USU women cruise to easy win over Western New Mexico

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 5 2011 8:58 a.m. MDT

LOGAN — Twelve different Aggies scored as the Utah State women's basketball team won its only exhibition of the season, 89-44, against Western New Mexico on Friday at the Smith Spectrum.

Senior forward Ashlee Brown led all scorers with 15 points, while adding seven rebounds. Junior guard Devyn Christensen dished in 10 points.

Kassie Scott led WNMU with 10 points.

Brown scored the first four points of the game as the Aggies jumped out to an early 10-0 lead before the Mustangs got on the board. Senior guard Brooke Jackson, a transfer from Arizona, made her presence known early scoring four points in the first three minutes.

The Aggies continued to maintain a double-digit lead as several Utah State players saw action during the first half. Nine different players scored in first half led by 10 first-half points by Brown.

Utah State took its biggest lead of the half with 1:19 remaining on an offensive rebound followed by a layup by junior center Banna Diop gave the Aggies a 44-24 lead.

The half would end with the USU holding on to the commanding 20-point lead.

Senior forward Maddy Plunkett, who played only nine minutes in the first half, added seven points. Plunkett sunk one of USU's two three-pointers in the half.

Brown led the team with six rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

USU was 18-of-40 (45.0 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 2-of-6 from three-point range, while WNMU hit 8-of-16 (50.0 percent) from the field.

The Aggies were huge on the boards with 21 first-half boards, including 14 offensive rebounds. Utah State also added 12 steals in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, the Aggies continued spreading the wealth to several players. Within the first five minutes of the half, USU stretched its 20-point lead to 28 points. During a 6-0 run, Jackson sunk a three-pointer and Brown delivered an old-fashioned three-point play.

Western New Mexico would not get the lead under 20 points in the half as the Aggies continued their solid rebounding and balanced scoring.

A three-pointer by Christensen put USU's lead at 32 points with 12:38 remaining in the game. She ended the game with 10 points, including going 2-for-4 from three.

Freshman forward/center Franny Vaaulu scored 10 points in her Aggie debut, while adding four blocks and two rebounds. Freshman guard Elise Nelson scored six points and added seven rebounds in her first collegiate game.

For the game, USU outrebounded WNMU 44-28. The Aggies shot 48.0 percent from the field (36-of-75) and 35.7 percent from three (5-of-14). Utah State shot 63.2 percent from the free throw line (12-of-19).

The Mustangs shot 32.6 percent from the field (15-of-46) and 20.0 percent from three (5-of-25). WNMU shot 81.8 from the free throw line (9-of-11).

The Aggies open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 11 at Wyoming at 7 p.m. This is the first time that Utah State has opened the season on the road since the 2006-07 season.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University.

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