Aggie Women’s Basketball Wins Third Straight With 83-53 Win Over Asbury Tuesday

LOGAN, Utah — With 12 different Aggies recording at least one point, the Utah State women’s basketball team captured its third-straight win with a 83-53 victory over Asbury University Tuesday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies improve to 8-5 with the win. The Eagles remain 7-8 as the game was an exhibition for Asbury of the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NAIA). The three-game winning streak is the second longest of the season for USU, winning four straight earlier this season. Utah State was led by a season-high 13 points from junior center Banna Diop, while senior guard Brooke Jackson added 11 for the Aggies. Freshman forward Franny Vaaulu had a season-high seven rebounds and and five assists. Junior Pualei Furtado and sophomore Kamie Imai both scored career highs with Furtado netting eight and Imai scoring nine. Asbury, located in Wilmore, Ky., was led by a game-high 13 points from Trenia Barbee who was the only Eagle to reach double digits. Lakin Griffin was the top rebounder for Asbury with five. For the third-straight game, USU won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Eagles, 38-28. Utah State is now 5-0 when out-rebounding its opponents this season. Utah State started strong jumping out to an 11-4 lead after a lay up by Christensen. Asbury used a 4-0 run to cut the Utah State lead to 16-8 with 13:44 left in the first half. The Aggies were able to rotate several players in the game in the first half with 13 players seeing action in the first 20 minutes USU used a 5-0 run to take a 21-8 lead before a lay up by Barbee stopped that run. The Eagles climbed back into the game cutting the lead to 25-22 after another lay up by Barbee. The Aggies fought back with a 10-0 run of their own to increase the lead to 35-22 with 3:42 left in the half. Despite leading scorer junior forward Ashlee Brown playing only four first-half minutes, the Aggies went into the locker room with a 40-27 lead. In the first half, Utah State was led by nine points from Diop who passed her season high in the first half. Plunkett added seven points and three rebounds. The Eagles were led by eight points by Barbee who had to leave late in the half with an injury. She would return in the second half. In the second stanza, USU took control for good. With 14:05 in the second half, a three pointer by Jackson gave the Aggies a 20-point lead. Utah State never led by less than 14 points in the final 20 minutes of the game. The Aggies extended their lead to 30 points with 6:02 remaining after a three-point play by Imai. Utah State’s biggest lead was 33 points. The Aggies would end the game scoring 33 bench points to 15 by Asbury. USU also had 20 points in the paint compared to six by the Eagles. USU was 37-of-65 (56.9 percent) from the floor in the game, which was tied for its best shooting performance of the season. The Aggies were 7-of-17 from three-point range (41.2 percent), while shooting 2-of-3 (66.7 percent) from the charity stripe which was the fewest free throws attempted or made this season. Asbury was 20-of-55 (36.4 percent) from the field, hitting 8-of-22 threes (36.4 percent). The Eagles went 5-of-10 (50.0 percent) from the free throw line. The Aggies have one more non-conference game on Saturday, Jan. 7 against Utah Valley in Logan at 2 p.m. The game is the first half of a doubleheader with the Utah State men’s team. Fans can follow USU women’s basketball at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. 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.” 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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