LOGAN, Utah – With the help of screaming kids and a season-high 11 blocks, the Utah State women’s basketball team celebrated School Day with a, 58-46, win over North Dakota State Monday afternoon at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Aggies. With the win Utah State improves to 4-4, while North Dakota State falls to 5-5 with the loss. This was the first meeting between the Aggies and the Bison. USU improves to 3-0 at home this season. NDSU lost to its second-straight Aggie squad after being beaten by New Mexico State on Dec. 12. Utah State was led by several players reaching career highs. Red-shirt freshman Banna Diop had a career-high five blocks, leading the Aggies with a season-high 11 blocks. Senior TaHara Williams had a career-high nine points, falling just short of becoming the third Aggie to score in double digits in the game. Fellow senior Nicole Johnson added a season-high five blocks. Junior guard/forward Amber White scored 13 points to lead the Aggies. She has now scored in double-digits in six of USU’s eight games this season, including all three home games. Freshman guard TJ Goddard also scored in double digits with 10 points. It was the third time this season that Goddard has hit the double-digit mark. The Bison were led by Inger Hodgson’s 14 points, five assists and four steals. NDSU ended the game with 13 steals. The only other North Dakota State player in double figures was Katie Birkel who brought down 10 points. In a game that was tied seven times, both teams battled back and forth early in the first half. A Janae Burich layup with 9:11 left in the first half would give the Bison their biggest lead of the game, 12-6 as the first half was a low-scoring affair. USU would start to chip away at the NDSU lead with layups by Williams and White to cute the lead down to one, 12-11. NDSU held on to the lead until a three pointer by White with 2:26 left in the first half gave USU the three-point lead, 20-17. The Aggies took their biggest lead of the half, 22-17, after a Diop layup with 1:23 left in the first stanza. The Bison were not done though, scoring two three pointers in the last 47 seconds to cut the lead down to one, 24-23. In the second half, North Dakota State took its last lead of the game, 30-28, with 16:57 left in the second half off of a three pointer by Hodgson. The game would be tied two more times, but with 13:19 left in the game, USU re-took the lead for the last time. USU used a 7-0 run to stretch its lead to 10 points with 7:52 remaining in the second stanza. >From there USU continued to stretch its lead, using another 7-0 run to increase its lead to 15 points. Free throws by junior guard Alice Coddington with 1:29 remaining in the half would give the Aggies their biggest lead of the game, 17 points, 58-41. For the game, USU shot 46 percent from the field (22-of-48) and 56 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-9). The Aggies shot 69 percent from the free throw line (9-of-13). NDSU shot 31 percent from the field (18-of-58) and 28 percent from three (5-of-18). The Bison shot a perfect 100 percent from the charity stripe (5-of-5). Live stats will be available for most Utah State women’s basketball games through the women’s basketball page on www.utahstateaggies.com, by clicking on GameTracker in the current events box. All home games can be viewed by clicking on “Watch Live”, while they can be heard by clicking on “Listen Live.” Both can be accessed on www.utahstateaggies.com on the front page or the women’s basketball page. Utah State also continues its Aggie Incentive Plan which allow fans to earn points for attending women’s basketball games. Aggie fans can accumulate points throughout the season and earn prizes like USU water bottles, clothing and a USU women’s team autographed basketball. For tickets contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435)797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletic web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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