LOGAN, Utah – For the first time since the 2010-2011 season, the Utah State women’s basketball team lost back-to-back home games, dropping a heartbreaker to Boise State, 71-68, at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
This game was also significant as head coach Jerry Finkbeiner faced his son. Ben Finkbeiner is an assistant coach with Boise State and now holds a 1-0 record against his father.
Junior forward Jasmine Porter just missed a three as time expired that would have tied the scored and sent the game to overtime.
The Aggies have now lost a season-high, three-straight games and fall to 8-8 overall and 2-3 in Mountain West action. Boise State improves to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in MW games. BSU now leads the season series 17-8 as this was the 25th meeting between the two squads.
Utah State was led by another stellar offensive performance from senior guard Jennifer Schlott who scored a game-high 31 points. This was Schlott’s third 30-plus point performance this season and her first in MW action. She was also hampered by a season-high 12 turnovers. Junior forward Franny Vaaulu was the only other Aggie to score in double-figures with 10 points. Sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow had another solid performance with nine points and eight rebounds.
Boise State had three players in double figures led by the 19-point, 11rebound performance by Lexie Der. Miquelle Askew added 13 points, while Deanna Weaver scored 12 and added six assists.
Utah State’s defense started strong with four turnovers and a steal in the first five minutes. USU jumped out to an early 9-0 lead. The drought stretched for the Broncos as USU increased its lead to 13-0 with under 12 to play in the first half. Boise State scored its first points of the game on free throws by Askew with 12:09 left in the half.
The Aggie defense remain pesky in the first half, forcing several Bronco mistakes. Boise State’s first field goal came with 10:29 left in the half on a three by Kayla Reinhart. The Broncos scored eight-straight to cut the lead to 15-10. A Bairstow layup got USU back on the board, giving the Aggies a 17-10 advantage with under nine left in the half.
Boise State came all the way back to tie it, 20-20, on a three by Reinhart. The Broncos took their first lead of the game on Weaver’s first basket of the game with under four left. Boise State used a 13-0 run to take a 28-20 lead before a Schlott free throw stopped the run.
The Broncos ended the half on a 28-8 run to take a 30-23 half time lead. USU was led by 10 points from Schlott and six from Bairstow. The sophomore led all players with seven first-half rebounds.
BSU had three players score six points in the first half, including Der, Askew and Reinhart. Der also added six boards. Both teams had problems with turnovers in the first half with 11 for the Aggies and 10 for the Broncos.
Utah State came out strong in the second half, tying the score, 33-33, with a layup by sophomore forward Tijana Djukic. The Broncos responded with eight-straight to take a 41-33 lead, as the game of streaks continued. The run was halted by a pair of Schlott free throws.
The Aggies took the lead 46-45 on another Schlott layup with 9:14 remaining.
Boise State retained as big a lead as eight points in the second half, but the Aggies stood strong tying the score at 62-62 behind a pair of clutch free throws by junior guard Elise Nelson.
Utah State re-took the lead on a layup by Schlott, but the Broncos responded with a three by Der to take a 67-66 lead with 25 seconds left on the clock. Boise State was able to convert free throws down the stretch as the Aggie comeback was thwarted.
For the game, Utah State shot 46.4 percent from the field (26-for-56), but struggled from beyond the arc, shooting a season-low 14.3 percent (2-for-14). USU shot 77.8 percent from the free throw line (14-of-18).
Boise State shot 36.5 percent from the field (23-of-63). The Broncos also shot 36.5 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-24) and 80.0 percent from the charity stripe (16-of-20).
The Aggies conclude the two-game homestand, hosting UNLV on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. Utah State concludes the week, traveling to San Diego State on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. (MT).
All USU home 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.