LOGAN, Utah – Behind four starters in double-figures, a 17-2 run overlapping halftime and a 16-2 burst, Utah State pulled away from a pesky Montana Tech squad, 64-56, in women’s basketball exhibition action Monday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.Junior forward Amber White netted a team-high 15 points, while classmate, guard Alice Coddington netted 14, including draining two three-pointers. Senior forward Nicole Johnson added 11 points and senior center Lydia Whitehead tossed in 10 to go with a game-high nine rebounds, helping USU to a 34-26 rebounding advantage.”I am just really happy with the way we bounced back in the second half,” USU head coach Raegan Pebley said. “We started taking care of the ball a lot better. I definitely wasn’t thrilled with our first-half turnovers. We rotated a lot of people in there. We got some good sparks off the bench.”Montana Tech was led by Lindsie Wilson, who topped all scorers with 17 points, while Dannii Devenny added 16 points and Jessie DePell tossed in 14 for the Orediggers from the NAIA Frontier Conference, who visited the Spectrum for an exhibition for the second year in a row.USU shot a paltry 11-of-29 (37.9 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 0-of-7 from three-point range, while UMT hit 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from the field, hitting a pair of treys. The visiting Orediggers built leads of as much as six on two different occasions, the last at the 7:10 mark on a steal and layup by DePell for a 22-16 Montana Tech lead. Whitehead started a 10-2 Aggie run to close out the half with a layup and White capped it with a layup with 1:29 left for a 26-24 USU halftime lead.The Aggies charged out of the gates with seven unanswered points to open a 33-24 USU lead, capping a 17-2 run to put Utah State ahead 33-24 less than three minutes into the second half. Coddington drained a three, followed by a Johnson jumper and Coddington closed the burst with a layup, forcing a MT Tech time out.The Orediggers dug back and tied it at 35-all with 13:53 to go on a Taesha Higbee bucket, and later took a 41-39 lead with 12:18 on the clock on a three-pointer Tabitha Tomlinson. The Aggies took control with a 16-2 streak, getting three-pointers from Coddington, White, Johnson and senior guard TaHara Williams, putting USU ahead 55-43 with 8:39 left on the clock and the Orediggers didn’t get within six points from there on out, as the Aggies kept them at bay by hitting five of their six free throws in the final minutes.Utah State finished the night at 41.1 percent (23-of-56), draining five three-pointers in the second half on eight attempts (62.5 percent) to end up 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) behind the arc for the game. USU netted 13-of-14 (92.9 percent) at the free throw line.Montana Tech was 22-of-47 (46.8 percent) from the field, hitting 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from three-point land. The Orediggers hit 70.0 percent (7-of-10) at the free pitch stripe.USU dished out 17 assists, swiped nine steals, including three by Coddington, and had four blocks while committing 20 turnovers. MT Tech had 11 assists, seven steals, one blocked shot and had 24 turnovers.Utah State opens regular-season action against in-state rival Utah on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Friday’s Beehive State battle can be seen on the CW30 (Comcast Ch. 15 in Cache Valley).Admission to Utah State women’s basketball games is $5 for adults and $1 for youth. Fans can buy a women’s sports pass for $75 which will gain admittance to all USU women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics action. For more information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop down menu.-USU-
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