SAN JOSE, Calif. – Not only did the Utah State women’s basketball team break a two-game losing streak, it also made history, as USU defeated San Jose State 66-46 Thursday. In the win, junior forward Nicole Johnson tied the record for career blocks At the 9:42 mark of the first half, Johnson cemented her spot in Utah State history with a block of Sayja Sumler’s shot. The block tied her with Jessica Freeman for career blocks in the Aggie blue. Johnson now has 127 career blocks in her four-year USU career. Utah State improved to 12-11 overall and 4-6 in Western Athletic Conference action. San Jose State fell to 5-18 overall and 1-9 in WAC action. The Aggies swept the series with the Spartans and improved to 7-3 overall against the Spartans since joining the WAC. The Aggies were led by junior guard LaCale Pringle-Buchanan’s first double-double in a USU uniform, scoring 10 points with 10 rebounds. Fellow junior guard Amber White led all scorers with 12 points. Red-shirt freshman Banna Diop added eight points and five rebounds. San Jose State was led by Ashley Brown’s 10 points and three assists. Samantha Marez and Shaunna Ridge both added nine points and five assists in the loss. After a three-pointer from Amber White to open the game, San Jose State went on a 7-0 run to take a 7-3 lead. A Nicole Johhnson jumper stopped the run and cut the lead down to 7-5. Despite early shooting troubles, the Aggies remained hot from beyond the arc, making three of their first four. With neither team shooting well, Utah State used a 8-0 run of their own to take a 22-15 with 4:15 remaining in the half. The Aggies outscored the Spartans 13-1 in the final five minutes of the first half to build a 31-16 half time lead. The lead increased to 31 due in part to a Pringle-Buchanan three pointer as time expired. The 16 points allowed by the Aggies is the fewest allowed in a half this season. USU was able to recover from such a slow start by scoring 17 points off of turnovers compared to the Spartans scoring only four points off of turnovers. SJSU turned the ball over 16 times compared to only seven first-half turnovers by the Aggies. SJSU did out-score USU in points in the paint, 12-4. Utah State was led at the half by 10 points from White who also added two rebounds. Pringle-Buchanan also added eight first-half points, including two three pointers. USU ended the half, making five of seven three pointers. San Jose State was led by Chasity Shavers six points, while Sumler added three points in the first half. With 10:51 left in the game, USU’s lead expanded to 20 points, 46-26. With just under eight minutes remaining in the game, San Jose State reached the 30-point mark off of free throws from Shaunna Ridge. Every Aggie who dressed in the game played in the win for USU. The win was the Aggies biggest since a 21-point victory over Weber State on Dec. 21. It was also Utah State’s third win of 20 points or more this season along with wins over Weber State and Montana Western. It was the Aggies’ first double-digit WAC win since the last time USU and SJSU met on Jan. 9. For the game, the Aggies shot 37.9 percent from the field (22-of-58) and 54.5 percent from three (6-of-11). The Aggies shot 72.7 percent from the charity stripe (16-of-22). The Spartans shot 40.5 percent from the field (17-of-42), while shooting 14.3 percent from three (1-of-7). SJSU shot 78.6 percent from the free throw line (11-of-14). Utah State remains on the road to take on second-place Nevada on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. (MT). It is the first half of a doubleheader with the Nevada men’s team. The Aggies next two games will be doubleheaders as their game against first-place Fresno State on Wednesday, Feb. 17 is a doubleheader with the USU men’s team. 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. -USU-
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