LOGAN, Utah – Despite a frantic late second-half comeback, the Utah State women’s basketball team suffered its first Mountain West loss, 76-72, against Nevada at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday.
With the loss, USU falls to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in Mountain West action. The Wolf Pack improves to 7-8 overall and evens their conference record to 2-2.
Senior guard Jennifer Schlott kept her streak alive of scoring in double figures in every game this season with a game-high 22 points. She also added five rebounds, five assists and three steals to help the Aggie cause. Junior forward Franny Vaaulu has scored in double figures in every MW game, scoring 18 points to go along with eight boards. Sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow added a career-high 13 points in 29 minutes of action.
Nevada was led by 16 points from Terilyn Moe, while Aja Johnson added 13 points in 13 minutes off the bench. Mimi Mungedi was the game’s top rebounder with 16 points and six points. The conference’s top shot block was held without a block.
After a three by Danika Sharp, the Wolf Pack opened up an early four-point lead 11-7. The Wolf Pack maintained the lead until the Aggies scored seven-straight points to tie the score at 18-18 with 10 minutes left in the half.
After the Wolf Pack’s hot shooting early on, the shooting evened out throughout the first half. A Schlott three at the 6:24 mark gave the Aggies their first lead, 26-25, since it was 7-6. Utah State stretched that lead to 30-25 with a 10-0 run, but the Wolf Pack responded with five-straight points to tie the score with under four to play in the first 20 minutes.
Nevada re-took the lead and entered the locker room at halftime with a 39-35 advantage.
Schlott led all scorers with 12 first-half points, while Vaaulu added six points and five rebounds for the Aggies.
Nevada was led by 11 points from Moe, while Sharp added seven points. Mungedi led all players with nine first-half rebounds.
The Aggies scored the first three points of the second half, but Nevada was able to keep the slight edge, taking a 44-40 lead after a pair of Emily Burns free throws. The Wolf Pack opened up a 10-point lead, its biggest of the game, after two-more Sharp free throws to take a 50-40 lead before a Schlott old fashioned three-point play cut the lead to 50-43.
Utah State struggled from the field in the second half, which led to the Wolf Pack leading much of the second half. Nevada’s solid shooting from the charity stripe was also a difficult problem for the Aggies to solve throughout the whole game.
A pair of free throws by Vaaulu cut the lead to 70-66 with under three to play, but a Johnson lay up put the Wolf Pack back up by six with 1:49 remaining.
A lay up by Nelson and a pair of Vaaulu free throws cut the lead to 74-72 with under a minute remaining. That would be as close as Utah State would get Arielle Wideman hit two free throws to seal the Wolf Pack win.
For the game, Utah State shot 41.2 percent from the field (28-of-68) and 20.0 percent from three (3-of-15). The Aggies shot 81.3 percent from the free throw line (13-of-16).
Utah State is back in action next week for a pair of games. The Aggies travel to Colorado State on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Utah State finishes the week hosting Boise State on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
All USU conference games are streamed on the Aggie Digital Network in conjunction with the Mountain West Digital Network. Fans can watch the streaming by going http://www.utahstateaggies.com/videos/.
Fans can follow USU women’s basketball at www.twitter.com/UtahStateWBB, as well as on facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUAthletics. Utah State women’s basketball is now also on instagram at www.instagram.com/USUWbasketball.
Aggie women’s basketball tickets will be available by contacting 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 athletics web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.