LOGAN – Utah State hosted Fort Lewis in exhibition to start the basketball season and started slow, leading 23-15 after one before outscoring the Skyhawks 67-28 the rest of the way for a 90-43 win. Defense led the way, holding the Skyhawks to just seven points in the second quarter and 2-23 from the field. That was one of the Skyhawks’ two single digit scoring quarters. The Skyhawks finished 14-61 from the field and 3-21 from deep.
Utah State women’s basketball coach Kayla Ard was eager to get game action with five transfers joining the squad after a struggling COVID year in 2020. Two of the top three scorers were new faces, Laci Hawthorne and Adryana Quezada, and transfers accounted for 43 of the 90 points. Senior Kaylin Randhawa led the team with 15 points and five players were in double figures. Hawthorne had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Quezada had 13 points and three steals, Kinley Falslev had 12 and Meagan Mendazona finished with 11. All 10 Aggie players that played, scored.
Only Sydney Candelaria was in double figures for Fort Lewis, finishing with a game high 18 points. The Aggies forced 22 turnovers, to their 16, and scored 30 points while only giving up nine on the turnovers. The Skyhawks were limited to four assists on their 14 made field goals. Utah State out-rebounded the Skyhawks 48 to 41, but dominated in the paint scoring 42 to Fort Lewis’ 20. The Aggies also won the battle at the charity stripe, finishing 12-16 to the Skyhawks’ 12-21. Utah State finished almost 49% from the field and 10-30 from deep as the Aggies moved to 15-2 all time in exhibition.
Utah State returned eight letterwinners from last year’s squad, accounting for 65% of their 63 points per game. However, in their transfers they added almost 38 points per game. They also added more size in their transfers, three of them six feet or taller. The transfers made an impact in the exhibition and will be counted on to improve on the (4-20, 2-16) 2020 record. Hawthorne, Mensah and Quezada were in the starting lineup.
Utah State opens the regular season Tuesday, November 9th against Westminster College at 5 p.m. in the Spectrum as part of a double header with the men’s basketball team hosting UC Davis.