USU women open WAC play with historic win over Louisiana Tech Wednesday

RUSTON, La. – Scoring six of the final nine points of the game, the Utah State women’s basketball team scored a historic, 69-66, win over Louisiana Tech Wednesday at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La. The win was the Aggies first ever against the Lady Techsters, improving to 1-8 against Louisiana Tech.With the victory, Utah State wins its fifth-straight game for the first time since opening the 1978-79 season with five wins. The Aggies improve to 9-5 overall and 1-0 in Western Athletic action. Louisiana Tech had its five-game losing streak come to an end and falls to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in WAC play. USU improves to 2-3 in WAC openers. The Aggies other win came to start the 2007-08 season with a, 68-58, win over San Jose State.”It is hard to win here; not many people have done it throughout their history of women’s basketball,” USU head coach Raegan Pebley said. “Sometimes it has been our Achilles heel, the rebounding teams with two good post players. There were points when it was just pure resilience. Our defense was what ended up giving us this victory.”The Aggies had four players in double digits in scoring, led by 18 points from junior guard Amber White. Once again, junior guard LaCale Pringle-Buchanan came off the bench to score in double figures. Pringle-Buchanan scored 13 points for her fifth double-digit game of the season. Junior guard Alice Coddington broke a two-game scoring slump to score 15 points, while senior guard TaHara Williams added 14 points.Louisiana Tech was led by senior Shanavia Dowdell’s 17 points. Dowdell was the WAC’s Preseason Player of the Year. Adrienne Johnson added 16 for the Lady Techsters. USU managed to stop the Lady Techsters despite being out-rebounded 50-31.The loss was the third-straight WAC opener loss for the Lady Techsters after losing to Fresno State in 2007-08 and Nevada in 2008-09. The Aggies had been one of only three teams in the WAC to not to have beaten the Lady Techsters along with San Jose State and Idaho.Both teams were turnover prone in the opening minutes of the game, but the Aggies were able to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. The Lady Techsters recovered quickly and took its first lead of the game 8-5 after a Whitney Jones three pointer. USU used a 5-0 run to tie the score against 10-10 after a three pointer by Pringle-Buchanan and a layup by Diop.With nine minutes remaining in the first half, back-to-back three pointers by White gave USU the lead, 21-19. The Aggies second 5-0 run of the game stretched the lead to 23-19 with 7:57 left in the first stanza.The Aggies hit a dry spell at the end of the first half, going over six minutes without scoring. Two free throws by freshman guard TJ Goddard broke the spell. The Lady Techsters would enter the half with a five-point lead 32-27.USU was led in the first half by nine points by White and five off the bench by Pringle-Buchanan. The Aggies were hurt on the boards as the Lady Techsters out-rebounded USU 24-11 in the first half. The Aggies out-scored the Lady Techsters 12-2 on the bench, but LTU out-scored USU 5-0 on second-chance points in the first stanza. The Lady Techsters were led by Dowdell’s 14 first-half points.With 15:39 left in the second half, Louisiana Tech extended its lead to 10 points, 44-34, its largest of the game. USU continued to claw its way back into the game. With 12:32 remaining, the Aggies used a 5-0 run to cut the lead to four, 47-43, the closest they had been since the end of the first half. With two Coddington free throws, USU cut the lead down to 51-49 at the midway point of the second half.Louisiana Tech answered with a 6-0 run of its own to stretch its lead to 58-52. Utah State would not stop fighting and clawed its way back into the game. A three pointer from Coddington with 1:41 gave the Aggies the lead 63-61. It was Utah State’s first lead since the 6:38 mark of the first half. Once USU took the lead, it never relinquished it for the remainder of the game, taking as big a lead as six points. USU was 4-for-4 from the free throw line the final 30 seconds of the game.For the game, the Aggies shot 41.4 percent from the field (24-of-58) and 50 percent from three (7-of-14). The Aggies shot 73.7 percent from the charity stripe (14-of-19). The Lady Tecshters shot 37.1 percent from the field (23-of-62), while shooting 41.7 percent from three (5-of-12). LTU shot 68.2 percent from the free throw line (15-of-22).Utah State returns to Logan for its WAC home opener against San Jose State on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. Following the game against the Spartans, the Aggies will host Nevada on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.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.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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