USU women’s basketball tops San Diego State in Saturday matinee (with photo gallery)

Jerry Finkbeiner - Head Coach

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State women’s basketball got back in the win column Saturday, as the Aggies defeated San Diego State, 53-47, in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Sophomore guard Rachel Brewster was the all-around leader for the Aggies Saturday, ending the game with 18 points and nine rebounds. She was joined in double figures by senior forward Antoina Robinson, who added 12 points. Freshman forward Shannon Dufficy added another eight rebounds, contributing to the team’s 43-38 rebound advantage over the Aztecs.

With the win, Utah State moves to 9-8 overall and 2-4 in Mountain West action, snapping a three-game losing skid. The Aztecs drop their second-straight game, falling to 7-9 on the year and 2-3 in league play.

Back in the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 3, Robinson started the day on a high note, scoring the first two field goals for the Aggies. After a bit of back-and-forth from both teams to start the quarter, the Utah State defense held the Aztecs out of the media timeout. San Diego State missed nine-straight field goal attempts over a five-minute stretch, while the Aggies went on a 9-0 run. The Aztecs ended their skid in the final minute of the quarter, but USU led, 19-9 after one.

Utah State maintained its control through the early minutes of the second quarter, but the Aztecs quickly started to gain some traction. The SDSU defense held the Aggies scoreless for nearly five minutes before freshman guard Eliza West ended the skid. In the meantime, the Aztecs chipped away at USU’s lead, pulling within three points two different times. With a long pass from Dufficy, Brewster threw up a last-second shot from behind the arc, draining the 3 and giving Utah State a 28-22 lead at the halftime break.

Returning to the court, Brewster picked up where she had left off, scoring the first field goal of the half in the early seconds. She and Robinson each added another layup, the final points on either end for nearly three minutes. A single free throw for San Diego State ended the offensive skid, but the Aggies maintained their lead. Brewster then ended the Aggies’ struggle, hitting the first field goal in the team’s last eight attempts. It wasn’t until the 3:05 mark of the third quarter that the Aggies made their first trip to the free throw line, where Brewster went 2-of-3. USU was again held scoreless for the final three minutes of the quarter, while the Aztecs added seven-straight points, down 38-34 at the end of the third.

Robinson snapped USU’s skid on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Layups from freshman guard Jessie Geer and Brewster followed, rebuilding the Aggies’ lead to double figures. With a layup from Dufficy, Utah State led by 12, matching its biggest advantage of the game. The Aztecs didn’t score their first points of the quarter until the 4:53 mark, with a breakaway layup on a steal, also drawing the and-1. Robinson reached double figures for the second time this season after the media timeout, but SDSU answered with back-to-back 3-point shots to cut the Aggies’ lead to three. As the final minute counted down, the Aztecs added two free throws to come within one possession. After timeouts from both benches, the Aggies drew a pair of fouls off San Diego State, where Robinson and Brewster combined for four free throws in the last 20 seconds of the game. The Aztecs had the final possession of the day, but were unable to capitalize on it to secure the win for USU.

Overall, Utah State shot 39.3 percent (22-of-56) from the field, including 25.0 percent (2-of-8) from the 3-point line, and was 70.0 percent (7-of-10) from the free throw line. San Diego State shot 28.8 percent (17-of-59) from the field, 22.7 percent (5-of-22) from behind the arc and 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the free throw line.

The Aggies have their first bye of conference play next Wednesday, but will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 21. Utah State will play at Colorado State in a 2 p.m. game that afternoon.

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.

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Posted in USU