LOGAN, Utah – In the first conference rematch of the season, Utah State women’s basketball topped San Diego State, 72-59, at home Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore guard Funda Nakkasoglu led all scorers Saturday, with 28 points. Joining her in double figures were freshman guard Rachel Brewster with 14 points and sophomore center Hannah Hutchins with 12. Hutchins was the leading rebounder for the Aggies with 11, recording her first-career double-double. Cheyenne Greenhouse led the Aztecs with 12 points.
With the win, Utah State improves to 9-10 on the year, topping last season’s win total. The Aggies also improve to 4-4 in Mountain West play. With the loss, San Diego falls to 6-12 overall and 1-6 in conference action. This is SDSU’s sixth-straight loss in a streak that was started by the Aggies’ visit to San Diego.
The Aztecs were first on the board Saturday, but it didn’t take long for the Aggies to answer. Hutchins started her scoring early with a pair of free throws to put Utah State on the board. A 3-point shot from Brewster tied the score again, but San Diego State jumped ahead again as the quarter wound down. After one, the Aztecs led the Aggies, 23-17.
Utah State chipped back at SDSU early in the second, taking the lead back at the 6:20 mark on a layup from Nakkasoglu. The teams alternated shots and the lead back-and-forth for the next several minutes, Neither team strung together more than four points in a stretch, but the Aggies hung on and headed into the halftime break with the 35-32 advantage.
After a fairly quiet first half, Nakkasoglu found her offensive spark in the third quarter, as she nearly outscored the entire Aztec squad. The Aggie scorer tallied 11 points in the quarter, while SDSU totalled 13 points in the 10 minutes. A pair of free throws from Nakkasoglu put the Aggies back in the lead at the 4:57 mark of the quarter, an advantage the team would have the rest of the game.
The Aggies got the first strike in the final quarter, scoring just 40 seconds into play, but a quiet stretch followed, as neither team scored for the next three minutes. The skid was ended by Nakkasoglu, putting the Aggies up 10. The lead continued to grow for USU, who got up by as many as 15 in the final minutes. Senior guard Mariah Miles picked up her second steal of the day as she secured a lose ball, continuing the Aggies’ momentum. Freshman center Deja Mason saw just five minutes on the court in the last minutes of the quarter, but made a quick impact. She tallied three offensive rebounds, keeping the ball on USU’s end of the court to secure the final points.
On the night, Utah State shot 54.3 percent (25-of-46) from the field, 50.0 percent (7-of-14) from the 3-point line and 68.2 percent (15-of-22) from the free throw line. San Diego State shot 39.2 percent (20-of-51) from the field, 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from behind the arc and 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from the free throw line.
The Aggies have their first bye game of the conference season this Wednesday. The team will return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 30 in a game at Nevada. The Aggies and the Wolf Pack are set to tip at 5 p.m. (MT).
A USU women’s sports pass is available for $75, giving the owner entry to all home volleyball, women’s basketball and gymnastics events. The pass, as well as individual game tickets, are available through the USU Athletics Ticket Office. Fans can find more information by calling (435) 797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) or by visiting the Utah State Athletics website at www.utahstateaggies.com.
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 Twitter.com, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.