Photos by DeLayne Ripplinger.
<div>LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Behind the opponent setting a new conference tournament scoring record, the Utah State women’s basketball team ended its 2014-15 campaign Monday, falling to San José State, 99-85, in the opening round of the Mountain West Championship held at the Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV. </div><div> </div><div>Newly named Mountain West Freshman of the Year Funda Nakkasoglu led the Aggies in the final outing, adding another 20-point game to her list. She tallied 26 points in the loss, highlighted by shooting a season-best 14-of-14 from the free throw line. She also added a career-best eight rebounds and seven assists. </div><div> </div><div>Joining Nakkasoglu in double-digit scoring were three other Aggies in freshman guard Tilar Clark with 17, junior forward Tijana Djukic with 12 and senior guard Elise Nelson with 10. Nelson was the top rebounder for Utah State, tallying nine boards on the day. Rebecca Woodberry was the top scorer for SJSU, with 26 points, while Ta’Rea Cunnigan had 25. </div><div> </div><div>With the loss, USU will end the season with an 8-23 record, going 5-13 in Mountain West action.</div><div> </div><div>There were a few key differences between the two teams Monday that proved to benefit the Spartans. Utah State shot just 3-of-18 from the 3-point line, while San José State shot 14-of-35. Woodberry led the attack behind the arc with eight made treys. Utah State also committed 19 turnovers as a team, while the Spartans had just eight. The Aggies did have the advantage at the free throw line, shooting 26-of-27, while the Spartans went 13-of-16. </div><div> </div><div>Both teams came out strong offensively in the first half, quickly reaching an 8-8 tie before the first media break. Coming out of the stop, however, the Aggies went on an 14-3 run, shooting perfectly for a three-minute stretch and jumping out to a nine-point lead. </div><div> </div><div>The next stretch of the half proved problematic for both Utah State and San José State. The Aggies committed seven turnovers in just a three-minute stretch. During that same time, the Spartans shot just 2-for-10 from the floor. </div><div> </div><div>Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Spartan offense got its spark back, exploding on a 13-0 scoring streak. With 3:22 left on the clock, San José State found the lead back in its favor, something it hadn’t seen since the first three minutes of the game. The Spartans kept that advantage through the remainder of the half, heading into the locker room with a 40-32 lead.</div><div> </div><div>Out of the break, it was all Nakkasolgu for the Aggies, as she doubled her points total of the game in just the first three minutes of the second half. USU continued to capitalize on Spartan fouls, as Nakkasoglu went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the early minutes. </div><div> </div><div>By the mid-point of the second half, San José State got back in control of the game, a momentum the Spartans carried through to the end. Woodberry led the charge from behind the arc, where the points added up quickly. The Aggies didn’t make a 3-point shot all game until Clark ended the streak, hitting a trey from the corner with just over six minutes to play. USU had a strong finish, cutting into the Spartan lead, but time ran out before the team could mount a full comeback. </div><div> </div><div>Overall, Utah State shot 43.8 percent (28-of-64) from the field, 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from the 3-point line and 96.3 percent (26-of-27) from the free throw line. San José State shot 43.4 percent (36-of-83) from the field, 40.0 percent (14-of-35) from three and 81.3 percent (13-of-16) from the free throw line.</div><div> </div><div>Aggie women’s basketball tickets will be available by contacting 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 athletics web site at <a href=”http://www.utahstateaggies.com/”>www.UtahStateAggies.com</a>.</div><div> </div><div>Fans can follow USU women’s basketball on Twitter, @UtahStateWBB, on Instagram, @USUWBasketball, as well as on Facebook, at USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on <a href=”http://twitter.com/”>Twitter.com</a>, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.</div>