LAS VEGAS — The Utah State women's basketball team can accomplish something new with a win over Idaho in today's WAC semifinals (1 p.m.) at the Orleans Arena.
The Aggies (18-12) have never played in the finals in the past seven years, a time when they've only won three league tournament games. Last year when they were also the No. 2 seed, they lost to Louisiana Tech 73-69 and the year before they lost in the semis to Fresno State
In Wednesday's first-round game, the Aggies started fast each half, outscoring Denver 13-5 over the first five minutes of the first half and 15-6 over the first five minutes of the second half en route to a 78-65 victory.
The Aggies had a superb game from junior guard Jennifer Schlott, who scored 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. Senior Devyn Christensen and Makenlee Williams each scored 16 points.
Those three guards will start along with Jenna Johnson and Franny Vaaulu on the inside.
USU first-year coach Jerry Finkbeiner says he wants his team to play with more emotion after playing on an even keel during the regular season. He felt his team did that in the first round game with the quick starts in each half.
Idaho (15-15) edged San Jose State 57-55 on Wednesday to earn a berth in the semifinals as reserve guard Krissy Carr hit a six-foot shot at the buzzer to cap a big comeback. The Vandals are led by forward Alyssa Charlston, who averages 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
In the other semifinal, No. 1 seed Seattle will face No. 5 Louisiana Tech at 3:30 p.m. The finals are set for Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.