<strong>LOGAN—</strong> Senior guard Jenna Johnson recorded her eighth double-double of the season as the Utah State women’s basketball team swept past Idaho, 81-50, at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Thursday.
With the win, Utah State moves into a tie for first place with Seattle. Utah State is now 11-10 and 8-2 in Western Athletic Conference action. Idaho falls to 9-12 overall and 6-4 in league play. This is the first time this season that the Aggies have been over .500.
The 31-point win was the biggest margin of victory this season for the Aggies’ whose previous high was 16 points in a win against Denver on Jan. 19.
For only the second time this season, five different Aggies scored in double figures led by 19 points from Johnson, who also added 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu continued her strong play off the bench with 15 points and six boards. Senior guard Devyn Christensen scored 13 with freshmen guards Makenlee Williams and Stephanie Bairstow added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Vandals struggled from the floor all night being led by 13 points from Stacey Barr, who scored 23 against USU in Moscow on Jan. 5. Alyssa Charlston scored seven points and added seven boards.
The Aggies missed their first seven shots before Schlott made a layup to tie the score. Both teams were struggling early on as USU was 2-of-9 and Idaho was 1-of-7. USU was sharp defensively with four steals in the first seven minutes.
USU jumped out to a 12-3 lead after a three by senior guard Cristal Turner. Idaho fought back to score five-straight to trim the Aggie lead to 12-8 with under nine left in the first half. After the Vandals got within two, Johnson hit another layup to put the Aggies back up 14-10.
The Aggie offense began to heat up as the half concluded. Back-to-back baskets by Vaaulu with under a minute remaining put USU up 30-19.
Johnson led all scorers with 10 first half points and six rebounds. Vaaulu added nine points, while Turner added six off the bench. USU’s bench out-scored the Idaho bench 19-13 in the first half. Utah State also had 20 points in the paint compared to eight by the Vandals.
Both Christensen and Johnson hit threes early on in the second half to push the USU lead to 43-24 with under 17 remaining in the game.
Idaho responded with eight-straight points to cut the lead to 46-36 with 12:07 left in the game. The Aggies then scored 11-straight to take a 21-point lead 57-36 with under nine to play. The Aggies remained up by double figures for much of the second half.
For the game, Utah State shot 47.5 percent from the field (28-of-59) and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc (6-of-16). The Aggies shot a stellar 90.5 percent from the charity (19-of-21).
Idaho shot 20.3 percent (14-of-69) from the field and 12.5 percent from three (4-of-22). The Vandals shot 72.0 percent from the free throw line (18-of-25).
Utah State will take on Seattle on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in a battle for first place in the WAC.