LOGAN, Utah – Ashlee Brown and Banna Diop both nabbed double-doubles along with 15 points from Devyn Christensen led Utah State women’s basketball in a battle against conference leader Louisiana Tech, but it wouldn’t be enough for USU to over take the Lady Techsters, falling 78-70 Saturday in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The loss spoiled USU’s Senior Day, as it was the Aggies’ home finale. Brown, a junior forward, padded her school record with her ninth double-double of the season including 16 points and 12 rebounds alongside, Diop, a sophomore center, posting her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Diop led the Aggies in the rebounding column. LA Tech had four players in double-digits including Adrienne Johnson with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Tarkeisha Wysinger-Mackey averages 10.9 points a game and nabbed 18 points and seven rebounds, while Martina Holloway added 11 points and Whitney Jones contributed 10 points. The Aggies are now 15-12 and 9-5 in WAC action while Louisiana Tech improves to 21-5 and remains undefeated in WAC play at 13-0. Utah State stopped Louisiana Tech on their first three possessions. The Aggies went up by four points before LTU’s sunk back-to-back three-point buckets. Utah State responded with a three-point basket from Christensen, and a possession later another one from freshman Jennifer Schlott. USU was up seven with 12 minutes left in the first half when the Lady Techsters went on a 10-0 run. Utah State battled back as the Aggies and Lady Techsters traded buckets and evened the score twice until Codding hit a three-point basket with 39 seconds remaining to put the Aggies up by one point going into the locker room at 36-35. The last time Louisiana Tech was down at the half was Feb. 12 at New Mexico State when the Lady Techsters were also down by one at 37-36. Johnson had posted her double-double heading into the locker room with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Aggies were led by Brown with eight points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes of action. USU returned from the locker room and held the Lady Techsters to the 17 and a half minute mark with no points. Utah State extended the lead to four at the 14:38 mark but LTU quickly returned with a jumper from Wysinger-Mackey and back-to-back three point buckets from Martina Holloway and then Whitney Jones with 12 minutes remaining. Louisiana Tech continued on an 18-4 run, but the Aggies would not relent. Christensen made an off-balance lay-up and was fouled on the shot by Jasmine Bendolph. Christensen, leading the WAC in free-throw shooting, sunk the “and-one”, bringing the Aggies back within seven at 71-64 with 2:29 left. Diop made a layup against a LTU double-team with 1:33 remaining leaving USU down by only four at 71-67. The Lady Techsters hit two pair of free-throws, when Diop returned to sink a three-point basket with 41 seconds remaining and the Aggies down by five. The Lady Techsters final points would come from three free throws as the Aggies gave a final push, but LA Tech hung on for the win. For the game, Utah State shot 36 percent (26-of-71) from the field and added 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) from three-point range. The Aggies went 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) from the free-throw line. Louisiana Tech shot 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from the field and 5-of-17 (29.4 percent) from the three-point range while adding 19-of-26 (73.1 percent) from the charity stripe. The Aggies will head to Hawai’i on Thursday, March 3 at 10 p.m. MT. and then continue on the road to head to San Jose State, Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. which will conclude the Aggies regular season action. The Western Athletic Tournament will be held the The Orleans March 9-12 in Las Vegas, Nev. 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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