LOGAN, Utah – Junior forward Ashley Brown’s game-high 21 points on 13-of-13 free throw shooting paced Utah State to a 72-61 win over New Mexico State Thursday night in an all-Aggie match up in Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Thursday was USU’s Pink Zone event, supporting the Womens’s Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone efforts for the Kay Yow Foundation for breast cancer awareness. In conjunction with Serendipity Salon, Utah State gave out a free pair of spirt sleeves with a $10 coupon for salon services to the first 200 fans in attendance Thursday night and all fans wearing pink were admitted free. With the win, USU improved to 3-2 in Pink Zone games. Brown’s 13-of-13 free throw outing is the most for a USU player during Utah State’s six seasons in the WAC. She is the second player in that same time period to have a perfect free throw shooting effort with at least 10 attempts, and the third time it has happened. Former Aggie player and current USU assistant coach Danyelle Snelgro reached that feat twice, going 10-of-10 on Feb. 26, 2009 also against NMSU, and going 12-of-12 on Nov. 9, 2007 against Pacific. The win was USU’s seventh in the last eight games, improving to 15-11 overall and 9-4 in WAC play, clinching at least fourth-place in the conference standings, as well as tying the 2008-09 team for the most WAC wins in school history with nine. NMSU slid to 11-16 overall and 5-8 in conference competition. Thursday’s win evens the series history between the pair of Aggies at 6-6 as WAC foes while NMSU holds the all-time advantage at 18-12. The win snapped a three-game losing streak in the series for USU. Brown nearly had a triple-double, adding a career-high eight assists to go with six rebounds, while also swiping three steals and tallying one block. Sophomore center Banna Diop added 13 points while fellow sophomore, guard Devyn Christensen, and junior forward Maddy Plunkett added nine points apiece. Senior guard Alice Coddington snared a season-high 11 rebounds to go with seven points and four assists. On the night, USU tallied 23 assists, its second-highest of the season and fourth game with at least 20 helpers. Diop posted a game-high three blocks on the night, part of Utah State’s six swats in the game, its 11th outing with five or more blocked shots. NMSU had three players in double-digits, led by Jasmine Lowe’s 14 points while Tabytha Wampler added 12 and Madison Spence tossed in 10. Danisha Corbett pulled down a team-high eight rebounds as the maroon Aggies had a 42-39 rebounding edge. USU is now 6-2 when getting out-rebounded. Utah State shot a season-high 85.0 percent (17-of-20) at the free throw line, while also making 43.1 percent (25-of-58) of its field goals, including 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from three-point range, improving to 13-0 when shooting better from behind the arc than the opposition. New Mexico State made 26-of-71 (36.6 percent) from the floor, hitting 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) of its three-pointers, missing the first 11 treys of the game. NMSU was also 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) at the charity stripe. The home Aggies never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 13-6 lead on a three-pointer from freshman guard Jennifer Schlott from the top of the arc at the 14:31 mark. Diop later hit a layup for USU’s first double-digit lead of the game at 18-8 with 9:30 left in the half. With 5:07 on the first half clock, Brown hit a three-point play for USU’s largest lead of the opening 20 minutes at 30-13 before NMSU cut the gap to 36-25 at intermission. A long jumper from the top of the arc by Diop later followed by a three-pointer by Coddington from the right wing gave USU a 41-25 lead just a minute and a half into the second stanza. After the visiting Aggies cut the deficit to 43-32 on a three-pointer by Jasmine Lowe, USU opened a 53-36 lead on a long Christensen three-pointer from the left wing with 14:17 left in the game. Diop converted a three-point play at the 4:00 mark to give the nave Aggies their largest lead of the night at 70-50, and USU held off NMSU’s comeback attempt, cutting the margin to 11 twice, but not able to get any closer. Utah State hosts Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Feb. 26 in USU’s home finale. The match-up with the WAC-leading Lady Techsters starts at 3 p.m., preceding the USU men’s basketball game against Idaho at 7 p.m. Saturday is Senior Day for both the women and men’s programs, as the Aggie women will be honoring their four seniors, guards Alice Coddington, LaCale Pringle-Buchanan and Amber White along with forward Stacey Howard. To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com under the “tickets” drop down menu. Fans can follow USU women’s basketball and Coach Pebley on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State Athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. -USU-
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