POCATELLO, Idaho – Despite coming back from a 12-point deficit with 5:52 left in the game, the Utah State women’s basketball fell to Idaho State, 67-65, at Reed Gym in Pocatello on Saturday. A lay up by Kaela Oakes with nine seconds left lifted the Bengals over the Aggies. With the loss, the Aggies fall to 5-4 this season and have lost three-straight games. The Bengals improve to 6-4 with the win. Idaho State has now won six-straight against Utah State. The Aggies are now 1-3 against the Big Sky Conference this season with a win against Weber State and losses to Montana, Montana State and Idaho State. USU has one more chance against the Big Sky on Monday, Dec. 19 when the Aggies face Northern Arizona on School Day at 12 p.m. USU was led by 15 points from senior forward Ashlee Brown, while junior guard Devyn Christensen added 13. This is the eighth time this season that Brown has scored in double figures. Senior guard Brooke Jackson added 10 points. Brown was also the leading rebounder in the game with nine, just shy of her fifth double-double of the season. Lindsey Reed led the Bengals with 16 points, while Oakes led Idaho State with 15 points. Pickering ended the game with 15 points and eight rebounds. Utah State jumped out to a 7-1 lead early in the game after a three pointer by Christensen. Chelsea Pickering who had missed several games due to injury cut the lead to 7-4 with a three of her own. Pickering was fantastic against the Aggies in the win last season with 29 points. A fastbreak lay up by Kaela Oakes tied the score at 11-11 and another Oakes bucket gave Idaho State it first lead of the game 13-11 with less than 12 minutes left in the half. A 5-0 run by the Bengals gave Idaho State a 23-16 advantage with 5:43 left in the first half. A Christensen three stopped the run and cut the lead to 23-19. Pickering scored four-straight points to put the Bengal lead back at seven, 29-22 with 2:16 left in the first half. An Ashleigh Vella lay up with 2:03 left in the half gave ISU its biggest lead of the half 31-22. The Bengals used a 10-1 run to end the half with a 33-22 lead. The Aggies felt the presence of junior guard Jenna Johnson being back in the lineup after missing a game with an injury. Johnson had four points and a steal in the first half. Christensen led USU with six points, while Brown added four points and a team-high six rebounds in the first 20 minutes. The Bengals were led by nine points from Pickering, while Vella added seven first-half points. Idaho State out-rebounded Utah State, 21-17. Utah State shot only 26.7 (8-of-30) percent in the half which was its worst first-half shooting percentage of the season. Idaho State shot exactly 50 percent (14-of-28). USU came out strong to start the second half, shooting much better than in the first. Senior forward Maddy Plunkett drained a jumper to cut the lead down to nine, 33-24 early in the second half. After a missed free throw by Brown, Christensen came up with a big rebound and dished the ball to senior Brooke Jackson. The guard then drained a three to cut the Bengal lead to 36-32 with 16:12 remaining in the second half. Idaho State head coach Seton Sobolewski was called for a technical after a foul on Vella with 13:09 remaining. The ensuing free throws put the Aggies back on top 42-41. Both junior guard Jennifer Schlott and Jackson made their free throws to help USU re-take the lead. The Bengals were not done, using a 10-0 run to take a 51-42 advantage with 10 minutes left in the game. The run was stopped by a Johnson free throw. The Aggies fought back with a 5-0 run of their own to cut the lead to 63-61 with less than four minutes left in the game. A Jackson lay up tied the score for the fourth time 63-63, but Pickering followed with a pair of free throws to put the Bengals back on top 65-63. Brown tied the game for the fifth time with a lay up with 1:41 left on the clock, but USU was unable to stop Oakes who made the game-winning shot with nine second remaining. For the game, the Aggies were out-rebounded by the Bengals 35-32. Utah State shot 37.3 percent from the field (22-of-59) and 35.7 percent from three (5-of-14). Utah State shot 88.9 percent from the free throw line (16-of-18), which was key to its comeback. Idaho State shot 48.0 percent from the field (24-of-50) and 38.1 percent from three (8-of-21). Idaho State shot 84.6 from the free throw line (11-of-13). USU dominated in the paint with 20 points compared to four by Idaho State. The Aggies only have one game next week, taking on in-state rival BYU on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. The game will be telecast live on KCSG in Utah. Fans can follow USU women’s basketball at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.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.” 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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