Anteaters sink Aggies with late 3-pointer

<strong>LOGAN–</strong> A three-pointer by UC Irvine’s Kelly Meggs with 3.1 seconds gave the Anteaters a thrilling 71-70 win over Utah State women’s basketball Tuesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, overshadowing a career-high 26 points by junior guard Jennifer Schlott.

The game saw eight lead changes and four ties, as USU slid to 2-8 overall while UCI improved to 3-7 with the win.

Schlott was joined in not just the double-digit scoring column but also in the 20-point category by senior guard Devyn Christensen with 20 points. Senior guard Jenna Johnson was one point and one rebound shy of a double-double with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.

UCI was led by a double-double by Camille Buckley with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Jennifer Tsurumoto tallied 15 points and Meggs finishing with 12 points, draining 4-of-10 three-pointers.

Utah State shot 26-of-63 (41.3 percent) field goal shooting, making 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) of its three-pointers, setting a new season-high for treys made and attempts. The Aggies were also a season-low 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) at the free throw line.

The Aggies also dished out a season-best 18 assists, getting a career-high five helpers from Schlott, which was matched by five assists by Johnson, tying a career-best.

UC Irvine shot 24-of-62 (38.7 percent) from the field, making 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) from behind the arc, and the Anteaters were 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) at the charity stripe.

UCI had a 44-37 rebounding advantage, including 17 on the offensive glass which led to a 19-9 second-chance points edge. The Aggie defense forced 13 turnovers while only committing 11 miscues themselves.

The Anteaters jumped out to an early 18-7 lead with 14:07 left after back-to-back three-pointers by Anete Klintstone. A reverse lay up by Johnson cut the gap to 20-16 with 10:27 left in the half. Christensen’s first three of the game cut the UCI lead to 21-19 with under eight left in the half.

The Aggies took their first lead of the game at 27-25 with 6:31 to go on trey by freshman guard Makenlee Williams, which was half of her six points on the night. USU later opened up its largest lead of the first half at 36-30 on a three-pointer by Schlott with 3:16 left in the half. After UCI cut the gap to 38-36 with 1:08 until intermission on another Meggs trey, Johnson hit 1-of-2 free throws with 30 seconds to go and drained a layup with five ticks to play to make the halftime scoreboard read 41-36 in the Aggies’ favor.

In the first half, Utah State was led by Schlott, who scored 16 points, tying her season high. The 16 points was one shy of her previous career high, set last season. Johnson added seven points and six rebounds in the first half, while Williams scored six.

UC Irvine was led by eight first-half points from Buckley, who also added seven boards. Three different players scored six points for the Anteaters.

UCI scored the first four points of the half to cut the Aggie advantage to 41-40 before a Christensen trey put USU up by four. UC Irvine did not back down scoring four-straight to tie the score at 44-44 with under 17 left in the game.

After a technical foul on the Aggies, UCI converted one of two free throws to take a 49-47 lead. The Aggies then used an 11-2 run, started by a Christensen trey and capped by a Schlott jumper to take a 58-51 lead with 9:24 remaining.

A lay up by sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu followed by a three by Christensen later put the Aggies up 66-57 with 5:29 left on the clock. The Anteaters wouldn’t go away, scoring six straight to cut the Aggie lead to three at 66-63. A layup by Johnson opened a 68-63 lead for USU with 4:02 to play, but the Anteaters scored eight of the next 10 points.

Tsurumoto hit the second half of a two-shot free throw trip with 58 seconds left. On USU’s ensuing possession, a three-pointer by Christensen was off the mark with 26 seconds to play and UCI grabbed the rebound and called timeout. The Anteaters ran the clock down and got the ball to Meggs on the right wing, and she netted the triple with 3.1 seconds to go. Christensen’s shot from just inside mid-court bounced off the rim as time expired.

Utah State remains at home to take on South Dakota on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 12 p.m. The game against the Coyotes will be the fourth annual USU School Day. The Aggies are 3-0 in School Day games, defeating Northern Arizona last season. Kids from local elementary and middle schools will be in attendance.

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