LOGAN, Utah – Utah State women’s basketball began official competition for the 2016-17 season Friday, as it defeated Westminster, 72-49.
As a Division II program, the game was an exhibition for the Griffins, but will count toward the Aggies’ official record. This is the first time Utah State has opened the season with a win since the 2013-14 season.
In the first game of the season, several Utah State players had strong performances. Freshman forward Shannon Dufficy led the team in both scoring and rebounds, with 14 and nine, respectively. Joining her in double figures were sophomore guard Rachel Brewster with 11 points and freshman guard Eliza West with 10. On the day, the Aggies out-rebounded the Griffins, 49-29.
Two freshmen earned a spot in the starting lineup Friday, in Dufficy and Eliza West. The game started fairly evenly, as the teams played very back-and-forth. By the end of the first quarter though, the Aggies had started to establish its lead, one that it wouldn’t lose for the remainder of the game.
The second quarter was all Utah State, as the Aggies dominated the floor for the majority of the period. Westminster had the first and last shots of the quarter, but was unable to score for the nine-minute stretch in between. During that skid, Utah State scored 15-straight points, with six different players scoring. The Aggies extended their lead to 20 points, going into the break up 39-19.
Westminster bounced back a little bit in the third quarter and the stats continued to even out through the remainder of the game. Dufficy continued her strong performance through the second half, quickly adding to her stat line in both rebounds and points. Dufficy had the final points of the game for the Aggies, while the Griffins made the final score on a single free throw in the last 15 seconds of play.
Overall, Utah State shot 39.2 percent (29-of-74) from the field, including 41.0 percent (5-of-12) from the 3-point line, and was 60.0 percent (9-of-15) from the free throw line. Westminster shot 38.8 percent (19-of-49) from the field, 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from behind the arc and 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from the free throw line.
The Aggies return to the court Monday, Nov. 14. Utah State hosts Montana State at approximately 8:15 p.m. The game will follow the USU men’s game that tips at 6 p.m.
Fans can follow USU women’s basketball on Twitter, @UtahStateWBB, on Instagram, @UtahStateWBB, as well as on Facebook, at /UtahStateWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter.com, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at /USUAthletics.