DENTON, Texas – Utah State women’s basketball’s (17-16, 10-8 Mountain West) season came to an end Tuesday night after a 56-54 loss to North Texas (17-15, 7-9 Conference USA) in the second round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational in the Super Pit in Denton, Texas.
Junior guard/forward Shannon Dufficy led the Aggies with 19 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Eliza West had nine points and seven assists.
After North Texas took an 8-4 lead in the first quarter, free throws from West and junior forward Marlene Aniambossou, along with a Dufficy jumper tied it up at 8-8. The Mean Green extended its lead to five, but a Dufficy bucket made it a three-point game at 17-14. A UNT three at the buzzer gave North Texas the 20-14 advantage at the end of the period.
The Aggies tied it up at 23-23 with a 7-0 run after a Dufficy triple and back-to-back layups from West. A jumper from junior guard/forward Hailey Bassett and a three from freshman guard Steph Gorman gave USU the 28-25 lead. After four UNT free throws, six straight points from senior guard Rachel Brewster put the Aggies on top at 34-29 with 2:56 remaining. A Mean Green jumper and a pair of free throws trimmed Utah State’s lead to one at 34-33 at the half.
Utah State extended the lead to four at 41-37 after a Bassett layup and Dufficy 3-pointer in the third quarter. After UNT took a one-point lead, a West layup and another Dufficy three gave USU the 46-42 edge. Five-straight Mean Green points gave North Texas the one-point advantage, but a bucket from sophomore guard Emmie Harris at the buzzer gave the Aggies’ the 48-47 lead at the end of the period.
USU took the 52-49 lead with 7:20 left in the fourth after jumpers from Dufficy and senior center Deja Mason, but North Texas went on to outscore Utah State, 7-2, for the 56-54 win.
North Texas had three players score in double figures, led by redshirt senior guard Terriell Bradley with 16 points.
USU shot 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from the field, 20.0 percent (4-of-20) from behind the arc and 44.4 percent (4-of-9) at the free throw line. UNT shot 45.5 percent (20-of-44) from the floor, 30.9 percent (4-of-13) from behind the 3-point line and 54.5 percent (12-of-22) at the free throw line.