USU women edged by New Mexico State Saturday, 56-55

LOGAN, Utah – Despite being down seven points with 4:20 remaining in the game, the Utah State women’s basketball fought back and fell just short against New Mexico State, losing 56-55 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday afternoon. Red-shirt freshman Banna Diop sank a three pointer with 16 seconds left to give USU its first lead since the 2:16 mark of the first half, 55-54. With nine seconds remaining Diop fouled Jasmine Lowe, who sunk both free throws to give the crimson Aggies the 56-55 lead. Junior guard Alice Coddington gave USU one more chance when she went coast-to-coast and just missed a layup with one second left on the clock. With the loss the Aggies have now lost four-straight games. NMSU snaps its three-game losing streak with the win. Utah State is now 10-9 overall and 2-4 in Western Athletic Conference action. New Mexico State improves to 13-7 overall and evens its WAC record to 3-3. USU junior guard Amber White recorded the first double-double of her career with a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow junior guard Alice Coddington was the only other Aggie in double figures in scoring, bringing down 13 points and adding seven rebounds. NMSU was led by a game-high 23 points from Crystal Boyd, who also added a game-high 11 rebounds for a double-double. Boyd was the only Aggie in double figures, but NMSU had three players with nine points, Jasmine Lowe, Danisha Crobett and Madison Spence. Senior forward Nicole Johnson inched closer to breaking Jessica Freeman’s record for career blocks. Johnson blocked three shots in the loss to the Aggies, giving her 122 career blocks. She is now just five blocks away from Freeman’s career mark of 127 blocks. Both teams struggled shooting in the first half of action. NMSU finished the first stanza shooting 24.2 percent from the field (8-of-33). USU shot a similar 25 percent from the field in the first half (7-of-28). Utah State did not put any points on the board until the 16:55 mark of the first half on two free throws from senior center Lydia Whitehead. The Aggies didn’t make their first field goal until the 15:05 mark of the first half on a three-pointer from freshman guard TJ Goddard. USU did use an 11-0 run to take an 11-7 lead at the 11:45 mark. The Aggies would stretch their lead to 10 points, their biggest lead of the day, 17-7 with 7:22 left in the first half. NMSU fought back with a 7-0 run of its own to cut the lead down to two points at 17-15. The crimson Aggies took the lead with 1:08 left in the first stanza and entered the locker room with a 25-22 lead. New Mexico State kept the lead all of the second half, taking as big a lead as nine points after a pair of free throws from Lowe gave the Aggies the 46-37 lead. With 4:02 remaining in the game, USU started to fight back scoring nine of the next 14 points to cut the lead down to one, 56-55. For the game, Utah State shot 31.6 percent from the field (18-of-57) and 40 percent from three (6-of-15). The Aggies had their best free throw shooting night of the season, shooting 86.7 percent (13-of-15). New Mexico State shot 20 percent from the field (18-of-62) and 23.8 percent from three (5-of-21). NMSU shot 78.9 percent from the free throw line (15-of19). After just one game at home, USU returns to the road for a pair of games in the Gem State next week. The Aggies take on Idaho on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 8:00 p.m. (MT) before facing Boise State on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 6:00 p.m. 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. Utah State also continues its Aggie Incentive Plan which allow fans to earn points for attending women’s basketball games. Aggie fans can accumulate points throughout the season and earn prizes like USU water bottles, clothing and a USU women’s team autographed basketball. 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. -USU-

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