to cut the lead to 8-6 with 14 minutes left.
The Roadrunners jumped out to a 14-10 lead with under 12 left in the first half as the Aggie shooting when cold. The four-point lead was UTSA's biggest of the game.
The Aggies began heating up using a 10-0 run to take a 20-14 lead with 8:34 left in the half. UTSA responded with a mini 4-0 run to trim the lead to 22-20 before a Williams three but the Aggies back up by five.
With 11 seconds left in the half, Schlott snagged the rebound and quickly dribbled down the court making a last second shot from almost half court to give the Aggies a 39-28 half time lead, which was its biggest of the first half.
In the first half, Schlott was the leading scorer for Utah State with 14 first-half points, six from free throws. Christensen started the half slow but ended with seven points. The Aggies were a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the first half. Vaaulu also added six points and six rebounds for the Aggies.
UTSA got 11 points from Young in the first half to go along with four rebounds. Whitney York added six points for the Roadrunners. UTSA out-rebounded the Aggies 23-21 in the first half.
Early in the second half, Schlott got her fourth foul of the game, causing the Aggies to go to the bench. The Roadrunners used a 12-0 run to cut the lead to 43-42 with 11 minutes left in the game. A Johnson jumper would finally end the streak.
The Aggies responded with a 6-0 run to inflate the USU lead to seven, 49-42 with 8:51 remaining. The Roadrunners slowly chipped away at the Aggie lead. A three by Jermini Malone and a layup by Mitchell-Cole trimmed the USU lead to 58-55 with 3:24 left. The Aggie scoring drought continued as the Roadrunners tied the score with a three another three by Mitchell-Cole. Utah State went the final 4:37 of regulation without scoring.
The overtime was another story. Johnson broke a long Aggie drought with a three to start overtime. Utah State scored the first 11 points of overtime to take a 69-58 lead with under two to play. The Aggies continued to make their free throws in the extra period going 12-of-13 from the line in overtime. All of the free throws were made by either Schlott or Christensen.
Utah State shot 24-of-60 (40.0 percent) field goal shooting, hitting 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) of its three-pointers. The Aggies were also a record-setting 24-of-25 (96.0 percent) at the free throw line.
UTSA was 23-of-76 (30.3 percent) from the field, making 9-of-31 (29.0 percent) from behind the arc, and the Roadrunners were 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) at the charity stripe.
Utah State will conclude its four-game homestand against Texas State on New Year's Eve at 7 p.m.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.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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