FRESNO, Calif. – In what was a battle of two of the best three-point shooting teams in the Western Athletic Conference, it was the inside game that hurt Utah State, who fell to first-place Fresno State, 73-46, at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., Saturday.Utah State falls to 10-7 overall and 2-2 in WAC action. Fresno State stays perfect in WAC play, improving to 4-0 in conference play and 13-5 overall.For the first time in five games, junior guard LaCale Pringle-Buchanan did not reach double-digits in scoring ending the game with only five points. The Aggies were led by junior forward Stacey Howard who had a career-high nine points. Senior center Lydia Whitehead scored six points and added four rebounds for the Aggies. Freshman guard Pualei Furtado also had a career-high with five points scored.Fresno State was led by 17 points from junior Jalessa Ross. Senior Joh-Teena Filipe, a transfer from Utah, scored 14 points for the Bulldogs. Ross was also the game-leader in rebounds with six.Both teams got off to a slow start in the first half with the Bulldogs turning it over its first five possessions and the Aggies missing its first four shots. The first basket of the game was scored at the 17:03 mark of the first half with an Amber White layup. Fresno State got on the board at the 16:42 mark of the first half with a LaShay Fears free throw. The Aggies had trouble taking care of the ball themselves with five turnovers in the first seven minutes of the half.The Bulldogs took advantage of the Aggie turnovers by scoring 10 points off of turnovers, compared to USU only scoring two points off of turnovers in the first half. The Aggies and the Bulldogs, who are two of the best three-point shooting teams in the WAC, both struggled from beyond the arc in the first half. Utah State was 1-of-6 from three in the first stanza, while Fresno State was 1-of-7.Fresno State started the second half strong, scoring the first four points of the game. USU fought back with four-straight points from senior center Lydia Whitehead who was in foul trouble much of the first half. The Bulldogs took over in the second half, out-scoring USU 30-13 midway through the second half.Fresno State took its biggest lead, 29 points, at the 10:28 mark of the second half. It was the biggest deficit that the Aggies have faced since being down 24 against Pepperdine on Dec. 5 in Tempe, Ariz. The Bulldogs ended the game out-scoring Utah State 21-6 in points off of turnovers. The 26 turnovers that USU had was the most this season.For the game, Utah State shot 33 percent from the field (16-of-48). The Aggies had one of their worst shooting performances of the season from three, shooting 14.3 percent (2-of-14), while having a good day from the free throw line shooting 75 percent (12-of-16). Fresno State shot 44.3 percent from the field (27-of-61) and only 20 percent from three (2-of-10). The Bulldogs ended the game 77.3 percent from the free throw line (17-of-22).Utah State remains on the road to take on Hawai‘i on Monday, Jan. 18 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Last season, both teams won on the road. Utah State then returns to Logan to take the other Aggies of New Mexico State on Saturday, Jan. 23.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.
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