LOGAN, Utah – Utah State women’s basketball wrapped up the non-conference portion of its season Monday, as it dropped an in-state contest to Utah, 79-44.
Utah State was led by two double-figure scorers in sophomore guard Olivia West and sophomore guard/forward Hailey Bassett who tallied 22 and 13 points, respectively. Sophomore guard/forward Shannon Dufficy led the Aggies with six rebounds. Utah had four players score 15 points or more, led by former Aggie Tilar Clark who ended the night with a career-high 17 points.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 2-9 on the season. Utah improves to 8-2 with the win
Utah State started out strong, drawing a quick foul off the Ute defense on the first possession. The Aggies were then first to score, while Utah responded with a 3-point shot. The Aggies regained the lead on a shot from Bassett, but the Utes responded with a 10-0 run. Utah State ended its four-minute scoring drought on a 3-pointer from West, but Utah found another hot streak with a 13-2 run, with just a layup from West to break it up. Bassett snapped the skid for Utah State, netting two baskets as the Aggies ended the quarter, 26-13.
Bassett’s strong play continued to start the second quarter, as she opened the period with a jumper and followed up with a pair of free throws. West added a bucket of her own, while the Utes went nearly three minutes without a basket. Unfortunately, the Aggie offense added just one layup in that span. A shot from behind the arc sparked a 7-0 run for Utah, while the Aggies were held scoreless for the last 3:32 of the quarter. Utah took its run into the locker room with a 42-26 halftime lead.
Bassett ended the USU drought on the first possession of the second half, before Emily Potter netted four quick points for the Utes. West continued her streak for the Aggies with another pair of layups, but the team would go another 3:26 without a point. Junior guard Rachel Brewster briefly ended the drought for Utah State with a shot from 3-point range, but those would be the last points of the quarter with 4:32 to play. The Aggie defense held Utah to its lowest-scoring quarter of the night, but conversely, the Utes did the same to Utah State, leading 55-35 after three.
Utah opened the fourth quarter with a quick five points to force a USU timeout. Out of the stop, West got the Aggies back on the scoreboard with a trey, as the teams continued to trade shots back-and-forth. After West reached the 20-point mark on a jumper, redshirt sophomore guard Lindsey Jensen got in on the action with a layup, while making contact to draw the foul. Utah continued to build its lead through the final five minutes of the game, ending the night on an 13-2 run and holding the Aggies to just a pair of free throws.
Overall, Utah State shot 32.7 percent (17-of-52) from the floor, 20.0 percent (3-of-15) from the 3-point line and 77.8 percent (7-of-8) from the free throw line. Utah shot 52.5 percent (31-of-59) from the field, including 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from behind the arc, and was 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the free throw line.
Utah State will return from the Christmas break to open conference play on the road next week. The Aggies are set to play at San José State on Thursday, Dec. 28, at 8 p.m. (MT). The weekend will continue at home, when USU hosts San Diego State on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m.
Fans can follow USU women’s basketball on Twitter, @USUWBasketball, on Instagram, @USUWBasketball, as well as on Facebook, at /USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at /USUAthletics.