USU basketball: Aggies have winning streak come to an end at Utah on Tuesday
Utah State women's basketball had its two-game winning streak come to an end after a 92-64 loss to Utah at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
The Aggies ran into the lethal one-two punch of Michelle Plouffe and Taryn Wicijowski who scored 40 of Utah's 92 total points.
With the loss the Aggies fall to 2-4 heading into their first home game of the season. Utah remains unblemished with a 6-0 record.
Senior guard Devyn Christensen recovered from a tough first half scoring only two points to score 18 for the game to go along with three rebounds and two assists. Fellow senior guard Jenna Johnson added 12 points and four boards for the Aggies.
Utah's Wicijowski led all scorers with 21 points. She was one of four players for the Utes in double figures. Plouffe added 19 points and seven rebounds to go along with four assists. The Utes ended the game with 27 assists and out-rebounded the Aggies 43-25.
After freshman guard Stephanie Bairstow started the Aggies quickly with a three, Utah responded with the next eight points to take an 8-3 early lead with 17:50 left in the first half. All of the points were scored by either Plouffe or Wicjiowski. A Cristal Turner three off the pass from Christensen cut the lead to 12-10 with just over 14 minutes left. But the Utes responded with seven-straight points to take a 19-10 lead.
Behind the strong play from Wicijowkski, Utah took a 23-12 lead. The Aggies were stuck at 12 points for over 10 minutes. Sophomore guard Elise Nelson broke the streak with a layup to bring the score to 29-14 with 4:45 left in the half. The relentless Utes responded with 10-straight points to go up 39-14.The half ended with Utah leading 41-18.
In the first half, the Utes took advantage of the Aggie turnovers, scoring 20 points off turnovers. Utah also outscored Utah State in the paint 22-12 in the first 20 minutes.
Utah State was led in the first half by six points from Johnson with both senior guard Cristal Turner and Bairstow adding three first-half points. In only nine minutes of action, Nelson had three steals on the defensive end for USU.
Wicijowski had 13 points in the first half to lead all scorers with Plouffe scoring nine. The Utes out-rebounded Utah State 21-10.
In the second half, Utah continued its strong shooting and was even better from three. The Utes made three-straight threes to take a 70-33 lead mid-way through the second half.
Christensen scored 10-straight points to cut the lead to 79-48 with under six remaining. Christensen continued her strong second-half comeback, sinking two more free throws, but the Utes were too strong for the Aggies to close the gap.
Utah State cleaned up the turnovers, only turning the ball over once in the second half. The Aggies also had four different players with a block.
For the game, Utah State shot 37.7 percent from the field (23-of-61) and 36.8 percent from three (7-of-19). The Aggies shot 78.6 percent from the charity stripe (11-of-14). Utah shot 63.2 percent from the field (36-of-57) and hit 45.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Utes also shot 44.0 percent from the free-throw line (11-of-25).
Utah State plays its first home game of the season Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. The Aggies played their first six games of the season on the road.
Live stats will be available for most Utah State women’s basketball games online through the women’s basketball page by clicking on GameTracker in the current events box. All home games can be viewed by clicking on "Watch Live," while they can be heard by clicking on "Listen Live.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
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