LOGAN, Utah – A pair of Jennifer Schlott free throws with six seconds left, broke the ninth tie of the game as the Utah State women’s basketball team stopped New Mexico, 67-65, on Wednesday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies are now 2-6 in games decided by five points or less, and it was USU’s first win this season in a game decided by two points or less. Utah State also improved to 2-13 in games in which it trails at half time, as USU was down 36-28 at the break.
With the win, Utah State improves to 12-15 overall and 6-10 in Mountain West games. The Aggies also swept the season series against New Mexico and improved to 5-9 overall against the Lobos. UNM falls to 9-17 overall and 4-11 in league contests.
For the 21st time this season, Schlott was the Aggies’ leading scorer with 33 points. She now has a MW-leading 10 30-point games this season. She also added a team-leading six assists. Sophomore guard Makenlee Williams is returning to form after an injury with 21 points. The Schlott-Williams duo combined for 54 of the Aggies 67 points. Senior guard Cristal Turner added five points and four rebounds.
New Mexico was led by 18 points from Antiesha Brown who also added nine rebounds. Deeva Vaughn scored 17 points and seven boards, as the Lobos out-rebounded the Aggies 41-34.
The Aggies got off to a sluggish start to the game as New Mexico jumped out to an early 12-4 lead. Schlott and the Aggies began to heat up cutting the Lobo lead to 12-11 after a Schlott make. A Williams three tied the score at 14-14 with under 13 remaining in the first half.
Utah State took its first lead of the game after back-to-back baskets by Schlott, 20-18. A combination of Aggie turnovers and the Lobo long ball helped New Mexico re-take the lead 26-20.
The teams combined for 24 first-half turnovers, including 14 by the Aggies.
Schlott led all scorers with 17 first-half points. She was one of only four Utah State players to score in the first half. Williams added six points, while junior guard Jasmine Porter added three and Turner had two.
Utah State came out strong in the second half, retaking the lead 45-44 after a pair of Ingrida Strikas free throws. After taking a four-point lead, the Lobos came roaring back to take a brief 49-48 lead that was erased with a Schlott jumper.
Neither team was able to find much distance in the second half in a hard fought battle. USU took as big a lead as five points, while UNM’s biggest lead in the second half was eight points.
A pair of free throws by Brown tied the score at 62-62 with 1:31 left in the game with UNM taking the one-point lead after a Khadijah Shumpert free throw. Turner followed with a layup with 39 seconds remaining. Brown hit a pair of free throws to give the Lobos the 65-64 lead with 32 seconds left on the clock. Junior guard Elise Nelson tied the game for the final time with 24 seconds remaining. Schlott sealed the Aggie win with her seventh free throw of the game.
Utah State shot 45.3 percent from the field (24-of-53), while shooting 36.4 percent from beyond the arc (4-of-11). The Aggies shot 83.3 percent from the charity stripe (15-of-18). New Mexico shot 35.8 percent from the field (24-of-67), while shooting 24.0 percent (6-of-25) from beyond the arc. The Lobos shot 68.8 percent from the free throw line (11-of-16).
USU concludes the home portion of its schedule on Saturday, March 1 against San José State at 7 p.m. The Aggies will celebrate their two seniors Cristal Turner and Jennifer Schlott after the game.
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.