LOGAN, Utah – Despite career performances from two players, Utah State women’s basketball fell to New Mexico, 68-58, in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Wednesday.
Sophomore guard Rachel Brewster led the Aggies with 22 points on the night, matching her career-high. She was the only Aggie to score in double figures, though sophomore guard Lizzy Klinker added a career-best nine points. Brewster and senior forward Antoina Robinson were tops in rebounding with six apiece. Alex Lapeyrolerie led the Lobos with 21 points, while three other New Mexico players scored in double digits.
Utah State falls to 9-10 overall and 2-6 in Mountain West play with Wednesday night’s loss. New Mexico improves to 10-9 on the year and 6-3 in league action.
The Aggies started the night on a high note as Brewster led off with a deep 3-point shot. The team’s success behind the arc continued through the first quarter, as Klinker and freshman guard Eliza West each added a shot. Utah State’s strong start forced an early New Mexico timeout, but the Aggies struggled on the return to the court. The Lobos held Utah State scoreless for the remaining five minutes of the quarter, while chipping away at their lead. The Aggies remained on top, however, holding the 13-11 lead at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter started with more back-and-forth action, as the Lobos continued to seek the advantage. New Mexico tied the game for the first time with a pair of free throws at the 5:18 mark. However, Brewster led Utah State to a 9-0 run and held New Mexico scoreless for nearly four minutes. The Lobos were able to get back on the board with a three-point play as the clock hit the one-minute mark, earning the final stamp on the half. Despite the last shot, Utah State went into the halftime break with the 30-24 advantage.
Utah State struck first to open the second half, but the Lobos responded with back-to-back 3s to pull back within two points. Another layup followed, tying the score once again. That started a 17-0 New Mexico run over a five-minute period. Freshman forward Hailey Bassett eventually ended the run with a single free throw, but the Lobos answered with another 3-point shot. Bassett and Brewster converted on back-to-back 3-point plays, cutting back into a single-digit deficit. Klinker added a jumper to put Utah State on an 8-0 run, but the Lobos ended the quarter with a 3-pointer to lead, 49-41.
There was more back-and-forth play through the fourth quarter, but the Aggies were never able to catch the Lobos. Utah State’s strongest minutes came in the final stretch of the game, as Brewster reached the 20-point mark on a jumper. A technical was issued to New Mexico guard Richelle Van Der Keijl, disqualifying her from the game. The Aggies went 3-for-4 from the free throw line from those fouls, but stayed behind by double figures. The Lobos added one last shot from behind the arc in their final possession of the night. Klinker had the ball for the last shot, nailing a trey with less than a second left to secure a career-best nine points on the night.
Overall, Utah State shot 36.1 percent (22-of-61) from the field, including 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from the 3-point line, and was 75.0 percent (9-of-12) from the free throw line. New Mexico shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field, 37.9 percent (11-of-29) from behind the arc and 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from the free throw line.
Utah State returns to the road for the weekend as it prepares to play at Fresno State. The Aggies will take on the Bulldogs on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. (MT).
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